Wednesday, July 2, 2008
The Waiting is the hardest part..........
'Our Birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The Soul that rises with us, our life's Star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting, and cometh from afar;
And not in utter nakedness,
But trailing clouds of glory do we come."
Today was my check up with my oncologist, routine but really, is there anything routine about going to the oncologist? I always try and prepare myself, sort of make a plan of how it will go, how I will act with the Dr and the nurse, trying all the while to stop staring at the enormous elephant in the living room that is my white blood cell count. I have CLL, also known as chronic lymphoctytic leukemia.In an attempt to heal myself and achieve optimum health, for the last 8 months I have been a raw vegan, cutting out all dairy, meat, processed food and refined sugars out of my diet.
When I was diagnosed, I had no symptoms other than a white blood count of 14,000 (normal is 4-10K), that rose to a height of 29,000 7 months ago. Four months ago, it fell to 16,000, less then when I had my harrowing encounter with a giant needle to get a bone marrow biopsy on April 4th 2007. I drink green juice daily, love my green smoothies, eat tons of veggies, some fruit, lots of almonds, hemp seed, spirulina and a few food based supplements. So the litmus test of my lifestyle is the onc visit and blood test.
Here is how I roll:
I woke up at 5:45am, decided that is as good a time as any to get up, I don't use an alarm. Dry Brush my bod and face all over, brush my teeth, do the morning ritual. Wanted to meditate with Rodney Yee, but Sam is sleeping on the couch in the room I use,so I head downstairs and outside. A cool breeze is moving around and the swing beckons.
Make a quick cupa pomegranate green tea , consult with Dali Lama's entry for July 2nd:
'....there is an Indian saying: if you are struck by a poisonous arrow,it is important first to pull it out. There is no time to ask who shot it, what sort of poison it is and so on....similarly, when we encounter human suffering, it is important to respond with compassion rather than question the politics of those we help.' Or question ourselves too much, I am tempted to add.
Malcolm the Wonder Dog
Get boy wonder Malcolm and cross the wet grass to sit zazen on the swinging bench, apropos no? Once there, make the intention to slow down my breath, work on gratitude a bit, then move on to forgiveness, which gets easier and easier every day. Take a minute to think of all the blessing that I have in my life and how I want this appointment to go. I also think that for a moment my Mom might actually have come back as my dog but cross that off as not really probable.
My Life Line aka my email inbox
Time to check email, update my crazysexylife folks, thank everyone for pulling and praying for me, I can actually feel the love coming out of my computer! Go to my favorite raw food blogs, check out we like it raw, give it to me raw, leave some comments, spread some love around the joint.
Morning crazies ensue, then the doorbell rings, postman brings a special delivery from Leenda, filled with love and laughter, incense, a bike horn, a beautiful necklace that I don immediately, it says "Live Light" perfect, just what I needed.
The Box of Love from Lovely Leenda:)
Time to juice green, get that plant blood in the old bloodstream.
The Magic Maker: My Omega Juicer
My Daily Prescription
I gather my ammo: aka reading Material, currently loving David Sedaris 'When You Are Engulfed in Flames." Makes me laugh every page, love him and his crazy life.
The Double your Pleasure, Double your Fun Bike
Get my helmet, get Sam on the double bike for the ride to summer school and we are off, flying on 3 wheels.
Ride home, park that one, take a quick shower cause I don't want the Dr. to think I smell bad (what is that all about, very third grade of me isn't it?)
Choose Your Wardrobe Carefully When Discussing Canser
Ready to Face the Music ie: Get my Butt on the Bike and see the Dr.
I hop on my bike and get my butt over to the office. I feel free when I ride, like a teenager again, jumping curbs, cutting corners, just plain having fun.
Only the BEST Bike ever, My Gary Fisher Wingra
Lock the bike, haul all the stuff up to the office and Enter "The Door" I really don't like that door, no, not at all.
I sign in, sit and ................wait............................and then have an insurance issue, clear it up, pay copay and .........................wait some more..............trying to read, aware that I look like a crazy bag lady with my backback, helmet, bike bag, camera, all fumbling all over...........and I read David Sedaris, he is trying to quit smoking in Japan...........can't focus.............waiting..............wait impaitently,consider taking a picture of the waiting room but honor the privacy of the innocent bystanders.............and finally my name is called. I joke with the nurse that my blood pressure might be high after this, waiting 45 minutes to get to see her. Weight: 126 (same as when I was 16), BP 110/70, pulse 72, temp. 96, mind: calming down and getting ready to .....................wait.......................this time in the room.
