The on-going, first-hand tale of a journey through medical oncology... and what happens after.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Candle in the wind

I am unabashedly swiping a theme from a fellow blogger - Jeanne Sather - and companion on the chemically-assisted cancer trail. If you want to see her post on this, look here (

As you know, I have been struggling with my feelings about cancer and its treatment lately, and the image of a candle in the wind is perfect. I am not referring to the idea that a life might end too soon, like the wonderful tribute created by Bernie Taupin (and sung by Elton John) to Norma Jeane Mortenson (Marilyn Monroe). I am seeing a flame, wavering back and forth, sometimes so close to being out that it is almost dark, sometimes flaming large and bright. A small flame, softly pushed to and fro by a breeze, working past the pool of wax surrounding it, finding fuel in odd places, burning firmly but tossed here and there.

My current experience of chemotherapy is like that - wavering, dimming, flaming - rarely feeling steady and warm. I struggle to sleep, to eat, to not be king of crankyland. I fail and triumph each day. My energy and focus flags at odd times, and I have a memory like Swiss cheese. I recover every couple of weeks, only to intentionally slam myself down again. Though I am honored and lucky to have so many people near and far sending my their energy and love, my flame often burns low.

Only three more treatments. Seems short enough and impossible at the same time.



PN said...

Hello Ed,
Recently I heard on the radio that eating "Watermelon can help improve sleep. By eating a few slices of this fruit after dinner can extend the deep stages of sleep by 27%. The reason is watermelon's polysaccharide carbohydrates rev the body's output of serotonin. When levels of serotonin increase at night, the brain is less sensitive to disruptive stimuli (like noise) during sleep." For what it's worth,I thought I'd pass this on with the website address.
Regards, PN

Dorothy Skinner said...

That was poignant, Ed. I had to wipe my eyes. I think of you often and the ordeal you are going thru, even though I seldom leave a comment. You know who keeps me updated on what is going on in Salem, so I am aware of your treatment. Tomorrow is Round 4...I hope it goes as scheduled. You were anxious about the white blood cells being low enough. I do hope they are. And that Round 6 comes as scheduled. Surely the docs will let you have a glass of wine then?

Love, Dorothy