Wednesday, February 1, 2012. I’m diving into work on my memoirs today and pretty much fed up with blogging about me! IT’S ALL GOOD here. My client/friend Molly Schaechtele, author of two uplifting poetry books about her cancer journey, has allowed me to post her latest CaringBridge entry. She’s an incredible woman and I’m awed by her spirit and energy. Read about someone who is truly an inspiration.
A Little Bird Told Me . . .
by Molly Schaechtele
One of the interesting things about chemotherapy is that as much as cancer patients all hate to take it, when we stop taking it we tend to feel alone and defenseless in our battle with cancer.
I stopped taking chemo on December 20. I’ve been on chemo for most of the past five years, and lately I’ve been experiencing more and more uncomfortable side effects. Add to that the fact that my scans were not showing any improvement, and it became clear that it was time to take a break from treatment.
All of this was very worrying to me, and I’ve spent the past month trying to figure out how to deal with it, and of course, like most things, the answer is Step by Step. First, I changed to a high-fiber diet, which is helping to alleviate some of the problems caused by cancer and chemo to my digestive tract. I even “remodeled” our refrigerator, filling the main shelves with high-fiber fruits and vegetables, and relegating the low fiber foods to the drawers where they’re not as visible. Then I started seeing a counselor to help me deal with my emotions when they’re not cooperating with me. And then I started looking into clinical trials, first at UCSF and then at UC Davis. I haven’t decided yet if a clinical trial is right for me, but at least I’m gathering information so that I can make an informed decision.
As I did all this, I was pretty much just going through the motions. It all seemed like the right thing to do, but I didn’t have a clear view of the big picture. And then I realized that regardless of whether I decide to try a clinical trial, I need to use this time off of chemo to rebuild my strength and my immune system, so that I’m better able to deal with whatever life throws me in the months to come.
And then, quite unexpectedly, I received an e-mail from my friend Marcia, which said in part:
I was watching a hummingbird so gracefully and purposefully flap its wings, only to stay in one place gathering the nourishment it needs to move forward. What strength and determination it must take to be a hummingbird! I wonder if a hummingbird is aware how inspiring it is. The perseverance to do what it needs to in order to continue on what must be a wonderful life journey.
It occurred to me that one of the reasons I’ve been so unhappy lately is that I keep trying to soar like an eagle — when what I really need to do is hover in place like a hummingbird, gathering strength to move forward, to persevere on this journey.
We can’t all be eagles all the time. So why try? This month, I’m a hummingbird. Next month – who knows? Maybe I’ll be a duck! But for right now, going nowhere fast is the right thing for me.
Order her light-hearted poetry books for yourself and your friends: “Tickled Pink!” and “Tickled Pink! #2”, $7.95 each plus tax and shipping, email: firstname.lastname@example.org