Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Chemo: One Way to Do It

I learned to really hate IVs. And get annoyed with anything going through it. Especially chemo.
I hate chemo. I really hate chemo.
My Cytoxan was a 24 hour drip. The first 6 hours were fine, after that I felt horrible.
I felt like I was dying inside.
And eventually it was over, I counted the hours…

I got the VP-16. Awful stuff too. Really awful.
I felt so very very dead.
I had to remember that if I felt really shitty I still had to be alive.
And I was.
Every time I puked I remembered I was alive. I was alive, and I was going to beat this little booger…and I hated every minute of it…

When I got home I could barely move.
For days I could barely move. I could drink, but barely eat. I could breathe, but barely walk.
But I felt pain, and I was alive…
I realized, as long as I maintain homeostasis -- I'm not going anywhere.
So I made a checklist in my head:
• Am I breathing
• Is my heart beating
• Do I feel any real pain, or do I just feel like shit
• Am I capable of telling someone I feel like shit
If those are true, I am alive. And I'm fighting. And I knew I was going to make it.
Dave’s Happy Little Hodgkin’s Website

From the first with Evie, I have tried to read up on the literature for a broader view of what to expect and what to do. Sometimes, I found such disturbing information that I’d pass it along to my brother and just wait a bit before telling Eve.
When I Googled “Hodgkins, mobilization, stem cell transplant” I found both literature and Dave.
I didn’t tell anyone about him. It felt better not to know.

This week, Monday through Thursday Eve gets the VP-16.
She told me last night it’d be fine if I shared our experience so far.
It may help someone else some day.
So here we go:

When Evie, Mary and I began meditating together last August our intention was to give Eve the skills she needed to deal with her cancer in a spiritually grounded manner.
Having relapsed from conventional treatment, having supplemented that therapy with the best complementary medicine we could, we found that wasn’t enough.
Eve wanted to dig deeper.

Mary and I wanted to pass on our Taoist teachings which consisted of three parts:
1) Meditation: to cultivate the ability to “allow everything to be as it is.”
2) Guided Movements: a form of spontaneous qigong helps unblock energetic imbalances.
3) Intuitive Reading: a way to develop ones natural ability to gain insight into a situation via intuition.

When we began, we hoped Eve would simply learn to not let her anxious mind run away with her.
A freaking mind only adds an additional layer of stress to the heavy rounds of chemotherapy and a stem cell transplant.
None of us imagined Evie would have such a capacity to go so deep so quickly…
Or how shamanic a path we were on.

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