Tuesdays at the chemo unit, Tuesday, October 23, 2012

It’s clearly fall here – incredible leaf colour, changing temperature. But the significant sign of fall on my Tuesday walk through Chinatown  is having my favourite garden packed up for the season. What a transformation from the lushness of just a few weeks ago……

to the tidy beds of today

It was my day at the chemo unit, but, alas, no chemo. Long story, but a mix-up where I finally decided that to resolve it and stay six hours at the hospital would be worse than missing my drugs.

But since there is not much to report from my non-event, I will share a discussion that I have been having with Viola Moriarty about hair. Of course, cancer treatment often leads to losing one’s hair – a fairly traumatic event. I was sharing some thoughts with Viola about my own experience and she shared the following with me.

I had my daughters cut off my hair in advance of the chemo the first time, too, at the Peace Pagoda…..JunSan the buddhist nun there shaves her head , so I decided that my baldness would represent service and that this cancer journey would be dedicated to service through my art and through my life. My hair came back worse than it was before, but it came back after chemo.  Last fall after whole brain radiation I had a haircutting party with my daughter and husband and a few friends in the woods and we shaved my head.  It grows back, but VERY patchy, in fact it’s like a reverse Mohawk,there’s an airstrip on top of my head.  So I shave it once a week.  It’s a weird ritual to do all the time.  But each time I do, I say please let this cancer and this baldness somehow be of service…let me be useful through these and through my work.  

I just loved this and had to share it. Losing hair often causes a pain that can cause us to freeze up and turn inward. What a way to transform this loss into an event that moves one forward and outward to other people. There’s my inspiration for the day.

Sam

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One thought on “Tuesdays at the chemo unit, Tuesday, October 23, 2012

  1. Thanks, Sam…..you make my like myself better. Does friendship get any better than that!

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