Well. it's been quite some time since my last entry! The holidays have come and gone, and now we're all settling back into regular routines. Even chemo treatment has its routines, I've come to find, although there is a lot of uncertainty. However, as someone who is spending a lot of time sitting in the back seat while the doctors and the medicine drive me around (the bend, sometimes!), I have a lot of time to look at the Scenery of Life outside the windows. As such, I'm realizing that most of us are filling our lives with routines that perhaps act as a buffer against the certainty of uncertainty: the routines of schedule, the routine paths of thinking and reacting and feeling, or perhaps not feeling, might serve more as buffers and even walls that might control our trajectory and outcomes, rather than as rhythms that weave uncertainty into their warp and weft.
As I might have mentioned, I have a lot of time to think... :-) But, I suppose that part of my answer to all of the kind, generous and loving inquiries as to "How are you doing?" is best summarized by David Whyte's wise suggestion: "I'm cultivating a relationship with the unknown."
More specifically, however :-) I'm about 12 weeks post-op and I feel that my underlying physical strength and stamina are returning. Despite all of the symptoms from chemo, I feel that I can weather them better than I did at 8 weeks post-op, when I started chemo. As of yesterday, I finished my fourth chemo infusion, and that is the end of the A&C drugs part of my treatment. I've been told that this is often the heavier and harder part of the drug regimen, so fingers crossed that Taxol will be less challenging.
While I'm halfway through my drug treatment, I'm hopefully but not necessarily halfway through my infusion schedule. If I tolerate Taxol well, I should be able to keep to my bi-weekly infusion schedule and then, YES!!!, I'm halfway through and will have my last infusion March 26th. (This is the day to pray for, meditate on, send positive vibes for, people!) However, some patients need to slow down the delivery of the drug, which would mean weekly infusions for an additional 4 weeks. So, your massively powerful heart and mind power, which delivered me through my surgery on a cloud of serenity (that's really not an overstatement - I felt so relaxed going in for my surgery, I couldn't even believe it at the time!), can help me again! In two weeks, on Tuesday Jan 29th, help that Taxol just flow like like a river to the sea into my body, and I know I will be strengthened and finish on time!
I also want to thank you all so deeply. The meal train is amazing and has sustained us all physically, and Marc and I mentally, through the past weeks and will continue to do so in the weeks to come. Thank you all for the small touches you bring with your deliveries: from blooming tulip bulbs, warm shawls and fishnet stockings (I kid you not! How smart of my friend to think that one can not only be cozy but sexy while living with cancer!), to handmade and funny cards, and even the lovingly handwritten instructions as to how to warm and serve our meals- all feel like warm and loving hugs.
Thank you for the overflowing box of books that arrived at my door just before the holidays! I've been ploughing through them, as have my boys, and I've enjoyed seeing a small side of each of you revealed in the volumes you selected. Many have asked for a list of the books, which I will attempt to do, however, many are scattered throughout my house because we are, well, reading them! So, IF I get a list up and you don't see your book listed, just ping me and I will add it. Please know that it's because it's tucked in a bedside table or by my reading chair!
And finally, thank you for making this marathon run with me. It's a long haul and you've all given us so much. When I look ahead at how much more there is to get through, I find myself wondering: "How can all these people just keep it up?" I mean, I have to, but you don't: and yet you do. You are a phenomenal community, and I believe, a very unusual one. I don't think most people are so wrapped up in such care, in so very much everyday, day-in-day-out help, as I have been. Thanks for sticking with me.