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Gratitude Practice 7 of 12

Pale feet standing near the St Vincent Private logo embedded in the floor: Mary Jane shoes reading Remedy on one foot and Poison on the other - black leggings, and a grey paisley pashmina is also obvious in the photo.
Logo of the hospital where I was receiving my oncology treatment.

Gratitude Practice: first week of third chemo cycle.

Gratitude works in funny ways.

I was so grateful to be able to have third chemotherapy, without delay, without needing to break it up for additional cycles. By this stage, I had my eye firmly on finishing chemo as a significant milestone.

I think this was the week where my oncologist heard me having a laugh with the receptionist and made the observation that he wasn’t used to hearing laughter in his waiting rooms. That made me a bit sad, because he is a marvellous man.

Chemo Round Three of Four, Week One, Day One (Day 43 of 85).

1. A woman on her last chemo session had written a song called “Thank you for the Chemo” (to the tune of Abba’s “Thank you for the music”). She sung it for all the staff and the rest of us – and it coalesced my own feelings about chemo.

I know some people seem to sail through it, but honestly, I am finding it gruelling.

However! And this is a big however – I cannot regard it as a poison, because the reality is, I would die, most likely within years, without it.

So I am starting to look at it like a Fire Remedy; there is destruction, and death, and pain, and fear, but with careful management and good strategies and support, you can rebuild, and the forest of your self reseeds and blooms again (hopefully without cancer this time).

“Thankfulness is the quickest path to joy.”

Jefferson Bethke

I was hoping that the steriods they administer to help control for reactions would give me a boost, but they didn’t really, apart from making sleeping difficult!

Chemo Round Three of Four, Week One, Day Two (Day 44 of 85).

“Gratitude bestows reverence…changing forever how we experience life and the world.”

John Milton

This is how I felt getting my housemate to do my injection the day after chemo for me – I didn’t get to the point where I could do it myself.

Chemo Round Three of Four, Week One, Day Three (Day 45 of 85).

“You cannot do a kindness too soon, for you never know how soon it will be too late.” 

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Lilly Pilly hedge with the afternoon sun shining through the red leaves.

Chemo Round Three of Four, Week One, Day Four (Day 46 of 85).

“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson

This is what I was doing every morning.

Chemo Round Three of Four, Week One, Day Five (Day 47 of 85).

“Live with intention.
Walk to the edge.
Listen hard.
Practice wellness.
Play with abandon.
Choose with no regret.
Appreciate your friends.
Continue to learn.
Do what you love.
Live as if this is all there is.”

Mary Anne Radmacher

13 weeks post surgery – it somehow helped to keep count, even though it ended up being March the following year (9 months post surgery) before the surgical wounds fully healed. Chemo stops / slows all healing.

Chemo Round Three of Four, Week One, Day Six (Day 48 of 85).

“To know someone here or there with whom you can feel there is understanding in spite of distances or thoughts expressed…That can make life a garden.”

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe

I was, at this stage, just sleeping a lot, and really focussing on appreciating all the little things.

Chemo Round Three of Four, Week One, Day Seven (Day 49 of 85).

“In the sweetness of friendship let there be laughter, and sharing of pleasures. For in the dew of little things the heart finds its morning and is refreshed.”

Khalil Gibran


Ensure that you are vigilant around your self-examination. Train yourself to check your breasts/testicles routinely, and monitor your bowel habits and your urine output. These are our body’s early warning signs, and we don’t have a lot of awareness of them.


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