Aug 26 2011

Chemo Land

the lights are bright overhead in the oncology clinic. there must be 20+ stations for patients, with only a few extra small sitting chairs for visitors or partners…which i found rather inconsiderate, however what do i know.  my post today is about our 5 sense awarenesses /or our sense powers and how unique it is to each individual.  we all have different capacities just as in our mental capacities to understand or cognize.

i felt rather naive embarking on this journey into modern medicine/science even with consulting with my docs and family and friends whom have been thru it…there is nothing that correlates to real experience. we can share stories but ultimately my awareness’s and truths in my mind may and most likely will be different than what you experience and so will your perspective and story to tell.

like i said i am just beginning this path and for some reason i thought the clinic aspect would be piped in with waterfalls, ocean waves, birds happily chirping…NOT. the view would be dimly lit for meditating or reading nooks….NOT.  the taste in my mouth at first entry is medicinal, they flush my port with a blood thinner and then anti nausea medication, after that my mouth tends to dry out.

one of the drugs has a definate side effect to temperatures…thus the AC running felt like siberia!  hanks sits with me at my side in one of the few visitor chairs and is always at the ready!  like yesterday before getting my portable pump device removed  i realized the bowels were going to bust (again) so i headed with bag in tow to the bathroom to find it locked!!! my stomach at that moment flipped and decided to exit the other way, praticing “mindfulness” choosing a direction with less people to witness this so as not to make all 20 of us barfing i found a waste basket, signaled to hank my demise and he was there with a cold washcloth before the second dry heave!! 

teehee…hank was determined to get my chuckle on! this is a deceptive image(would’ve liked to have been crying), granted temporary happiness is always nice but this round made the warrior feel the battle!  

Chemo Regimen

Folfox + Avastin
Day 1 4-5 hours IV infusion
Days 2 & 3 pump (48 hrs)
Every 2 weeks for 12 treatments (6 months)
Reassess @ 3 months


thanks kassie for your tip on the fluids…saved my arse…!  and thanks to mersadies for “my fighting mantras”!

one perk:  mosquitos must have a unique sense of smell?  they swirl around me and land but never have they bit me while on chemo!!

update: heading back to the oncology clinic…better be safe rather than sorry for the weekend approaches…getting another bag of fluids and anti-diarrheal meds IV!!  little difficult to be hydrating if ya know what i mean, especially with a much shortened large intestine and half a rectum, sorry for the visual guys but eh, it’s samsara!

Aug 7 2011

Pure Land



in my last post i said “i’m ready to get my head into the game now!”  what i came away with from this 15 day experience has nothing to do with my head…but with my heart.  their are many levels of “minds” and the one i needed to connect with was my very subtle mind residing within my heart.  as we ALL know, academia, intellectual knowledge is wasted without application, and to go a step further in faith one must “feel” it, experience this within the heart.  without a heartfelt experience it does not benefit anyone except our minds of self-cherishing or as commonly known the ego!  in one of the first teachings the question was asked “do you want to be a theoretical Buddhist or a practical Buddhist?”  i had to challenge myself many times and ask sincerely within was i practicing with wisdom or was the awakening enough to go on? the intellectual (gross)mind is very strong for me i have always had great difficulty in just accepting love freely without my judging others reasons or my upbringing views i held onto about expressions of love.  i let go my attachments to my old views over the days there and allowed others even strangers show their love without my gross mind getting in the way.  how joyous, how liberating and vulnerable the feelings were and still are.  i feel as though i grew exponentially with compassion for others due to their kindness!

it sounds so easy what i speak about however it is your intellect, your gross mind interpreting or imputing your perception of what you read above/here.  the very subtle mind of compassion is not easy, simple yes in theory, however in true practice of application one has to let go of our ignorance we so dearly hold onto within and that is innate…at least for me!  

there were many insights or awakenings to my Buddha nature within, profound teachings, not just from my spiritual guides but from the people present.  AND i did not lose one pound even with the daily 2hr walks i took!  the lake district outside of the town of Ulverston was home base…a glorious cool 70′s with mist and rain off and on…the sun shone bright most days like blessings.

lake district, england…fog lifting or my interpretation of the fog of ignorance lifting from my wisdom eye

 Sangha mates from Tucson

Manjushri temple, approx. 2600 people in attendance from around the world

the many flowers on the property

 lastly…upon return to home i found a package from my relatives in japan. they made me a Senba-Zuru :  Senbazuru is a Japanese word meaning “1000 Cranes.” It is well-known for the legend which states that whoever folds 1000 origami cranes will be granted a wish.

i bow to all my kind mothers in this life whom have shown me great compassion, patience, love, kindness and riches beyond the material worlds….tomorrow i begin another new adventure, from the non-deceptive nature of Dharma into the deceptive nature of science.  my heart has changed thus so has my mind surrounding this process of chemo, i am more than ready…


Thank you dear kind Venerable Geshe Kelsang Gyatso