October 31 Update
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.