Monday, February 7, 2011


Other than taking my daily Tamoxifen pill, I am done with treatment.

"How many times is she going to say that?" you ask.

I keep finding things, signs of being in cancer treatment, and tonight I give myself permission to let go of these now.

In my car in one of the little cubbies, is a bundle of my admission bracelets to radiation.

Next to my bed is my zippered and pink, bag of tricks.  Inside are several unfinished bottles of  prescriptions, primarily nausea meds for during chemo, and pain meds for after my surgery.  There are a few other items in there, a thermometer, stool softener, laxatives, acid reducer, and preparation H.  There is also a solid honey lotion bar used when my hands and cuticles were especially dry from chemo, and many times when very nauseated, I was comforted by deep breaths of the sweet scent.

Under my bathroom sink is a prescription mouth rinse when I was having lots of blistering and problems with my gums and tongue during chemo.  There are also some plastic syringes fill with sterile saline that chemo nurse Kitty gave me to rinse my eyes when they were very itchy and reacting to Taxol.

My chemo bible, Chemo Companion Care Guide, is still part of the stack of books on my nightstand, as well as a large ribboned bundle of treasured cards and letters sent to me during treatment.

My assortment of aloe socks and gloves, received as care package gifts from a few kind friends, are in a basket next to my bed.  I used them often, moisturizing hands and feet that were dry and cracking from five months of chemo.

Many of the songs on my nano Ipod were songs I downloaded during treatment.  When I listen to them now, I am instantly transported to sleepless weekends coming down from steroids to counter the allergic effects of chemo.  Most of the time, as much as I loved these songs, when I hear one now, I have to skip past it.  This song, in particular, still makes me cry, a reminder of the self I left behind.

The physical remnants of my cancer treatment can be shed, as more and more of the metaphorical ones fall out of my pockets and from my blond brain.

When thou passest through the waters, I [will be] with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee.  Isaiah 43:2

I walked through the rivers and through the fire.
I am out the other side now, crawling away from the rubble.
There there now, the Voice says to me.  Unzip your life jacket.  Put down the fire extinguisher.
Do not make that wreckage a shrine or your home.

Use it.
To tell the story of what you learned.
Use it.
To choose how you will live.
Use it.
Not so it defines you, but so your reply becomes the defining moment when you said yes to your life.

You dear reader are my witness.   Yes.


Mollye said...

Hi Sweetness, So are you saying you're going to get rid of this stuff? What a healing act in itself that should be to be able to replace all those things with other things; like a sweet little journal, a small book of Thanksgiving, a nice candle, some REGULAR scents and some up listing positive things. A book on a new craft you thought about wanting to try while you were sick. Bless your heart. Mollye

Gloria said...

I like what you said, "Do not make that wreckage a shrine..." You previously spoke about the quilt and the pieces of your life you are focusing on, that's wonderful. Congrats on finishing treatment and stepping into a new phase. Your blog is inspirational and telling other people to get in contact with the one who made us, that Higher Power we often push aside, is an extraordinary and compelling gift. Thank you. More good thoughts are being sent your way.

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