Saturday, March 8, 2008

i am the sloth

i am moving so slowly through each day. walking feels like pushing through something dense, a substance much heavier than air. for me, the girl who normally walks at new york speed, this is like walking inside someone else's body.

perhaps the body of a tree sloth, with less arm strength.

fatigue is something i couldn't have imagined. it's much more complex than just being tired all the time. i have worked punishingly hard physical jobs in my life. farming, cleaning hotel rooms and waitressing, to name a few. even the kind of tired those jobs produced after long double shifts does not touch this.

my very core is weary.

i have new, deep empathy for those with chronic fatigue syndrome. i had no idea. my heart goes out to you all.

it's all i can do to get myself to radiation, follow my healing protocol and make healthy meals. my body requires so much energy just to repair itself from the damage of the radiation treatment. parts of my brain seem shut down to conserve energy. the cancer cells are disorganized, so they are efficiently killed off by radiation. my healthy cells have their shit together and i am boosting them with all these herbs, etc. but it takes a toll on those cells, to have to repair themselves, over and over as the treatments continue.

if only i could crawl into a little cocoon until it's all done.

my post from yesterday was offered in hopes of saying something more inspiring than i am still here and it's still very, very hard. today is the health report.

please send thoughts of strength for my cells who are working so hard. i have two more treatments of the whole breast. then they do something called a "boost" for eight treatments. this will be radiation that is focused on the area of the tumor. my burnt nipple, underarm and the raw area under my breast will get to rest and begin recovery. i'm very glad for this transition.

thank-you for the supportive comments and emails. i read them all and they help sustain my spirit.

5 comments:

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Just wanted you to know I am here and I never miss an entry.

Waiting with you for the transition. .......

love from Marrakesh

Tay said...

Oh, thank-you Maryam. I can feel your support from way over there to here.

I used the images of cooling fans from you in my visualization during treatments this week. Big windows open in the beautiful apartment, China Forbes singing and turning on massive fans, blowing the cancer cells out into the blue sky and out of my body.

Kristin said...

You know, some people really like sloths - think they're cute, even. I think you are the cute kind of sloth. And what's that whole tortoise and hare lesson? You will get to the other side of this, as well.

Maryam in Marrakesh said...

Oh I am so very glad:) Must look into china forbes....

salmonpoetry said...

sloths were my favorite animal when i was a child, by the way- i loved the way they hung upside down and had those looooong claws (i bit my fingernails terribly as a child). i have to say, i envied their lifestyle (and still do.)

that's a very touching post about your mom. i can't imagine going through chemotherapy and the anxiety of cancer with 4 small kids! no doubt it has given your mother the strength and the hope to support you so in your own cancer journey.
your thoughts on melanoma hit close to home for me- there is not a day that does not go by that i do not worry about dying from melanoma. i too have all the risk factors, and my body is covered with snips and scars from having moles excised. i had a pre-cancerous melanoma growth removed in 1987, and my mother survived 16 years with stage 3 melanoma until it came back and got her last year, in the midst of other health crises.

the funny thing about cancer is that we have cancerous cells turning up in our body all the time, it is just a matter of when the control mechanisms for weeding them out get broken or overwhelmed that they can take over. it is amazing to think that we have all of these genes, churning out proteins like mixing up recipes out of a cookbook, that constantly check our cells' DNA for mutations and problems, and act as little crossing gates to keep out cells that are heading down the cancer pathway.

i'm getting ready to go back to writing on book #2, which has a chapter on cancer in it. i try to come up with metaphors and stories that help explain the more complex science behind cancer- the thought of cancer is so intimidating, but i think sometimes it can help if we understand it, on our own terms. hopefully some of those kinds of metaphors and explanations can serve as visualizations for healing and relating better to our bodies, in times of health and sickness.

best wishes to you tay this week. i will be thinking of your cells cooking up their healing proteins.