Saturday, August 21, 2010

For Lo

So, here we are, three days later, four? Well, certainly more than any lapse that I had hoped for.

I can offer excuses, I suppose. I can tell you the truth: that the Gemzar #2 session yesterday was a little more difficult than the first. I had a bad reaction at the end of the session: started by realizing that I was suddenly very, very tired, then weird sensations in the roof of my mouth, running up through my head, waves of nausea, chills. Quite unpleasant. And it was the end of the day - luckily two nurses, the pharmacist and my oncologist were still around. It worked out, they worked it out. It's ok.

But I was scared. And cried. And was embarrassed. And reminded how utterly powerless I am in this situation. They say, over and over, how strong I am. I do not feel strong. I feel weak and broken and afraid that the already existing damage to my body, the cancer damage, the chemo damage, the damage that my liver must have undergone even in the last two non-chemo years from the support medications, that all this will make it impossible for me to tolerate the chemo that I need to survive.

So, I'm afraid. But what happens, what actually happens, one day at a time, is that I do not fail, I tend to flourish. This makes no sense to me, but it's true.

I've been in bed for the last thirty-some hours, recuperating, gaining strength, trying to get nourishment past my mouth which, for some reason is in a ridiculous amount of pain, even though The Doctor was not impressed with the appearance. And I have been enjoying myself for some of that time. Michael made smoothies. Lauren brought the first disc of the Nova Earth series. Lulu is utterly, utterly happy that she can just lie next to me on the bed, belly-up, sometimes between me and Lolo, for god's sake! I mean what could be better than that?

AND, she got to go squirreling with Lo today. And in my notebook, on 7/15/10 there is a note, "Hunter says that I said: 'Any day I take Lu squirreling is a successful day.'" Yes, I did say that, and going out with Lo counts.

And then, on top of this entirely successful day, complete with a dinner of chicken and baked potato and broccoli provided by, enjoyed with and cleaned up by my most kind, generous and loyal friend. I mean besides all that and stupid jokes and chocolate and coffee ice cream and clean laundry - I mean good lord! - besides all that, I read some of my poems since the diagnosis to Lo, and she picked two to put in tonight's blog and I picked one, and that's what I'm going to do. And, then, tomorrow, I'll resume that bird book. I promise. So, here goes:

Three poems from these days

could you believe his

the birds need
to learn

just one day
just one


if art then not

these magical creature

I'm searching
for someone
who's missing

a fire escape
another way out

but the words
got stuck in traffic


What happened?
How did we come
to this world?

And he liked it
all the time
he liked it
the wet cold air

and he sangs
needless songs
always needless songs
once or twice a day

terrorizing villagers

incidentally you do

a planet plagued
by catastrophe

a time known as
the heavy bombardment


So, with that, with dreams of the time of the heavy bombardment, I'll leave you for tonight. Good-night and I love you.


  1. Dear Melanie,

    Thank you for the update and the poems. I am thinking of you with love. I am glad you are surrounded by good animals and good friends. Wish I could drop by in person, but the electronic version will have to do for now. xox, Alice

  2. Dear Melanie,

    Love you, love you. You are a valiant amazon fighting the good fight, and loving the life you are saving while fighting it. After all, why fight for it if you don't love it? Why not love each hard-won moment? We all learn from you my dear.

    Remember I am a phone call, and a quick plane flight away. I will come whenever you need.

    So glad for all the friends who can be there when others of us cannot.


  3. Mel--On my first visit to your blog, I'm immeasurably enriched by this:

    "So, I'm afraid. But what happens, what actually happens, one day at a time, is that I do not fail, I tend to flourish. This makes no sense to me, but it's true."

    This, to me, is the essence of you, Melanie. Thank you, truly and deeply, for your immense generosity in continuing to share yourself with us.

    Though I've been at a distance, I love you.