In this letter to my inner-inner circle, I describe my body’s response to the new chemotherapy. I struggle with quality of life issues, but find reason to move forward, at least for the short term. Working on my website continues to fuel me with incentive and purpose.

The Power of Purpose

August 31, 2015

Subject: checking in

Dear Rick, Dawn, Catherine, Dr. Brian, and Rose,

I have been out of touch for a bit, as I felt too depressed to communicate. My days have been like a blur. Chemo hit me pretty hard:

1. My blood count dropped so low that I was almost legally dead :) I know that is not really funny, but I felt compelled to put a smiley face anyway. Due to my low blood count [which is the most common side effect of chemotherapy], I had to take a week off from my treatment. This allowed my body time to recover, but it also makes treatment less potent and effective. During my week off treatment, my doctor prescribed Neupogen shots to help stimulate the production of my white blood cells. I had three of these shots on three consecutive days. Today I had my blood drawn to see if it is “safe” for me to resume treatment tomorrow. Right now it is unclear if my body will be able to tolerate chemo and I have no other plan at this time.

2. The Neupogen shots caused severe bone pain that made it difficult to walk. At first I thought the cancer had metastasized to the bones in my legs but it turns out bone pain is a common symptom of the Neupogen shots.

3. I developed a mouth sore and a rash from the chemotherapy. Those are common side effects of this particular chemo agent—Gemzar. Each “poison” has its unique set of symptoms… and our Western society has developed a wide array to choose from.

Mostly, I have been feeling intense grief. I am less angry as I don’t really have the energy for anger right now. I find it depletes me more than it helps me. I used to use anger to move my energy and kind of punch through the blocks. Now a little anger is okay if it is truly present, but I have lost my will to rant and rave. I prefer to use what little energy I have for other purposes.

I am not suicidal as that still does not feel in my flow. So I am just “waiting” and making the best of my time. I have been working feverishly on my website and my creative output is amazingly high right now. My current goal is to edit and upload the large backload of work that I have not yet made public on my website. This includes about 75 letters from the last two years, 25 years of poetry, writing up my most recent treatments which will be Stage Eight and Stage 9 in the treatment section of my website, and editing my current letters that I have been sending to “you”— my inner-inner circle.

Editing my old letters requires intense concentration. Over the weekend, I edited the letters I wrote while receiving my treatment in Mexico. Some letters I can edit in 30 minutes and other letters may take me 3 days or longer. Taking my experience in Mexico and translating it into manageable flowing writing is an unbelievable feat. But as I write, I seem to resolve and let go. This backlog of writing seems to symbolize an inner weight that still needs to be released. My fantasy is “to catch up with myself” and only have work arising in the present moment to attend to. I thought it was an impossible task, but I am moving through it more quickly than expected, so I do see a light at the end of the tunnel. My mind is razor sharp right now and I am plowing through the work.

Thank you all for your movie suggestions. [I had asked my inner-inner circle to send me some movie suggestions so that I could have some light distractions.]They are helping a lot. One movie suggested by Dr. Brian, The Theory of Everything, symbolizes what I am so angry about. If you have not seen the movie, it is incredibly powerful with the underlying message that “purpose” provides vital life force energy that can often overcome that which is “not possible” [I put “not possible” in quotes because what is possible or not possible is always dependent on perception.] I saw this movie in the theaters about 9 months ago. I walked out because it was so dark, bleak and depressing but then I returned and was able to see the ending of the movie. While I was happy to see how “purpose” allowed for the “impossible”, I was also enraged because the condition that the main character was left in is not what I want for myself. [Of course, this movie was not about me, but it triggered my quality of life issues and the grief over everything that I have lost.] Sometimes it so hard to explain the real source of my anger, but I will try:

People often talk about my strength and how “I can do it.” BUT THAT IS NOT THE ISSUE. This issue is “Do I choose to do it?” and “What is the price?” I have found only one or two people who are genuinely able to support me in my grief over the loss of my quality of life— people who understand that “fighting” is not always the best or the most honorable thing to do. That while life is precious, quality matters and “death” is not “defeat” as we all die eventually.

For right now, I find it meaningful to finish up my work, to “catch up with myself.” I see more spiritual healing taking place as more things come together as I write and synthesize this massive body of work…as I document the incomprehensible in excruciating detail. As I write, organize and transform, there is a parallel process in my mind, body and spirit. “I” become organized and transformed.

So, for now, I pursue my short term goal and I WAIT. Time will tell if I will have a chance to fully be in the world again—socializing, dancing, connecting, creating…in my new soul essence or if this is the final chapter where treatment and self care is a full time job, and I am homebound— cut off from most of what I love.

That is all for now. For those of you who are able, I would welcome a response.



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