Sometimes I go about in pity for myself and all the while a great wind is bearing me across the sky. Thanks to an unknown Ojibway woman.
This morning like most mornings, I am thinking about the team of people who are all working on my behalf. I had no idea what it would take to see me or anyone through this cancer journey, particularly the chemotherapy, and as I proceed, I have been truly humbled by the experience.
Tomorrow, as one example, I have my second round of chemotherapy. Let me describe what happened the first time. Enroute to the Tom Baker Cancer Clinic we stopped at the post office to pick up a parcel, which contained a gorgeous handmade with love and skill shawl, for me to wear to all of my treatments. Each stitch was infused with blessings and prayers and was designed to do much more than keep my body warm. Next stop Wellspring, where I was greeted with hugs and wishes enough for a lifetime. Finally we got to take a 15 minute walk up the hill to the Tom Baker: Gottfried, my sister Gabriole and me. Fresh air and movement performs miracles any day and especially on a day when you are entertaining anxiety.
After checking in we were taken into the chemo outpatient clinic. A large bright room designed with alcoves around the perimeter. The alcove I was taken to had a large picture window looking out on a sunny snowy slope and if I looked carefully I could even see our car parked behind Wellspring. There was an original painting on the facing wall, probably thanks to Debbie Baylin who founded Art a la Carte Interesting how this gave me a sense of ease.
Next I found myself propped up in a bed covered with a warm blanket and a warm cloth wrapped around my arm. My chemo nurse was tender and adept and even with my “jumpy” veins managed to do what needed to be done to get the process started. She sat for about 20 minutes and chatted with us, always checking to see how I was doing. And the warm cloths kept coming to make my arm more comfortable.
In the meantime totally delightful volunteers kept stopping by with trays of homemade cookies, made by other volunteers, offering refreshments served up with good humour and tender mercies. Next the baskets of handmade hats and toques came by - such an array of vibrant colours and free for the taking. I am wearing the one I chose as I write this note and I thank the unidentified person who created it.
The fear of the unknown was beginning to slip away and especially when we talked to my chemo-mate, Tim. Here was a fellow who was living fully and enthusiastically while undergoing a rigorous treatment protocol and was a wondrous inspiration to us all. Finally we were equally inspired by Carol, a new friend and old hand at the chemo clinic who sat with us while she received her chemo. Her friendly banter, invaluable practical tips and gentle humour helped us all to see that this wasn’t the formidable treatment we had envisioned.
Good luck yes. Good caring absolutely. Good medical team, good friends and strangers sending blessings and love my way. It all makes a difference and I continue to be carried and cared for by the “great wind” of all those seen and unseen hands. A deep bow to you all.