bringingupbuddhas

suburban adventures in bu-curious mothering

Tag: cancer

cancer wife: (more) thoughts from the edge

May 20, 2013

 

My meditation practice is key to managing my fear.  A few weeks before learning of Mick’s diagnosis I’d been blogging about the strength of spirit I’d been feeling but wondered if that strength would hold up when tested.  I mean, meditation is great in theory.  But does it work when the shit really hits the fan?  I soon learned the answer.  YES.

 

The more I learn about life and energy through Buddhist philosophy, the more deeply I understand and appreciate other religions.  I’m reading A Course In Miracles and finding it to be a great companion to my Bu-curious ways, examining mindfulness, fear, and delusion.  The book has more fluoro sticky tags than any other in my well-highlighted library.  “You are much too tolerant of mind wandering,” says this Christian text that continues, “No one who lives in fear is really alive.”

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Meditation yields acceptance.  Acceptance yields trust.  Trust yields fearlessness.  When we are fearless, we are confident that everything will happen exactly as it should and we are okay.  When we are quiet in meditation, we open ourselves up to spirit’s guidance and can then confidently take inspired action.

 

I allow this notion to sit front row in my prefrontal cortex, so when fear begins to creep in, I comfortably acknowledge it then meditate through it.  But for me meditation isn’t all good posture and spiritual brain dumps.  Through non-doing I clearly see all of things that I need to get done.

 

1.  I need to be caring for my husband and offering him affection.  This, admittedly, is very hard for me as I am not a warm and fuzzy wife-type.  If I’m being painfully honest, I can be a little cold to my husband.  I blame this on my parents’ divorce when I was 11.  There, I said it.

2.  I need to be working on building a career.  If the worst happens, I will have no income to support my family and I haven’t earned money consistently in a dozen or so years.  Time to put that journalism degree to work.

3.  I need to spend free time with my kids and let go of social events.  Socializing when my husband is home sick is not so great.  It’s okay to pass on parties.  There will be fun times when all this is over and right now no one needs me more than my family.

 

May 23, 2013

 

Mick’s hair is everywhere.  I can’t keep up with the friggin shedding.

 

“Shave it,” I plead.

 

“I’ll do it in the Caribbean,” he promises.

We are supposed to be leaving on a trip to the BVIs and he is planning a ceremonial raze on the beach.  Unfortunately he’s got a 102 fever and it looks like he’s not going anywhere anytime soon.  Sucks.  This sucks.  Meditate on that.

cancer wife: thoughts from the edge

June 18, 2013

 

I’m sitting in a wimpy plastic chair.  Mick is snoozing, all hooked up, comfy in his enormous adjustable leather chemo glamour bed.  I can’t complain.  I mean, I want to complain, but I can’t complain.  Because Mick has cancer and I’m fine.  But between us hens?  This chair sucks.  It’s one of many chairs I’ve encountered during fluid transfers.  Some seem to be worse than others.  For example, there was this one chair that I sat in from 3am to 9am in the ER at MGH.  Well, “sat” is not the right word.  More like perched.  Or maybe endured.  Suffered through?  Call it what you will but I ended up in the chiropractor’s office twice that week.  That chair was a bastard.

 

This was my first chair, the little one on the left:

It’s not a great photo.  I think the chair feels so inadequate that it’s hiding from my camera.  This wood veneer piece of real estate with metal legs and pilled polyester seat bottom had a great view of the Charles, though.  Not bad there with the Salt and Pepper Bridge cutting over Boston’s dirty water.  Location, location, location.  The window made the sitting more tolerable.

 

Mick’s afore mentioned night from Emergency Room Hell followed.  Soon after that valuable learning experience I created a trifecta of chairs that worked for me quite nicely.  During Mick’s next infusion, I employed two chairs and a padded rolling stool to create a combination that allowed me to recline.  I call this the “C-S-C”, Chair-Stool-Chair technique.  Hips on the stool, shoulders and calves stretched to opposing stationary chairs.

 

Next came this little number, wedged between a thin curtain and Mick’s glamour bed.

No view to boast but by the second treatment I’d become emboldened.  I asked the nurse for a pillow and blanket.  I eventually arranged my white hospital accessories in just a way that I could comfortably sit straight and tall while my head slumped forward and jerked back up, slumped forward and jerked back up.  The Buddha would not have been impressed but I was surprisingly happy in this seat.

 

Today is the last chemo treatment and I’m finally getting smart.  I have three great things going for me:  a pillow from home, my seat overlooking The Charles, and our nurse who just delivered several warm blankets for padding and comfort.  Not bad at all.  Mick’s been passed out for four and half hours.  He begins to stir and opens his eyes.  He smiles at me and notices I’m really trying hard to achieve optimal comfort.  “Climb in with me.”

 

“Really?” I gasp.  “Are you sure?”

 

He scootches to the right and I squeeze my body into the crack between him and the armrest.  I am asleep within seconds and wake up only when it’s time to go home.  I haven’t slept that well in…  well, in a good while.

my last days: meet zach sobiech

so inspiring. grab the kleenex.