You Are Not Alone

wetlands 3-6-16I know there will be times on this journey when I will feel alone. But right now a surprising thing is that it isn’t just my friends and family keeping me company– my medical care providers in a strange way let me know I’m not alone.

First there is the Cancer Center itself. That place is full of patients. Each one a family tragedy, a personal tragedy, a community affected. Everyone there valiantly following the plan. We feel in good hands. We each have a team.

But what is also encouraging somehow is the way the medical staff tell us what will happen. They know how this goes. As my mother says, “They even said when the nausea would start– Wednesday late afternoon.” And it’s true, it comes on at 4:30 on schedule and I can take the pill marked “take first” and don’t need to take the second, because it works.

They tell me what day I will start losing my hair. Videos online give me a number of approaches to the hair loss. There’s surprising information– a woman in treatment says that you’ll be surprised how much your eyebrows and eyelashes do to keep things out of your eyes.

lichen tree 3-6-16Although of course I wish they would figure out a combination of drugs that would more specifically target the cancer itself, leaving the hair and nails and blood cells alone, but I do not feel like a guinea pig. Not at all. I feel like they know exactly what they’re doing and there is good reason for this regimen, the number of weeks and the dosage and the combination.

Meanwhile, the nutritionist is there and knows what I might still enjoy eating. And the Enhancements Program is there and want to see me this week to know what kind of wig to make. And the reviews on hats and turbans are very helpful.

Today was a great day. Steve and I took advantage of a warm day (in the 50s!) to walk in the wetlands, which are still frozen enough to support our weight. Tromping around on the edge of our 80 acres, I called “Yoo hoo!!” to the frogs and we looked ahead to some of our favorite times of the year, when we’ll sit on the porch and watch everything come to life.

wetland border 3-6-16

For a Cowbird story of this new community I find myself in, click here.

This is a tricky story, that I hope illustrates the complexity of the rural place where I live. Yet as it unfolded I felt sympathy for all the people involved, and a belief in the essential goodness of the people I live among and their challenges.


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