Didn't update this blog yesterday because I hit a wall and felt miserable. I was looking for my health card (which I coulnd't find) in my office + after 30 minutes I was exhausted (looking back I think it was the emotional strain/stress of thinking I couldn't find it that did me...)... I crumpled into bed and sobbed, realising that how little I can actually do at the moment...
Good news is that friends came over and found the card in twenty seconds (ok, maybe that is an exaggeration... but it was literally within a minute... or it felt like that - the relief was enormous... no more stress in looking... yippee..). They also gave me a number of an acupuncturist who mainly treats people going through chemo/ radio therapy... and does amazing work in terms of preparing the body + helping with recovery of chemo... so I see him next week. I'm getting myself (body and soul) VERY WELL PREPARED.
Joy also visited with her two beautiful children and made vegetarian lasagne + made small portions to put into the freezer. I lay on the bed with the children while Joy cooked and we cuddled and chatted. The visits made my day and got me out of my glum state (although I was apprehensive about their visit before they arrived and thought -"how am I going to cope with having the children over?? I'm not the fun aunty I usually am..." but they were a delight as they seemed to just fit in: they made me giggle as we hung out on the bed together and ended up being such lovely company ).
Joy (originally from Zimbabwe) is heading to Africa in April as her brother is dying of AIDS. Her story unfolds in an incredible way (and she is a beautiful story teller) : the juxtaposition of her life here in Paris today, childhood memories of Zimbabwe and the reality of her family living in Africa today (some living in exile in S.Africa).
so that was yesterday...
Today was a day made lovely by another visit, dahl made especially for me by Kumar (from la rue du Suez fab indian restaurant). Sylvia delivered the dahl (last year she painted the Goddess Lakshmi outside his restaurant, which is on the ground floor of her building - so apart from the good food, I feel very connected to that place). We even managed a walk around the park (quite a feat as it is a big park). Got home and had a good sleep as I was pooped by the effort.
Today I also received a really delicious moment. I enjoyed the most beautiful conversation with my friend Traleg Rinpoche, a Tibetan Buddhist teacher. It was the first time we had spoken to eachother since I was diagnosed. He was very shocked by the news (although he has known for 2 weeks). The amazing experience was that I felt how present he was to the conversation : he was a space of compassion. Really very very present. It was a very beautiful gift to receive.
Later in the day, I received another phone call which was much less pleasant. I have found that people will react in the most unexpected ways. Most have been absolute gems and more. A handful (and thank goodness, there is only a handful) have had a real difficulty in coping with my diagnosis.
When the tsunami hits - you really cannot tell who is going to be there to hold your hand to help pull you out.
I have certainly shed my tears about this discovery (these are people I love, after all). Rather than take their reaction personally, I am really seeing that their reaction is about their own fears (of illness) or their incapacity of being present to their own emotions.
As I am committed to staying in a state of mind which doesn't create stress for myself, after the difficult conversation, I had a good cry with my friend Liz (release the upset), a hot bath with beautiful oils (given by valerie + cecile) then listened to some really beautiful music on the sound therapy relaxation machine (BODYSONIC).
I am enjoying the sound therapy relaxation machine (Stan from NY lent me one) - Mitch highly recommends it for keeping R E A L L Y relaxed,which is important while the immune system is down.
The machine creates vibrations directly from the music you play on your ipod : so as you listen to music on the headphones, the same sound is played through vibrationally through a cushion which you place on the stomach, solar plexus or heart + it makes one very relaxed very quickly. I think every household should have one!
Everyone who comes to visit gets a go!
So I have been enjoying that.
Sophie and Olivier came over in the evening. They cooked themselves dinner and we chatted and laughed while I sat in bed and they ate (I wasnt the littles bit hungry as I had had giant raw vegie juice in the afternoon). After dessert (delicious hand made nougat), they both got to try out the sound machine...zzzzzz relaxed.....
It's interesting living within the limits of my physical fatigue right now, it definately brings me so much closer and present to the present moment. Everything, every moment feels so so precious. Further more I am so in touch with my internal world and the presence of the invisible world / the Divine. I am getting why people have profound shifts in their life when they are going through a physical illness.
More from the Arogya Heart Programme where children are given life giving operations.
KOWSALYA (in the arms of her mother) received her heart operation 5 May 2008.
If Kowsalya hadn't received this operation, she wouldn't be alive today. And her parents wouldn't have a daughter, her brother wouldn't have a sister. The grief would be immense. However, as she received the operation she is alive. Every child I photograph or meet whom has had an operation astonishes me and I see how such a simple program like the AROGYA so profoundly shapes the lives of these people. This is why I love this series of photos so much.