Dec 19, 2014: One Day at a Time

On December 9th, I received the third cycle of my current chemotherapy treatment protocol with the drug Doxil, as planned.  I had great hopes that this cycle of treatment would be easier than the previous two, as my body was now at least familiar with the drug and its side effects.  I was also feeling prepared and encouraged to be moving forward with more treatment.  As it turns out, however, an old adage that I have loved for a long time proved true in this situation — as it has in so many other situations in life.  And that adage is: “Man makes plans while the Gods laugh.”

Well, the Gods were certainly laughing this week.  36 hours after the infusion, I awoke with some of the most severe, intense bone pain that I have ever experienced.  Like really severe, 8-9 out of 10 bone pain, that felt like I’d been hit by a truck.  The pain persisted for several days, and required very high doses of narcotics and extra steroids to get under control.  My doctors’ explanations ranged from: “I have no idea why this is happening” … to: “This is a sign of an inflammatory reaction to the cancer cells dying in response to the chemo treatment.”  Slowly, slowly I’ve been doing my best to get though this painful period, as my wise and beloved uncle would say, one day at a time.  I’m feeling very thankful that over the past couple of days the pain is subsiding and I’ve been able to begin tapering off the high doses of medications.  But it has been an exhausting process, compounded by a deep, visceral fatigue and generalized aching that is often associated with Doxil.

Making matters only more challenging, the drugs seem to have exacerbated another rare condition that I’ve been dealing since the time of my initial cancer diagnosis — called achalasia — which can make it hard to swallow.  (I’ve mentioned this briefly, in a previous blog, and will perhaps write more about it another time.)  I underwent an upper endoscopy procedure for this on December 4th, with initially good results that seemed to dissipate after the chemo-induced pain and other symptoms kicked in after December 9th.  Sometimes, when it rains, it really does pour.

In this context, my life over the past ten days has slowed way down.  As at many other times on this long and winding road, I’ve once again been forced to take things one day at a time … doing my best to get through it all, and trying to remember that this is a process with unpredictable ups and downs.  It’s hard for me because there is so much I still want to do, and to write, and share — especially in this blog, and in a book of insights and lessons I have learned on the healing path, from so many perspectives, over the course of my life.  I long to be more active, and feel some semblance of being in control … and it’s just not possible right now.  It’s another reminder that I still have to slow down and allow the process to unfold, at its own pace  (“Focused action and intention, wrapped in the arms of surrender”).

I continue to learn more and more about embracing the great unknown at every step of the way on this journey.  It’s impossible to know what will happen next.  But I am still walking the path, as best as I can — and, right now — one day at a time.  

Thank you again for your love and prayers, and for your wonderfully kind, caring, and heartfelt comments on the blog.  They truly mean a lot!

17 thoughts on “Dec 19, 2014: One Day at a Time

  1. Diana Tripp

    Dearest Kabir,

    I hold you so deeply and tenderly in my heart. Naturally, I wish this weren’t such a challenging and painful journey for you – but that’s quite a ridiculous wish, isn’t it? It is what it is – and in that , there is perfection. You offer us all so much in your writing – and the expression of your feelings. It’s honest, pure, forthright and surely most sincere. I regret not knowing how else I can support you – but please know I am here- willing and hopefully able to step up in any way so see fit.

    Holding you in love…
    Diana

    Reply
  2. Diane Nunn

    I’m right there with you, Ramy as are so many others, wishing we could lift all the pain and the cancer right out of your body. Also hoping our love and prayers may somehow diffuse and rid your body of these negative usurpers. It is difficult always to fathom, how it can be that one who heals and comforts others through times of terrible affliction must then also suffer the same. And so my hope must be that because you do, you will heal and find that having experienced the worst, you have emerged as the ultimate healer you have strived to be.

    My love, respect and caring, always,

    Diane Abbey Nunnery

    Reply
  3. Jack VanDervort

    Jeremy,
    God bless you as you send back news from the front lines of this great battle. Although wounded, you have a beautiful gift of clarity as you “ride the tiger.” Your writings unite us as a band of brothers in this great cause. We will continue to send nourishment to our brother in the front line of life. We are not of this world but we have been commissioned to subdue the wildness of this place while we are here. Keep on farming brother. Cultivate the field and “Hail the storm!”
    Love, Jack V.

    Reply
  4. rudrani

    so sorry you are suffering so: (remember, as paolo coehlo said, “you are fighting the good fight.”)

    also its completely amazing the depths that the body can come back from. it’s a self healing mechanism. remember that too.

    Reply
  5. Peggy Wrenn

    Beloved Jeremy,

    You are doing “one day at a time,” with amazing courage. “Riding the tiger” is an understatement. I am in awe, I honor you and the terrifying tiger.
    I love you.
    Peggy

    Reply
  6. Parvati

    Dear Kabir,
    Your efforts are indeed heroic, and one day at a time is the ONLY way to go. I seem to remember a wise man once saying Be Here Now. You are most certainly wrapped in His blanket. May you find comfort there and a respite from pain.
    Much love,
    Parvati

    Reply
  7. Wendy Baumgartner

    …such beautiful words from everyone. I can only mirror their insights and sentiments. I obviously continue to think of you and Kristina with the most adoring heart. I know you have much support and think of you both so often. Take care dear friend your spirit is something to rise to.

    All my best,

    Wendy

    Reply
  8. Jyoti Hanuman

    Kabir, I am dedicating all the merit of my practice to you everyday. May you be safe from inner or outer harm, may you be genuinely happy, may you be healthy in body and mind and may you live with ease.
    Love,
    Jyoti Hanuman

    Reply
    1. Peggy Wrenn

      Thank you, Jyoti, I will engage in this practice, too. I do think of Jeremy every day. Lovely…my practice to Jeremy-Kabir saying to the Field: “May you be safe from inner or outer harm, may you be genuinely happy, may you be healthy in body and mind and may you live with ease.” Especially I pray for “living with ease” — in body, mind, heart and spirit…pretty durn hard to do, dealing with chemo, radiation and other ravages–(like not swallowing :(
      Our beloved Jeremy is an extraordinary man, and somehow, he does live in his body, heart, mind and spirit — albeit with great challenges — but full of grace. I love you.

      Reply
  9. Barbara King

    I have just learned to operate my I-pad. I’m so happy that I can say to you that I pray for you all the time. I remember how you took care of me. I only wish I could be there for you to anoint you with oil. Since I can’t I anoint you in the Spirit knowing God ‘s healing power is flowing through now and always.

    Reply
  10. Barbara King

    Jeremy it is my prayer that all the healing love you gave to so many of comes back to you. As I read your blog I cannot think of how brave you are to endure so much pain. I wrote a book once titled “How To Have A Flood And Not Drown”.
    You will not drown because of your faith in a higher power in you, as you, around you and through you. I believe in the healing power of the spirit within. I continue in prayer and meditation for you.

    Reply

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