October 31 Update

Hi folks,

Richard Soo, a Jesuit who recently arrived in Guelph and works at Loyola House, convinced me that I should start of blog.  This is a new vehicle of communication for me, but he agreed to help me get going.  So, I am gradually being dragged into the twenty-first century!  And, it is probably time for an update from me.

I had my second treatment on Monday, October 17th.  This was delayed by a week because I had picked up a small fever after the first treatment which landed me in the hospital for a few days.  My doctor also decided to reduce the cocktail of drugs by one for the second treatment.  As a result, the reaction to this treatment has been much milder.  During this second week, I find that I have fairly good energy.  I just cannot sustain it as long.  I have been able to attend a few meetings though, and generally have lasted quite well at them.

I am surprised at how quickly living with a disease has become the routine.  The shock is over.  A pattern has reappeared in my day, centering around the visit of my nurse in the early morning, mass and lunch at Loyola House in mid day, punctuated by a meeting, a short walk, a nap, or whatever.   My motto after the first treatment was “Give in and let go.”  The giving in and letting go is an ongoing process.  However, lying in a hospital bed helped in the letting go.  I have significantly reduced my work commitments and Roger and Lisa are forced to fill in the gap.

I started to lose my hair soon after the first treatment.  I decided to be proactive and cut all the hair so I am even more bald now.   Having had a foretaste of this experience in my twenties (i.e. losing hair), this experience was not all that taxing.

I have been blessed with many notes from you and with some visits as well.  This has been a great support and I continue to rely on your prayer.  Among the visitors were my mother and sisters, Jean and Angela, all from PEI.

Our Jesuit community has a new dog.  Our community dog, Nimkii, died in late December, and we decided it was time to get another one.  So, we now have “Gracie,” a year old hound cross, received from the Kitchener-Waterloo humane society.  She has brought much activity and little discipline to the house.  Let’s just say that the training of her is an ongoing project!

I have begun to look upon this time as a bit of a sabbatical time.  It is a time to slow down and let be.  I am beginning to get a bit more reading done, reading that I was looking forward to doing for quite a while.  Prayer is a bit more focused.  My original plan was to be in Jamaica at this time for a month long of reading.  Jamaica will need to wait, but the reading can continue.

I continue to be sustained by the beauty of this season.  I am not as able to do as much walking as I had originally thought.  However, the fall is a wonderful time to note the passing of time and adjust oneself to the reality of change.

Again, thank-you for your support and prayer.