“There is a crack in everything. That’s how the light gets in.” Leonard Cohen
I have had quite a few people ask how I’m doing. My body, this cancer, my soul, etc. When my ethereal girlfriend wrote me from dreamy Holland, she asked how I was. I responded with the usual bullet points. But she asked me again,” how are YOU?”
We so often become what we’re going through. We become depression or cancer or we become a bad mom because we’re having a bad day. I have attached many names to how I’m doing. But when I go silent, I just am. When I let all those circumstances and test results and exhaustion also just be, we all settle into our places without needing to defend or explain.
Naturally, this might not satisfy some of your inquiries. So, I will give you a few bullet points to ease your minds. This cancer is stage 4, it has “honeycombed” into my lungs (it looks like lots of little alien legs in there). This restricts my breathing, which restricts my life. Obviously, God knew I needed to hibernate so it has been snowing and freezing lately and I don’t feel like I’m missing out on anything out there.
I am seeing a regional specialist alternative oncologist in Portland. He has supplied me with more supplements than anyone would ever enjoy taking. He as also forced coffee enemas on me, which I have actually come to love and adore. I will probably never drink a cup of coffee with my mouth, but its worth it! I also do oil pulling and take detox tinctures from Germany (German-made tinctures make them feel more effective). I sit under an infrared light and I take two epsom salt baths each day.
I am also seeing a conventional oncologist with an understanding of the alternative therapies. Because this cancer is ER/PR+ and is a HER2 nu overexpressor, I am getting biologic targeting agent injections (Herceptin and Perjeta). While this doctor would like me to take everything in the conventional medical book, I am taking one thing at a time. I want to see what can work for my body without causing it too much harm.
I am tired. I’m not sleeping well, which can taint the whole day if I’m not mindful. I am with my parents for the time being, and their help has been a game changer. Asking for help has never been my strong suit. As I’m starting to realize, you can’t go at this life alone. So, help was offered and I accepted.
Some of you have asked about the various treatments I’m doing and if they’re working. To be honest, it’s all a crapshoot. No one can promise anything because cancer isn’t so easily cornered. Its elusive and unique to each body. What works for one may not work for another. You try and then watch, try and then watch. And since patience is not one of my strong virtues, the watch part is like having my nails pulled out with dirty pliers.
So, you know what I do while watching? I crack. Bigtime. But there is something funny about that saying that the cracks are where the light gets in. Leonard Cohen forgot the messy middle part. You crack, you ooze pus and nasty old crap that has been crammed in there for years. Then you have to clean all of that up before it tries to creep back into that hiding place. And then the light can get in. I guess I see why he didn’t use that middle part. Doesn’t really have a melodic ring to it. But it has a whole lot of truth!
That is how I’m doing. I’ve already secured the big pieces, like survival and using this story to somehow help others lost in their own tunnels. But the daily pieces fluctuate. More energy or less, a rocking 6 hours of sleep or a night of painful wide eyes, hungry or not, blessed or blah supplements. It’s all just a rollercoaster. But it means I’m living, so you gotta give an amen for that!