This is a celebratory week. Sure, it’s the beginning of 2016 but that’s not what I mean. (I believe that we actually have the capacity to start anew whenever we want if we allow ourselves the time, space and intention to do so. So New Year’s doesn’t resonate with me that much). This week is more exciting than a new year. This week is the restart of my life as I knew it pre-cancer. The restart of my life as woman who, rather than letting toxins have their way with my body and cells every two-weeks, can build immunity and cultivate strength in my body, mind and soul that will grow and last.
This is the week that I have my twelfth and LAST chemo treatment.
I’ll repeat it, a little louder in case you missed it. THIS is the week I have my LAST CHEMO TREATMENT. I gotta say, I can’t believe I made it. This 24-weeks seems to have taken about 4 years to go by.
Yet, even as we get closer to putting the cancer behind us, the life lessons continue to arrive.
Thursday night I got a nasty head cold. Ironically, other than the couple hospital visits I had early on in the treatments, this is the worst I’ve felt since being diagnosed with cancer. Being sick on top of being sick is a funny lesson on perspective. I’m not a very good patient (Steve can attest at length if you need detail) so being bed ridden doesn’t work for me too well. After spending the last two and a half days in bed or on the couch, I insisted on taking a walk.
Three Eastern Bluebirds hopped along the pond as I walked by. These birds are a vibrant shimmery blue with a bronze chest. Their calm and playful presence despite the freezing temperatures reminds me to laugh and relax.
Vida and Sadie nearly barrel rolled me as they sped after a vole beneath the snow cover. These beings, whether sleeping or walking – are a constant by my side. They teach me what devotion means.
Animal tracks in the snow – a cat, a deer, a vole, a human. Lesson in perseverance. Giving up is never an option.
The wind blows snow into face, causing my eyes to water. Yet in between the strong gusts, the air is calm – almost perfectly still. I pause as I am reminded once again that the only thing that is ever constant is change.
Before circling back home, I walk up to Steve, who despite the cold weather, is not wearing gloves or a jacket. He is in the middle of an annual pre-winter chore we usually do together; cleaning out a 5 inch thick layer of poop covered straw from the duck house. Once the straw is out, he will add a little extra wind protection to the doors and set-up the house in it’s winter location in the woods. Steve’s body is strong and resilient. His hands are weathered from working outside. The cold fuels him to work efficiently so he stays warm and gets the job done. His stamina and dedication to our animals reminds me of what I will be capable of again.
And I am reminded that my love for this earth, for our land, for our home and all beings that reside here has not subsided. Cancer has squashed my spirit at times, but I am reminded that the spark is still there. I have learned to listen in ways my soul never knew before. And I am reminded that after this week, I can begin to build my flame again – for real. For, it won’t be squashed in two-weeks.