Wednesday, May 28, 2008

A Rare and Necessary Time

A Rare and Necessary Time is the name of the Write Around Portland Anthology that was released tonight. It contains the powerful words of participants in 18 workshops held across the greater Portland area this spring. If you're interested, you can purchase copies SOON from the bookstores listed here. You can find my piece on page 139!

What a powerful night as each participant walked up to the microphone to read their wonderful words, each one a gift in itself. Each one touching a different part of you. So many different walks of life participated in these workshops. It was amazing to see them all together in one room and to see the safety they felt sharing their work outloud and in print with the rest of us. And the support and respect the audience gave each and every one of them. Very powerful and moving.

We had two rows of women and their guests from my Woman Living with Stage IV Metastatic Cancer Support Group. What a great fan club they were for each other! Paris and my mom came along and we picked up Penny on the way. (thanks so much for driving Paris!)

As we were finding our seats, I look up and see Fran, my daughter's 2nd Grade teacher! She tells me she is here to listen to John, her 2nd grade teaching assistant, read his piece (on page 149). He was a participant in a workshop put on with the Dougy Center (children and families that are grieving). He read immediately after me. It was so powerful and moving. I was so glad I could be there to share in that moment and to hear him read his piece about his brother.

Cancer is a beast, but it has opened some doors and connected me with amazing people, such as my support group, The Living with Life Threatening Disease Class I'm a patient teacher for and the Writing Around Portland Workshop. It has connected me to people I wouldn't have met otherwise. Special, amazing people. Doing special, amazing, brave things. They are all my heroes and heroines of the stories. They inspire me. Thanks for that.

Update on today:

My chemo went longer than I expected/remembered. I met with a doctor at 8:30am and then was infused and didn't get done until 2pm, so I missed my group today. They sent me home with a pump of 5FU, attached to my port and it must go with me everywhere until Friday. I start my nupregen shots on Sunday, have next week off and then back to it on Monday, June 11th. It's amazing that as soon as they started the Oxcilliplatten drip, I could feel the neuropathy in my feet intensify and really start buzzing. Whereas before they just felt "dead", now they are buzzing nonstop and that's really annoying and uncomfortable. The cold trigger started right away too, but it's not as intense as I remember it being before.

I did get a treat today in the chemo suite, actually two of them. Two very special women were there infusing at the same time as I was. I can't say it was a treat from their perspective though, as they were getting chemo. But I got the chance to get a hug from someone dear to my son and our family and to see that she's doing well and staying strong and positive. It was nice to check in on her every now and then and meet her husband. I wish her well. I also had the treat of meeting a fabulous lady that had read my blog and emailed me out of the blue and share our stories. I was so excited to meet her and she found me via my dragonfly glasses! She too lives in Beaverton and has a young family and stage 4 cancer. She was full of smiles and laughs and positive energy and it was just a treat to be in her presence! I don't want to say any names in case of patient confindentiality, since I didn't get their permission to mention our encounters. I want to respect their privacy. They know who they are and some of you may too! Big hugs going out to you girls this chemo week!!!! xoxoxoxoxoxoxoxooxox

I'm now off to bed to snuggle with my pump of 5FU. Darn thing snores! I think he needs a name. I know I won't be kissing him goodnight. It's like being chained to your idea of the least compatible person for two days and nights in some bad trainwreck of a reality show. I'm thinking F... U are good choices for the abbreviation of the chemo in the pump. If you know what I mean. Frank? Fred? Fillup? lol hmmmm...maybe Fillup? a play on Phillip but with the F and U from the 5FU. And it's filling me up. I think that fits. Fillip it is. :) Any objections? Have all of you chemo girls named your pumps?

Sweet Dreams Loved ones.
Thanks again for the support and for reading my blog and checking in on me. It means the world to me.


ps. prepare yourselves, i'm going dark tomorrow with my thoughts. it's only appropriate being chemo week and all.

pss. my son's not going to get better enough to drive him up to mt. st. helens to meet up with his class. :( but his appetite is improving, his ear ache is improving, but his cough is just wicked insane!!!! he coughs so hard he throws up!!! (TMI!) I do think he's sleeping better too. Now it's a matter of gaining his strength and energy back. You should see how skinny he is. You thought he was skinny before. He's a toothpick now!!!!


nic said...

I wish I could have been there to see you read, Shauna. I bet the whole event was both humble and beautiful. Thinking of you.

Paris said...

Meant the world to me to be there with you and your Mom. So glad to meet so many people who have become so dear to you. I could tell how much you mean to them. To know you is to love you :) You were so strong reading your poem, and you looked so beautiful. Like I told you, even with cancer you are an over-achiever :) Your words were so powerful and touching. You have a true gift. I'm so proud to call you my friend. Love, p

JO said...

Hi Shauna:

I wish I could have attended the readings. I would have loved to have met your Mom and Paris and seen you read. I plan on buying a book, so please let me know when they become available.

I have been in bed for two days because I have to be better by Sunday so I can fly to see my Mom.

Hope you are doing okay with your chemo. Hang in there. We are all here for you.

Love ya, JO

laura said...

thinking of you tonight and hoping that you are feeling a bit better. i'm sorry spencer missed his trip. he must be disappointed.

i'm so happy that you have your creativity to walk you through all of your challenges. you are amazing. (((hugs)))

Raelyn said...

It was my pleasure to meet you. You have a soft and gentle voice that speaks words of hope and encouragement. You are an inspiration to me and a testimony to what it means to never give up. May we be able to be a strength for one another in the good and bad times and together may we show that...We CANcer VIVE!

Nightscrapper said...

I would have love to have been there for your reading. I just know that you inspired many. You inspire me daily. Hugs to you!