The Whisper in the Whirlwind

APRIL: So from now until September, I go on living … and healing … and waiting. MAY: Healing.  Shoulder still feels so strange.  Out of place.  The bones don't line up right.  Can't pick up a teapot.  Physiotherapist switches from massage to electro-shock therapy.  You should see a neurologist.  Muscle wastage.  Shoulder blade slipping to... Continue Reading →

Conversation with Myself

"I'm dying," said I. "I know.  How far would you go?"  said she.  "How far would you go to be free?" "Free of the thing that is killing me?  Cut it out!  Carve and slice, burn and dice, poison it until it disappears.  I surrender to the physician's knife and knowledge.  In short: do whatever... Continue Reading →

On the Mend … Again

Two things, I can do, At three I am an expert: Moving, Recovering from surgery, and Picking up the pieces of a broken heart. It is remarkable to me how similar physical recovery is to emotional recovery.  Life post neck surgery is a whole lot like life post heartbreak.  There's that initial period of intense... Continue Reading →

The Familiar Unknown

India: the most familiar place I had never been.  Three weeks ago, I took a group of middle school students to an AMIS Honor Choir festival hosted by the American International School of Chennai.  We left on a Tuesday and landed on a Wednesday morning.  In the 45-minute ride from the airport to the school... Continue Reading →

In Praise of Good Gossip

Walking through the high school courtyard on my way to the office one day in spring, I ran into a tree ... so to speak.  The sight of a monkey-thorn acacia in full bloom stopped me in my tracks.  As I stood transfixed, gaping up at the branches, a colleague came up behind me.  "What... Continue Reading →

Buckle up — Turbulence ahead

This post is less of a reflection and more of an update for those who have been walking this cancer road with me long-distance. Thursday the 18th marked exactly six months since surgery.  In honor of the occasion, I got my blood tested and kept a Friday-morning date with my favorite radiologist, Dr. Berk --... Continue Reading →

On Madness and Wasted Lives

At the start of October, a lone sniper opened fire on a crowd in Las Vegas, Nevada.  At the beginning of November, a shooter entered a church in Texas and opened fire on the congregation. Both of these happened as I was in the middle of my post-op, healing journey.  Though not special in the... Continue Reading →

“Monkey Stole My Meds!”

June 30th, 2010 - northwest Vancouver Island, Canada I woke to a splash and a shout.  Confused, I sat up and strained my senses beyond my sleeping bag.  The sound of lapping water was close - much closer than it should be.  Was it at the tent?  Someone was outside and moving around - another... Continue Reading →

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