My Dr arrives, asks if there are changes. I say I feel great, I rode my bike over here, like perhaps he thinks that my helmet is just a rouse, a cunning way to fool him into declaring me healthy.
The Paper Covered Poking Table: Not as Fun as it Sounds....
He pokes my lymph nodes, lays me down and checks my liver and spleen, then asks if my watch is a heart monitor... and he is smiling.. I like when he does that because he usually simply does not have time for such frivolity. I say no but he insists that it looks like one and leaves me there to stare at the walls where I find this comforting poster:
All You Never Wanted to Know About Breast Cancer
Yes, it is a detailed poster all about what breast cancer looks like, how it grows and look, you can even 'ask your doctor for the DVD." Now that would really change movie night at our house.
Veronica The Professional Vampire
Veronica shows up to suck, I mean, take my blood and we have a lively conversation about the nurses, leading to a discussion on why nurses wear white, turning to a explanation of why I wore all white in beauty school, because you can bleach the stains out and remain clean and pristine looking. The entire time she is sticking a needle in my arm and my blood is flowing into a small vial and I cannot help but picture nurses bleaching bloodstains out of their uniforms. Veronica is very good today and I don't pass out, I am such a wuss when it comes to blood. She looks like we are going to have a sleep-over huh, maybe on the paper covered table, but no, that pillow is for my arm with the microscopic veins. She leaves, I .............wait.............then she glides by and sticks my chart in the door. It's like Christmas, I know I should not look, not open the package and what if I hate it? Can I return it, like a lumpy sweater that doesn't fit? I decide that I should wait for the Dr to read it to me, delay the invitable result a bit longer.. I don't do patient very well but this is where meditation really pays off.
The Ancient Chinese Secret
I try staring at this but remain in the dark as to just what the fuck it says. I hope it says" Come here for a few visits and your Canser will be gone, No Lie!" But I suppose it says something like "Doctors are People too" Or "Hang in There" sans the clinging by its claws kitten.. I sit, I wait...............
My Arm with a Tiny Hole in It
Me Pretending to Wait Patiently
My Chart Patiently Waiting for the Dr to Read it... And then he is there, and he is grabbing my chart oh so cavilerly says "your white blood count is 14, 000..." and I do a really assanine move, throw my fist in the air and say "Yes!" like some pro bowler who just threw a strike. I ask him some dumb question which he dismisses. He once again reminds me that my prognosis is good, (this is the same guy who told me I had 7 -10 years isn't it?) Then in a very untraditional move he says "Keep biking, see you in four months." and he's gone. I am elated, ready to email and text everyone I know, so very excited that the ride home seems to take place in zero gravity somehow.
Here's the rest of the day real quick:
Picking up Sam from Summer School
Texting Everyone From Control Central: My Sierra Club Backpack
Then it's to the Summer Rec program where Sam makes a lanyard (remember those things? What becomes of abadonded Lanyards? ) whilst I text everyone I can to tell them the test was good. Home to pick up Jaz and take the girls to the library for a class on watercolor painting, the subject: Bugs. I sit and read on the grass, a nice way to spend an hour.
Art on the Library Lawn
Sam's Happy Butterfly Trio
I made Samosas with chutney, Garlic Nann, Dal Makahani, and Lentil Briyani for the family.
Indian Food for The Family
Green Smoothie love for me. Want to try it?
Cacao Acai Green Smoothie
3 collard leaves
1/4 cup cacao/ maca powder
3 tbls raw agave nectar
1 cup coconut water
some coconut meat
1 tbls spirulina
1 Frozen banana
1/2 frozen Acai bar (Whole Foods freezer section)
Blend and enjoy!
I keep a food log, write down every single thing I eat, it can get tedious but I am doing it for the China Study people and Kris Carr. It's the least I can do as Kris basically saved my life with her docu, book, blog and forum, crazysexylife.com and her friendship most of all.
It's Simple: a Cacao Acai Green Smoothie for my Dinner
I will never go back to the SAD food ... I will remain a raw vegan the rest of my life. I am planning my 100th Birthday Party, you are all invited, just make sure to wear your running shoes cause we are going on a hike!
If you are still reading this you either have nothing else to do or you really care about what this kind of day is like.
I hope that this helps someone you love or you if you end up at the onc office.
Leave your fear behind, go with love and good humor. Let go of the results, be at peace with it all, even the shitty parts.
Yours in Raw Love
Posted by Debbie Young at 6:48 AM