I sit with Vida. The night is quiet, only the crickets make themselves known. Occasionally one of our ducks chirps softly. I imagine her wiggling her little butt into her straw nest, deep enough to feel alone in the midst of her 37 house-mates. The landscape is dark other than the light of Disco Gnome who resides humbly in the garden on slug and rabbit patrol.
I sit cross legged, encompassed by our round home. A candle flame dances.
The hospital bed was picked up today and the house is back to being our home. Spaces organized and comfortable. Sadie is on the deck. Vida next to me. Steve enjoying music with friends.
I am present here. I feel whole. The week has been good. Teaching yoga again feels fresh, authentic and inspiring. And my body managed to maneuver through these last two days without pain. For this I am grateful.
Yet, when I lift my head and open my owl eyes, I am reminded: The inside of my elbows are both sealed with bandages from the two IV punctures needed prior to todays CT Scan. To my left, a small bowl of 8 pills – supplements and laxatives to keep me strong and attempt regularity – stare intensely at me. My journal to my right. I just completed my daily entry: foods eaten, energy level – 10, poop – none, pain level – 2, drugs taken – the norm, other – CT Scan. For a moment I recall what my journal was about in middle school and I blush a little. And for that moment I yearn for the problems of a 12 year-old.
I finish my pills and pack my chemo bags. Tomorrow is round 3. 3 of 12. Somehow I have come to know how to pack for a journey with a destination that’s completely unknown. Round 2 kicked our asses. I was sick. I was dizzy. I vomited at a restaurant. I slept for days. I got a rash. I couldn’t taste. It sucked to eat because food tasted like slime. My back hurt, a lot. But I didn’t lose my hair. And I was never alone.
Will this time be any better? Could it be worse? There is no way to know. The unknown is the journey.
I go to bed in the midst of this quiet, dark night. I know that in the morning I will step through our beautifully, handmade screen doors, into the light of a day filled with an unknown darkness. There will be no crickets there, no Vida, no light from the gnome. But I know I will not be alone. My feet will take me and my heart will follow. I entrust this is how the dance goes.
My heart is burning with love
All can see this flame
My heart is pulsing with passion
like waves on an ocean
my friends have become strangers
and I’m surrounded by enemies
But I’m free as the wind
no longer hurt by those who reproach me
I’m at home wherever I am
And in the room of lovers
I can see with closed eyes
the beauty that dances
Behind the veils
intoxicated with love
I too dance the rhythm
of this moving world