"Medicine" - 11/9/22
Tomorrow is a big day for me. I have my annual appointment at Memorial
Sloan Kettering (MSK), where I received 2/3 of my treatment for uterine
cancer in 2018. Hard to believe that was 4 years ago...
Over the past couple years I've lost quite a few friends and loved ones - an
ex-boyfriend, a business manager, a musical friend with the same type of
malignancy I had, a favorite Aunt among others - to various illnesses (some
cancer, some Covid) and so inevitably my perspective on health and healing
has shifted a lot since the first few of these high-pressure followups.
I used to worry so much, not be able to sleep, loathe reentering the same
elevator that took me to so many radiation and chemo appointments and
experience a kind of PTSD but now I carry all of this loss with me almost like
an armour of appreciation and aptitude as I've long practiced the art of
gratitude to the point where the preciousness of all my days ensuing my
diagnosis has far outweighed the worry, fear, and myriad manifestations of
I have always tried to make the "night before" and "the day of" as much of a
meditation as possible. I do things I don't ordinarily do - eat a favorite meal,
take a bath, get extra sleep - but tonight I am reflecting on friendship and
how, just a few hours after I go for these examinations I will be swapping
songs at a folk music conference with some of my very favorite people, whose
talent and inspired creativity I firmly believe are the best antidote to my own
self-absorption (however warranted in this extended moment).
We will approach each other gingerly - perhaps blowing kisses, masked and
sanitizing, but nonetheless intent on capturing the essence of what life is all
about in so many lyrics and melodies: empathy, humanity, vulnerability,
serenity, insanity, divinity, sobriety, levity, and on and on the blood flowing
from our voices to our hearts and singing, telepathically, to the stars.
What a perfect way to wait for news - listening and learning and singing life's
cues to love and to distance oneself from what's toxic; to heal and take care
of each other oh yes I will be tired and fragile but toughened from years of
pretending I'm totally fine and you, my folk family, brave like no other, will
beautifully whisper to me "rise and rhyme!"