Ladies and Gentleman....
We have a date!!!!!!
After MONTHS of waiting, MONTHS of hugs, needles, tears, screaming, thrown handfulls of ice cubes, jumping at the phone, total grumpitude....we have a date.
Here's the down low:
August 11th- P and L depart Philadelphia
August 12th-?- L goes through a battery of tests: echocardiagram, EKG, pulmonary function test, CAT scan of my sinuses and the rest of my noggin', chest xray, bone marrow aspiration and biopsy, and finally, the placement of my central line (triple lumen) in my chest.
August 19th- sign-in to the hospital
August 20th- Admission to the hospital
August 21st-24th- chemotherapy (busulfan and fludarabine)
August 25th & 26th- ATG infusion for me and the donor will have their collection on the 26th
August 27th- TRANSPLANT! (one friggin' month from today, holy hell)
Whew. There is is. Months of anticipation and....there it is. What am I feeling? Scared. Fucking. Shitless. Sad. Angry. Anxious. Confused. Take your pick.
What I can say in this moment is that these last few stolen weeks of summer have better prepared me for this than anything else in the last year and a half. After re-reading may of my posts and reflecting on them, I realized that I haven't stuck to my promise about blogging about the yoga of cancer. During class, I often compose whole entries in my mind, but by the time I get home I can't recall what I wanted to say. In the moment after I hung up the phone with Michelle, my transplant coordinator (who has just the coolest thick Texas drawl), I took the deepest breath and most cleansing exhale of the last six months. And there it is. The yoga of it. The breath.
My dear friend and teacher, Justicia, has said this many times in class, to come back to the breath, to enjoy the breath. How often have I actually ever purposfully done this? How often have I ever turned to the breath because everything else has been stripped away? Meh, not very often. Well, today may have been the first true moment of that, and hopefully the first of many. It must be my goal over the next few months to remember what the yoga really is. Not bending and twisting and balancing like a monkey. It's the breath. In. Out. In. Out. Constant. Unifying. Completely human. To focus on that which links me to my body, the earth, generations before me, the yoga. Breath. You cannot scream without inhaling. And oh boy, do I just want to scream.
On a final note in this post, I want to give another shout out to Justicia, her dear wife Shawn and good friend Jadee. This past Saturday, they allowed me to accomplish something that I have wanted to do since I started practicing yoga in a dedicated way: have photographs of myself in some favorite poses. My whole life I've struggled, like so many women, with body image. Too fat. Too muscular. Too short. Too pale. One thing that yoga and cancer have taught is that this body, whatever shape it's in, is my vehicle. It was formed this way by the combination of genetics given to me by my parents. Shaped by my daily actions and fueled by what I feed it. It may not look like Angelina Jolie, and that's ok because Angelina Jolie doesn't look like me. Justicia, Shawn and Jadee spent a few hours of their day with me on Saturday coaching me into poses, taking gorgeous pictures and just basically filling the room with awesome. At first, I wasn't going to post those pictures anywhere because I didn't want anyone to see my....fill in the blank. Then I realized that NOT posting those pictures, sharing them, perpetuated the self-loathing. Hey, yeah, I have a fat roll there. Yep, my hair looks wonky. But you know what? The people responsible for taking those pictures, and for the journey of opening my body into those poses, are what makes posting them so worthwhile. So, I posted my favorite few to my facebook (feel free to add me:) )I might post a few here, I may not. I have a suspicion that they will be hard to look at in a few months, so, we'll see.
There will likely be a flurry of posts over the next few days and weeks. Stay tuned and stay awesome. And thank you. Always, thank you:)