I was confident I had bounced back—almost completely. But that was before I decided to take a “nap” after dinner, sometime before 6. I woke briefly at around 10 and periodically during the night, but aside from those moments, I slept soundly until around 5 this morning. Oddly, I feel a bit tired—sleepy—even now, an hour after I got up. The moment these post-chemo bouts of sudden fatigue disappear is a moment I will celebrate. Using the timeframe the oncologist mentioned, during which I could have such rounds, that moment should be any time now…possibly just minutes. I hope.


Nestled, all alone, near the end of an otherwise-empty cul-de-sac, our house sometimes feels like a refuge from the world. Inside, behind protective windows to the universe outside, I peer out into what I can see of the wider world. I breathe a deep sigh of relief. We are here and everyone else is out there. Though I value this quiet, isolated sanctuary, I can imagine transforming it into a commune of sorts by inviting our friends to build private houses that hide behind the trees.  Supplemental common areas, like kitchen, bathrooms, large living area, etc. would be laced throughout the expansive property. At a moment’s notice—or with no notice at all—we could gather and have fun. Impromptu parties. And, then, back to our individual lairs. The best of both worlds. A private domain that provides a sanctuary from the rest of the world—and a place to gather and engage with close friends.


Somewhere we know that without silence words lose their meaning, that without listening speaking no longer heals, that without distance closeness cannot cure.

~ Henri Nouwen ~


Before I was released from the hospital, I was enrolled in a “home health nurse” program, in which a nurse, physical therapist, and respiratory therapist visit one’s home after the hospital visit. Yesterday was the first visit; a physical therapist. Depending on which representative is speaking, this at-home service should last between 2 and 6 weeks. Apparently, Medicare pays for the service; but there is a proviso that the patient is essentially home-bound. So, I’m not supposed to drive (except, in a pinch, to doctors’ appointments and pharmacy visits). I do have various medical appointments, but I should have a very local existence for a while. Oh, given where I live, I suppose driving to church is also acceptable. Fortunately, mi novia is a willing driver.


During a break in blogging this morning, I watched a video that dealt with the way individuals’ brains react when we see art. The piece was fascinating, but that is not what is on my mind. While watching, my attention was drawn to the facial characteristics of two people in the video. I noticed that their cheeks and jawlines and chins and necks and the rest of their bodies changed as they moved through space. Yet even with those changes, we continue to recognize individuals…the same individuals from moment to moment. Those thoughts morphed into a realization that everyone—every single person—is visually appealing if we simply allow ourselves to be guided by compassion. Hmm.


This post is hereby committed to the ether.

About John Swinburn

"Love not what you are but what you may become."― Miguel de Cervantes
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2 Responses to Committed

  1. Thank you, Bev! The comment stuck!

  2. bevwigney says:

    Commenting never seemsto work for me, but I’m giving this another try. Perhaps this time it will work. Just a couple of notes.
    Yes, you’ll feel very fatigued after a treatment. If you’re on a 3 week cycle, you should feel better by about halfway in between, but that can change (it’s a cumulative thing) so you’ll probably find it will take longer to bounce back as things go along. Your blood work will also help to know how things are going.
    It’s good to keep a journal or notebook where you can write down how you feel each day and also what meds you’re on and any other medical notes that seem relevant, along with notes about your appetite and activity. That’s all stuff that can be helpful when you’re figuring out how things are going.
    Last thing. I don’t know if they said much about this, but when Don was doing chemo, they did an orientation for chemo patients before you start, and one of the messages that is important is to avoid being around people with colds, flu, etc.. because your immune system is greatly weakened by the chemo. We’re now all a lot more careful about this kind of thing since covid, but here’s where all that practice at social distancing, hand-washing, etc.. will come in handy. I don’t say “be a hermit”, but just try to be very aware of things like people who are coughing, blowing their noses, etc.. and stand back.
    There, let’s see if this comment actually sticks this time! 🙂

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