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Post your message of encouragement. support. love. hope. to Faith Smith

33 Guest posts

Angela Angela

Brave woman: i hope your body starts to feel stronger. It has been inspiring to read the way you relate to this process. Gracias

Giselle Anatol Giselle Anatol

Yippppeeeee! Congratulations! :-)

Rhonda Rhondula Rhonda Rhondula

And: the radiation treatments are DONE!

Leah R Rosenberg Leah R Rosenberg

Dear Faith, I am hoping that you have finally finished radiation and am very grateful for your description of your experiences which I found helpful, brave, and moving. As words escape me, I am sending you a picture of strength, courtesty of the National Library of Jamaica: a 1973 Appleton rum advertisement from Jamaica's Daily News with the slogan: "Stay Together, Keep a Good Thing Going," Please focus on the workers' strength rather than the capitalist and colonial context.

honor ford-smith honor ford-smith

Here's a quote from Lorde to meditate on
“In order to keep me available to myself, and able to concentrate my energies upon the challenges of those worlds through which I move, I must consider what my body means to me. I must also separate those external demands about how I look and feel to others, from what I really want for my own body, and how I feel to my selves.” — “Breast Cancer: Power vs. Prosthesis,” The Cancer Journals

Sigrun Svavarsdottir Sigrun Svavarsdottir

Thanks for sharing your eloquently expressed reflections on the experience of going through treatment. Hold on, the end is in sight!

I am still coughing so I should not visit with you this week. Instead, I’ll call. But I can take you to the clinic Thurs and Frid next week.


P.S. I could not post this as a comment on your post.

Faith Smith Faith Smith

Hello, Everyone:
This is Week Three of radiation (Today is Tuesday, so Mari will pick me up, stay with me, and quite possibly agree with (persuade?) my doctor that a daily gin and tonic is just what I need – at least this is what happened last week.)

There is a ghastly rhythm now – intimate and familiar -- to the daily visits to the Finard Basement where I do the treatments. If I’m going alone, I take the subway, and as soon as I step off the train I feel an exhaustion that continues to the moment I lie down in the radiation room. I descend to the basement, check in and change into the robes, and then I’m called in to the treatment room and asked to say my name and date of birth, and to confirm my photograph on a screen. I’m settled in on the radiation cot, and shifted around and measured to make sure that everything lines up so that the treatment is directed to the right place. Everyone else leaves the room and then it’s me and the machine: I respond to prompts from the intercom to inhale or exhale. In five minutes it’s all over.

But of course my mind is the problem. Everything is magnified, and everything is negative. Why does everyone leave me alone in the room – because radiation is dangerous, so let’s leave Faith in there alone!
Why did my right side under my right breast feel uncomfortable late one night during the first week of radiation – because the treatments which are supposed to be for the left breast “leaked” over to the right side (And not because I’d just had a midnight binging on chocolate ice cream)
Why did my left ribs hurt last weekend all day in Toronto -- because the radiation is compromising my ribs. (Coincidentally, the pain ended that night when I took off my tight strapless bra.)

And of course I have anxieties not just about the radiation but about my work, which is really slow, and sometimes non-existent.

So that’s really the challenge: to calm myself down on the inside. In the meantime, I’m really appreciating everyone’s good wishes and thoughts and energy – it means a lot to me.

Love to all,

Annie Paul Annie Paul

Hi Faith, glad to hear it's all going smoothly. Didn't realize you had to have radiation. It can be unpleasant so if you didn't even realize they'd done it, that's good. Keep on slewing dem!

Leah R Rosenberg Leah R Rosenberg

Just to say that I am so grateful for Dawn's photograph and Faith's report. I can't thank both of you enough. I am sending love and hugs from Carroll Smith-Rosenberg and Alvia Golden. We are all thinking of you each day this month. Leah

Faith Smith Faith Smith

Hi: posting to myself because Ama Dufus. But -- yesterday went very well. They took x-rays before the actual radiation treatment. So when they said they were done, I didn't realize that they had done the x-rays AND the radiation. So I guess that means it went well. They also gave me the schedule: I asked them for an early afternoon time, and I got 2:30-ish for the first two or three days, and then 1:15 pm every day thereafter. So -- all good. Faith

Sigrun Svavarsdottir Sigrun Svavarsdottir

Faith’s first radiation went well, and she is in high spirits at the MFA. She rocks!
(If you don’t see the full image, please click on it.)

Regine M Jean-Charles Regine M Jean-Charles

Wonderful Faith! This is my first time posting here but I have been thinking about you, praying for you and getting updates from Rhonda. You are loved!

Dawn Skorczewski Dawn Skorczewski

One day in and onward you go. Admiring your strength and grace. So happy you are on this earth. Love. Dawn

Angela Angela

I am new here but I know some of you. I saw Faith today and she looked beautiful on her yellow silk skirt. Thanks Rhonda for this page, would be great for me since I live far away. Keep the great spirit you show today dear Faith.

Elora Halim Chowdhury Elora Halim Chowdhury

Dear Faith,
Love and all good wishes. Hope to see you soon.
~ elora