I have spent the last month preparing myself in many ways for the 6 weeks of daily radiation therapy that is the next phase of my breast cancer relapse oncology protocol…lots of scans and tests and consults…and re-scanning, re-testing, and re-consulting.
Radiation is new to me, and I am getting quite the education in this remarkable treatment that will go after those dastardly little cancer cells in my spine and in one little lymph node in my neck that just wouldn’t heed the 21 chemotherapy eviction notices they received!
Wanting to maximize the experience of these 30 treatments, Monday through Friday (weekends off!) and the “intense and meaningful” opportunity before me, I decided I would make this a “6-week-mini-at-home-retreat,” focusing on mind, body, soul…and a little culture!
I’m a yoga gal, starting at least 3 days a week on my mat with the incomparable and impossibly flexible Rodney Yee. And so I decided, along with approval from my doctor, in an effort to increase my flexibility and stave off the possible side effects of radiation – frozen shoulder, dead arm, nerve damage (oysh!) – I would return to daily practice, rising with the sun and finding my “center” each morning before heading to the cancer ”center” to get zapped.
I will go immediately from the Fr. Michael McGivney Center for Cancer Care in New Haven, Connecticut to the beach…and rain or shine, snow or sleet, I will gulp sea air into the lungs that chemotherapy booted the cancer out of during these last 6 months. I will make the 2-mile loop on the glorious Silver Sands Boardwalk in Milford, Connecticut…through golden seagrass, over icy streams, and along the lapping shore that I am blessed to call home. I will be fit, intentional, and prayerful with each step that I take.
And then I will go home to a banquet – oatmeal, poached eggs, fresh fruit, and of course, my beloved Starbucks French Roast!
Yes, friends, I have decided to make this 6 weeks of radiation as productive as possible…and I have every intention of being flexible, fit, and French, while I am, you guessed it…fried.
I want my cancer and this really significant daily treatment to be the smallest part of my day, the smallest part of what poet Mary Oliver refers to as, my “wild and precious life.”
And I want to have fun doing it!
1 down…29 to go!
Vit L’espoir! (That’s “Hope Lives!” in French…just a taste, mes amis, just a taste!)