UPDATE NOVEMBER 2017
I hope this correspondence finds you well and happy. Let me start by saying that never have I experienced so much push back as a writer. The truth is I really do not wish to look back nor write about where I’ve been in these past six months, and here goes.
I love the movie Sliding Doors; I have not loved reliving its story line. In short, and as previously written, March this year 2017, I was thrust head long into what seemed someone else’s scary life, one of a singing man with the terrifying diagnosis of stage four throat cancer.
Time passed, free falling back to Australia I found myself caught beautifully in her compassionate and efficient health care net. Proceeding to get sick, very sick, and very very sick, I did not want to die but there where times when I didn’t honestly know how to keep on living. Radiation and Chemotherapy to head and neck burns hard into the human spirit, its effective and brutal.
Thank God for the love and laughter I found myself enveloped in by all at the Royal Brisbane hospital. With their help and the gentle listening and guidance of a skilled counsellor, most days I still managed to find joy.
BED OF ROSES
“Not always a bed of roses but im so glad love chose us.” Soon after the diagnosis my dear Elise Eaton travelled from the states to be by my side. We set up a sweet little house in downtown Brisbane with flowers and an altar. We took our daily refuge in the Buddha before walking slowly to the hospital to see what the other medicine gods could offer. During these daunting days we each experienced compassion and courage I don’t believe either of us knew existed prior.
Every step is healing, every step a miracle, every step freedom! With her unwavering love and friendship, the hands on help of a few close friends, and the prayers of many, we stumbled onward. And yes we witnessed miracles, some ordinary others not so. Alfred Hitchcock used to chide his actors with my favourite Hollywood quotes. He said, “remember your lines and try not to kick over the furniture”, and that’s all I ever tried to do.
Sliding door, scans are all clear, I fall on the floor crying. A new life, a new story, bearing the striking and beautiful title; A Second Chance. Cancer free. Breathe … let me say it again I am cancer free. The treatments have been a success and there is no sign of cancer at all. Thank you for your prayers. I surely needed em!
Today I’m four months south of that second sliding door. September 20, the day after my all clear, just to prove to myself that I was still alive and could be in the world, I bravely or foolishly one or the other, chose to return to America. When my chemo addled brain refused to read the overhead departure numbers correctly and the big white Virgin jet bound for Los Angeles flew away with out me I begin to realise my new normal was going to be weird. I did get it worked out the next day, got on board, ate the price of a new ticket, had a lovely flight and here I am. These beautiful crazy states of America.
The weeks have seen me grow stronger and there is still a road to travel. My voice is also weak and eating difficult. I’m not the traveller/ troubadour I once was and have not been able to sequester the necessary energy to visit with so many of my family here in America. This makes me sad.
Yesterday in my best southern voice I laughingly told a Wisconsin brother that post treatment “I’ve got more ticks on me than a Tennessee Coon dog.” And its true, the list of concerning body and emotional side effects after head and neck radiation-chemo seems totally endless and unknown. Folks that have had throat cancer are screened and scanned every 6 weeks for five years in the Aussie health system, so at least that keeps me informed as to what’s happening inside this lovely flesh and blood suit of mine. The one that is cancer free.
I’m so Grateful!
I’m freaking alive!
Let me say it again … Grateful
What’s the take home from all this … “You Cant Stop Love”
PS Again thank you for your time. Thank you for your patience and prayers.