*You can’t un-see these pictures. Proceed with caution.*
Journal Entry #13
Today is day #8 of taking the Miltefosine. Yesterday, I was just so tired. And the ‘scoots’ remain. I slept for 12 hours last night and started the day with energy and clear thinking. The wound on the foot has changed from smooth edges to scalloped edges…evidence that more flesh is missing. The wound on the left forearm has white patches in it now – I’m not sure what that means? The wound on the hand shows no changes at all. Under my nose has subtle changes; small red patches have started under the other nostril now and it is itchy inside the nose – a hard place to scratch.
I have heard chemo-patients talk about the brain fog that goes with treatment and now I have a first-hand understanding of what they mean. For me, I start to speak a sentence (internally I know what I want to say) but I can’t sort to find the right words. I have pauses and hesitations as I try to find the words. I know what the words are, I just can’t find them. It happens in clusters. I can be perfectly fluent and engaged one minute and the next, dumb. My memory remains good and strong, so that is a plus. But the fog is disconcerting.
I started to notice how much extra water I was drinking back in February. Most night I drink two full 8oz glasses of water through the night…and probably twelve to fifteen 8oz glasses of fluids through the day. And still my mouth is dry. Cotton mouth.
The last two days have brought more visitors. Marilyn, my brother, Jill and Jessica, Bruce and Debbie, Dorothy and Vicky – some bringing cookies, meals and zincofax. My parents are home now from Arizona and we have been catching up too. Our family enjoyed Tuna Casserole one night from Jane, and Chicken Pot-pie another night from Dorothy. The kids are getting spoiled and I don’t think they will like it when I am back on my feet and they have to go back to my cooking!
Have you ever tried to meditate, or fall asleep, but your brain won’t let you? It chooses to loop on all the things you didn’t accomplish that day? Or make lists about what you need to do the next day? Or repeat a conversation over and over and over…? Or pluck random thoughts out of nowhere? I have a trick to over-ride those thoughts and loops. I count my inhalations and my exhalations. I know that the brain can only hold one thought at a time – although sometimes I think that my brain holds 8million thoughts at once. But it doesn’t. My brain isn’t any different than yours…one thought at a time, and sometimes quick succession of thoughts can be overwhelming. So, when I focus on the number and the breath, it is easier to fall into the gaps of meditation or the relaxation of sleep.
Thoughts haven’t been my problem these days. It is the pain. My body is relaxed and there isn’t a thought drifting anywhere within reach. It is the damn pain that distracts me and prevents meditation or sleep. But, I thought I would employ the same strategy over the last few days to see if my mind can over-ride the pain. I used the counting in the beginning, but then I thought, why not use a word. Sometimes when I am working out or walking or working, I will pick a word that I feel I need more of and inhale the word and exhale the word. Same principle, different focus. For example, inhale “Strength”, exhale, “Strength” over and over and over until I feel stronger. And it works. I struggled to find the right word for what I am experiencing right now. I tried peace, calm, let-go, relax, light, love…and then yesterday it hit me. Inhale “HEEL BUGS!” Exhale “HEAL BODY!”
And it worked.
I went from meditation into a restful nap and when I woke, I had energy and room for conversation. I am reminded that meditation isn’t regimented, there isn’t a right way or a wrong way…it is about becoming one with the breath, and falling into the gaps between the thoughts…into…nothingness and wholeness. It doesn’t matter what tools or ways that we use to get to the gaps, it matters that we get there. Meditation for me, is what keeps me balanced, grounded and some days sane. It is where I connect with Source and the true essence of who I am and what I have come here to do. It is where I am reminded that I am only experiencing this “meat-suit” and that it is what allows me to interface with the world purposefully. Right now, my “meat-suit” needs a little attention, a little rest, a little rejuvenation in order for me to move forward and get the job done. And it is okay that I take this time for my “meat-suit” to heal. I have more work to do here. I have more passions to engage in. I have more YES moments to experience. For now, I will continue to Heel Bugs and Heal Body.
Whatever works, right?!