i've just met my second friend in the past few days who had her cancer "cured" - through chemo and/or radiation and surgery - and had it come back a year or two later, and then come back again.
it doesn't help that this is around the same time last year that i was admitted to hospital and was well into my chemo treatments - so every subway ride reminds me of my weekly trips up to memorial sloan kettering. the holiday season from halloween to christmas is when i lost control of my life.
as someone who used to see myself as totally in-control, self-possessed and capable, i was so incredibly helpless that i couldn't even walk to the kitchen and make myself toast. just thinking about it fills me with nausea and exhaustion. i can almost feel the burning in my veins as the chemo drugs surged through me. and the panic, the panic.
i was saying something to sasha about thanksgiving last year. i was cross because i had ordered a deep-fried roasted garlic turkey from jiveturkey.com and i hadn't been able to taste it because i was sick and vegetarian at that point.
and sasha said, "i don't remember anything at all about last thanksgiving."
i think my kids blocked out the whole winter.
this year, i just kept thinking how grateful i was to not be living that any more. i am so relieved to have come out the other side.
i'm also so grateful for all my friends, especially zia and my brother, who did research into alternative therapies and diets when i was too sick and weak and paralyzed with fear to search the internet.
one of the reasons i was able to recover so quickly and so completely, was all the juicing, vitamins, fresh vegetables; the poly-mva, the zhikr and meditation. the supplements mary schook and sheikha fariha and mona chopra recommended. i had a great support system of people who didn't trust the medical establishment.
and i was lucky to have my parents come and hold down the cramped and miniscule fort for the amazons.
for all the adolescent struggles - myself and my parents, me and the amazons - we are almost back to normal.
now just praying to stay that way. breathing and remembering that fear never helps.
as the sufi poet hafiz says:
Fear is the cheapest room in the house. I would like to see you living
In better conditions.
In better conditions.