chemo

Flying pigs and photo created by Joke Mensink, a dear friend and a special light amongst the many wildly creative and talented artists within our amazing Gabriola community.

This week another Herceptin and chemo treatment and then, if all goes according to plan, Maria Gomori and I will be off to Anaheim, California for the Milton Erickson Evolution of Psychotherapy conference.   I’ll be doing all I can to muster my strength so I don’t miss this.  It only occurs every four years and we have made it a tradition to attend together for the past several conferences.   In 2018 Maria will be turning 98 years old, I will be discovering what it means to be on Sabbatical.  We will be traveling by plane unless one or two of Joke’s pigs appear to offer us a ride.

Maria will be presenting at the conference and honored as Faculty.   Approximately 8,000 people attend from around the globe to experience luminaries in their varying fields such as Irvin Yalom, Jean Houston, Dan Siegel, Jack Kornfield, Erving Polster, Peter Levine, The Gottmans, Harville Hendrix, Sue Johnson, Martin Seligman, Esther Perel, Antonio Domasio, Robert Dilts, Jeffrey Zeig.  Apparently Tipper Gore will be there this year, I am curious about that.  Last conference the guest was Alanis Morisette.  Past Faculty has included Virginia Satir, Carl Rogers, Carl Whitaker, Thomas Szasz, Rollo May, Ronald Laing, Viktor Frankl, James Bugenthal, Bruno Bettleheim and most recently Salvador Minuchin. I’ve always found experiencing people in person to be rich learning.  I, and several of us who have been involved with Haven for so many years have had the privilege of learning directly from Virginia Satir, Thomas Szasz, James Bugenthal and Carl Whitaker in the Heron session room.   I call this conference my “appreciation fix” for what is offered at Haven, recognizing the depth of integration of so many current approaches, including the skilled and deeply relational aspect that is so often missing from others.

One of this year’s presenters that I am most excited to experience will be David Whyte, speaking about SOLACE:  The Art of Asking the Beautiful Question.  I often offer his poetry to those who participate in my workshops.  Here is one of the passages I love to share, and also take guidance from for myself, from his book Consolations:

SOLACE is the art of asking the beautiful question, of ourselves, of our world or of one another, in fiercely difficult and un-beautiful moments.

Solace is what we must look for when the mind cannot bear the pain, the loss or the suffering that eventually touches every life and every endeavor; when longing does not come to fruition in a form we can recognize, when people we know and love disappear, when hope must take a different form than the one we have shaped for it.

Solace is the beautiful, imaginative home we make where disappointment can go to be rehabilitated. When life does not in any way add up, we must turn to the part of us that has never wanted a life of simple calculation. Solace is found in allowing the body’s innate wisdom to come to the fore, the part of us that already knows it is mortal and must take its leave of pain and difficulty, to the depth of suffering and simultaneous beauty in the world that the strategic mind by itself cannot grasp nor make sense of.

To look for solace is to learn to ask fiercer and more exquisitely pointed questions, questions that reshape our identities and our bodies and our relation to others. Standing in loss but not overwhelmed by it, we become useful and generous and compassionate and even amusing companions for others. But solace also asks us very direct and forceful questions. Firstly, how will you bear the inevitable that is coming to you? And above all, how will you shape a life equal to and as beautiful and as astonishing as a world that can birth you, bring you into the light and then just as you are beginning to understand it, take you away?

Albert at his best!

So, I wonder what is your beautiful question?

Doing my best to show up, be present, tell the truth and let go of the outcome.

Linda

 

 

 

 

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This past Thursday I went to Lion’s Gate Hospital for my third Herceptin and chemo treatment. The routine includes meeting with the doctor before they start the IV’s.

My previous treatment had been a tough one, I was there for over 8 hours because of a complication. Last week, during my retreat in Victoria, I was sent to the local hospital Emergency because I was having intense heart palpitations and difficulty breathing. These symptoms had begun a couple of days after my second treatment, and although I imagined the forest-fire smoke in Victoria could have been aggravating whatever was going on, the doctors wanted me to check things out.

Although the tests they gave me at the Victoria hospital ruled out pneumonia and didn’t show any other evident cause, my Lion’s Gate doctor didn’t want me to have chemo again until I see a heart and a lung specialist before resuming. I did have the Herceptin IV, which I will continue for sure every three weeks for the next year. As soon as I have the tests, he will have me resume the chemo. So now I am on standby this week to go back to Vancouver to see these specialists – and of course I have to adjust my carefully planned schedule!

Increasingly I am living in faith that the universe is unfolding precisely as all is meant to happen in the service of the highest and best purpose.  I am filled with abundant gratitude, amazement and celebrating my good fortune to have so many beautiful people in my life!

 

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Second Update

Update to my dear and valued friends and cohorts: Although I have often thought of contacting you with an update about my current cancer journey I just haven’t gathered my thoughts well enough nor made the time to try to encapsulate what this has been like and where I am going next. Over the past […]

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