||Copperwoman's Story • October, 2004
October 2, 2004 • Rest when you have to, Dance when you can
That's what my friend Robert said to me as he hugged me one evening. I asked him where he got that, and told him that it described exactly how I felt. "Just came through you," he said. It surely describes my existence these days. I have had a lot of energy and I am riding the waves of mama ocean. When I have the energy, I go for it and often it brings more.
I am learning to be aware of my chi as Raven has coached me. She told me to watch it and when it takes a turn toward decline, my body is signaling me that it is time to rest. And so I listen and follow the rhythm of this dance in between my chemo "light" sessions. Before I started chemo, I said that I was going to go through it like no one ever has. I knew that I could do it differently and that I could still feel good and have energy. And so it is... That is not to say, that there aren't the slower moments, it's just that when they come, I am with them, allow them, feel them, rest--and let them pass quickly.
Last weekend, I had the pleasure of spending the weekend with a group of midwives during their retreat at Esalen. I was invited to come and sing. I drove down on Friday and we opened the retreat by "Calling in the Angels." We mixed songs in with the weekends events, highlighted by singing in the baths. Saturday night, while everyone gathered in a round tub under the starlight, I led my choir of bathing beautys accompanied by my guitar (I wasn't in the water). We sang many of my newer songs including one I wrote while I was at Esalen in April of this year. It was very powerful singing "Mama, mama ocean, hold me while I rock and roll in your waves"--sitting in the water on a cliff high above that mighty mother.
Sunday morning we gathered in the tubs again. This time they were beautifully lined and filled with herbs and flowers holding space for maidens, mothers, crones and babies. We gathered around while Peggy Horan demonstrated prenatal massage. It was a bountiful treasure to receive--- the grace, beauty and love of Esalen and those beautiful women.
This coming Tuesday, Oct. 5th I will have my 3rd cycle of chemo "light." My brother Chris is my "guide" this time. I have begun my chant already to the white blood cells so their count will be up by Tuesday and I can have the infusion as scheduled. After this time, I will have one more left. (They will test me after the 4th cycle and decide that I have had enough. Please join me in this vision.) At that time, we will see what is next. When I first talked to the surgeon, she said I would rest for a month after the last chemo and then she would do the surgery to get the clean margins that we didn't get with the first lumpectomy. I will keep you posted.
Just a minor hair update. I still have some. The rest has not fallen out, just a few more here and there. It's really not bad, in fact, it's such a gift to have this opportunity to let the ego fall away in such a physical form. I really don't mind being almost bald. I do keep my head covered most of the time, however, because it is COLD up there with no hair.
OK, that's it for now. Heartfull of love and light,
October 8, 2004 • 3 down, one to go
I have now made it through 3 cycles of chemo "light." This time I started chanting to the white blood cells ahead of time and luckily, my count was high enough to proceed on Tuesday. My brother Chris took me to the city this time and it was great to spend the night with him and his famiy the night before. I got to be the "guest story reader" for Noah, quite a priveledge I understand.
I have been sparring with the nausea and prefer not to take the anti-nausea drugs as I don't care for their side effects. What I do know, is that this too shall pass--that the first few days are "just like this" and that I feel better as each day passes.
This will be short today. I am preparing to send my computer off to the doctor to get it's wireless network card working, so don't worry if it's a while before my next entry.
A piece of exciting news is that I am going to do a benefit concert for myself in Santa Cruz called, "Giving Thanks for Life." Several of my singing friends will join me on a couple of songs each. I plan to tell of my healing journey in song and poetry. Click on the flyer below for a larger version.
That's it for today.
October 23, 2004 • Rolling Along
The chemo "downtime" lingered on this third round. I caught a cold and spent a few extra days with low energy. I managed to tame the cold and felt it move to my chest. I was feeling so good and had so much energy that I got "carried away" with work and play and opened the door for the cold to come back. So now I am trying to lay low so that I will be in good shape for chemo next Tuesday. Raven has encouraged me to make extra effort to build my blood so the counts will be high enough to allow the chemo. She recommended liquid dulse as it is super high in iron and a great blood builder. I just add it to my water and sip away.
It has been a busy last couple of weeks. My dad Louie, took a fall a little over a month ago and spent almost 4 weeks at the Dominican rehab center on Frederick St. here in Santa Cruz. He had a dance with pneumonia and it made him very weak. Instead of doing physical therapy while he was at rehab, he spent most of the time just getting well enough to come home. Once he arrived home on Wednesday Oct. 13, he was able to begin some physical therapy to regain his strength. Right now he is using a wheelchair but we are hopefull that he will be able to use a walker again soon. I have been quite involved helping my mom with his medications and his daily routines. I am so grateful to be here to be with both of my parents during this time.
In addition to the family scene, I have been doing a few graphic jobs. Clicking on the pictures below will bring you to larger images of the work. I love the magic that happens with these projects and the people that I work for. I find that being creative in this time feeds my energy for healing. So now you can see what I have been up to.
One more thing. I have just scheduled appointments for an mri and mammogram on November 23 and I will see the surgeon, Dr. Cheryl Ewing, the next day. Please join me in the positive vision that she will find that the chemo "light" has done its job and that this phase of my healing is complete. And that I will be able to have radiation one time at the time of surgery when she goes in to get the "clean margins." I am feeling very strongly that even now all of the cancer is gone and the rest is formality and for the security of no return in the future. Thank you all for your continued prayers and love. I feel it every day and it helps me to be strong and stay light.