Hospitalized. Once again!
Yes, my long winding journey takes another turn, just as the blistering Seattle Sun flashed its smilingly delightful face. I always did wonder if what happens in the sky above mirrors some aspect of our collective human condition. The sky and the earth quibble like siblings until the realm of angels sings. And when that song is sung magic happens, like the first snowfall of the season, or the end of a dry draught, or the start of a long awaited summer after a particularly grueling winter. In Seattle, through three months of unseasonably cold weather, we finally get our first dosage of the healing powers of the sun. The sun is a gift; her gift.
This opening is dedicated to my friend Joyce Shane, who after teaching and leading this community for more than 10 years, became an integral part of its soul. I met her a few years back, through mutual friends and we shared mutual admiration for each other. She became a good friend in a short time – always asking first how I was doing despite her growing illness. Now, she has joined with the angles where, if you had ever heard her chant Kol Niedre, then you would know that is where her truly exceptional soul belongs.
Meanwhile, I felt shortness of breath and an increased heart rate early Monday morning. I did a nebulizer treatment and watched some mind numbing TV to distract me from the fact that walking four steps exhausted me. But in my stubbornness, I didn’t want to wake anyone and found life tolerable if not comfortable after being stationary for some time. I caught a little high watching a new day rise and thinking over all the hope and possibilities one day holds. In this state of mind I almost felt ready for bed. But in the bedroom my breathing was noticeably shallow and belated. And once again Kim came to the rescue, arranging rides and childcare and helping to dress me.
I was admitted to the ER, where they started moving quickly, getting an X-ray and later a CT. There appears to be more fluid/toxicity/disease progression/pneumonia (name it what you want, who knows the answer yet) in the right lung that wasn’t there on the CT from 6/23. We began treating this like an infection but in two days there’s been minimal response. This has led to some lengthier discussions about hospice care now and what my needs are going forward. So I’m going to sleep on it. And will report more from the frontlines of the cancer war later.