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  • Writer's pictureAli

shores and open water

I haven't known what to write, and hence have left many questions for my friends and support to guess about. I have been inarticulating (see other parts of this website if that word is not familiar), but I forgot my own discovery and understanding of the richness of that process, if I don't dismiss it.

I decided this morning, after a phone call from a dear friend yesterday (Thanks, Mel!), that I would just jump in and write something. So I started by looking for a photo. I notice that images can often resonate more than words. That's the whole point of inarticulating. So the image above struck me immediately. I could feel it bodily first, before I understood it.

I have heard myself, more than once, say to George and Connie that I feel like a boat leaving shore. A small canoe leaving the security of land.

Each treatment or surgery or tube, even as it has been difficult, has been like a landing place. Each chemo treatment was scheduled and anticipated, a spot where I was supported by something tangible... there were 6 chemo treatments, each carefully spaced apart, with the welcoming smile and laughter of Veronica, my sought after nurse for the infusions, and my daughter,Lara, accompanying me with "The Hobbit" in tow. There were three surgeries, where I chose to surrender to the support of a renowned surgeon, Dr Guntupalli, and his team, including Dr Lindsay Wheeler, who intuitively sat with me and waited for my questions to surface, and many others, including nurses, many of whom were remarkably human. Each was like its own shore, ground under me. I was able to rest in the care of things that felt solid, even if painful.

Since surgery more than 2 weeks ago, I've sensed the drifting from these solid resting places. The surgery removed my g tube, and two days ago, my pic line was removed, which had been the necessary source of nutrition my body depended upon while I couldn't eat normally.

Now, I have the sensation of being in a canoe that has pushed off, and I am feeling the rocking as I try to find "steady" over water. My attention has shifted from the nature of the shore as my "steady" to the feel of the boat itself as its own new kind of "steady", which is quivering, tipping and swaying side to side as it centers itself over the depths.

Life is uncertain... and there is great possibility.

Next challenge: This Wednesday morning, I begin taking Olaparib, a PARP inhibitor which has recently been approved by the FDA and has real promise for me. It is a difficult drug in that there are many side effects, some just annoying and some serious. 51% of women need to stop it at some point, and some are able to then make adjustments and continue. I love that I have the opportunity to take Olaparib, which can prevent cancer cells from repairing themselves after chemo, and thus delay or prevent recurrence. Without Olaparib, chance of recurrence is high. With it, those chances are reduced significantly. I am grateful, and determined to manage the side effects, yet I'm scared. It would be lovely to feel the company of your YES! -each of you praying/thinking/loving as my body adjusts to this. I will share my inarticulating again soon.

I feel much love and gratitude for each of you.

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