Sunday, May 28, 2017

The Cancer Chronicles: Part 2, This is my Sundance

This is my Sundance

This is my sundance, my ritual
my flight

As I juggle my life
in an attempt
to rebuild my identity.

I am fourteen again,
discovering the Ching
and spending a liftetime learning
what those hexagrams mean.

I dance with angels and fairies.

There are magical encounters
with teachers and hawks.
Wolf comes to visit in dreams
over and over again, she will not
be ignored.
And soon,
we run together, play with crows,
walk in Medicine Wheels, and
Celtic labyrinths.
We journey with the drum,
my cottonwood ally,
my song to the Thunder Beings.

Old Taoist influence revisits,
showing me the Barefoot doctor way,
dreaming in a cloud of moxa smoke
and moving energy
balancing qi
with slender needles.

This was my sundance, my ritual, my flight.

In past life readings I am a nun,
again and again, the original nurse --
and so it would be in this liftetime.
My patients knew me by the cologne I wore,
walking into their darkened rooms
on the night shift.

Then death took my father, and
my flight went crashing
deep in the ocean
where I would drown
again and again.

Suicide seemed logical, but
two-doctor commitment orders over-rode 
my attempts to disappear.

No ritual, no dance.

The years would wash clean with tears.
Solitary road trips brought me back to life.

I relearned the dance.
I created sacred ritual.
I began to fly again.

Then one day, a lump stung my armpit, 
brought me to doctors.
A cyst, no doubt, was my conclusion.

Instead, my breasts
were removed.
Chemo exacted a cure.
Radiation was the cherry on top.
No evidence of disease, they said.

This helped me to fly, to dance.

Reconstructing my breasts
brought me a world of pain.

And death once again would rob me.
This time, my mother,
my confidante,
The one person who knew me
Inside and out.

And the cancer spread
to my spine and ribs,
the pain getting deeper,
I could not breathe,
the hospital became  my second home.

Fearful of the Ching's honest appraisal,
I don't throw the coins anymore.

I grow gaunt
Unable to walk a single block
without falling apart.

I'm crashing
I'm burning
I can't remember my song.

Afraid to sleep for fear
I won't wake
I push myself
to the limits of exhaustion.
I tell time by the next dose
of pain killers.

This is my sundance,
my ritual,
my flight in the
face of death.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

book review: Story Genius

book review: Story Genius, by Lisa Cron
If you want to read a good book, on writing try anything but this one.  I recommend Writing Down the Bones, by Natalie Goldberg, and On Writing, by Stephen King.  This book is boring and repetitive.  Don't waste your time with this one when there are several others out there that are worth reading.

Thursday, April 27, 2017

The Cancer Chronicles, continued

barefoot doctor

pain creeps up like an angry cat
ready to rip your throat out
should you make the  wrong move.

During sleep 
I opt for dreams
instead of medication
and wake with aching bones
untouched by the morning dose.

Combing crystals through the air
I collect and discard
the sudden mud
of my aura,  and

Tuning forks sing their song
into my flesh
dancing with my bones
To bring peace

Sometimes I boogie,
sometimes I don't

I pick and choose my medicine.

Crystals to clear and nurture,
Power songs to weave a circle
where I will sit for a moment
In time
transforming energy,
redirecting qi.

But this metastatic cancer
is a harsh mistress
Often refusing to budge
with either Oriental recipes
or Occidental masks.

Sometimes things work, bringing
relief, or tolerance, and
letting me believe in magic
once again.

Thursday, April 13, 2017

The Cancer Chronicles, part one

Sunday Morning (a day in the life)

The radiator spews heat and
there is no cool  breeze
coming through the window.

Shifting between time and days
I am unable to make sense
of the days,
Having been trapped like a bug
in amber

The bed sticks to my thighs
as if encasing me
in the slow drip of time,
A thick gush of resin
suffocating me.

No blue light of dawn
wakes me gently,
But rough transitions
of light to dark
with no twilight song
to welcome me

No pink tides across the sky
No violet hues or powder blues.

My legs stiffen and swell.
My movements stiffen and swell.
There is no release.

It is like glass cracking
beneath my skin
Creating a mosaic of flesh.

The hair on my body recedes
like an old woman
balding from head to toe,
A rapid demise of youth,
now just a memory.

Re-entry, Stage 4

Here is the prisoner of Cancer
unable to free herself
despite good behavior, and a
plea for pardons
sent up on the voices of prayer
by family and friends, and
even the most innocent of children.

We do not bend over and spread
our ass cheeks in search of contraband
But we are naked and exposed
Standing helpless as
not-so-magic markers
define the areas that will be incised and
Leaving your chest flat and scarred and
seemingly Cancer-free.

And yet
The doors don't open,
the prisoner must return
after months of freedom,
Suddenly unable to defend herself
to even the highest court of God and
all his angels.

The cell grows smaller,
Spaces close in
as disease overtakes the prisoner,
Bit by bit
Encroaching upon her Lungs
with  no space to breathe;
Occupying her bones and
replacing it with pain
Like a punishment
for crimes
She can't remember committing.

Appeals fall on deaf ears,
Bones grow more brittle, breaking
her will to live 
at times, 
in this small box of lies.

"There must be some mistake" she cries.

"No', they say, 'We found new evidence
(of disease)  -  You're a Lifer now,
like it or not  -  Join the others
on Stage 4."

Monday, March 6, 2017

long time no see

Hey folks, long time no see.
I have been without a computer (both my Surface and my desktop are not working since before Christmas... November probably.) for a good long time, and it doesn't look like I will be up for getting repairs any time soon.  Using my friend, Evie's, laptop, now and then, but haven't gotten round to posting anything on my blog in ages.

Very recently, I had a CAT scan, to see if those chemo drugs I've been taking for the past almost-year, have been working to stop the progression of the disease.

Well, the news wasn't good.  The drugs aren't working, and I've developed nodules on my lungs that weren't there before, and a worsening of the bone metastasis.  Definitely not the news I wanted to hear.

Breathing is always very tough, and now I know it is more than just the COPD.          

But life goes on.

I've been going to the Cancer Center  a lot recently, having been unable to do so for a long time...  My legs/feet were numb, and so swollen I couldn't get my shoes on.  I'm now able to get them on, though I'm still quite swollen... And also still numb.  Starting a drug called Gabapentin to help with that.

I'll be starting a new medication regime, since the one I was on wasn't working, and had to be discontinued.
I will have a daily oral hormone pill... anti-estrogen, I believe, and bi-weekly (to become monthly after a few treatments) intramuscular injections (one in each butt cheek) of some other targeting agent.

So, hopefully these new medications will work.

Accepting all positive vibes and prayers, etc.

Stay joyful.