This won’t be an inspiring post. I’m am not in an inspiring place today. I should be celebrating. It should be party time here. But I can’t muster the strength for that today. Maybe another time.
I should be celebrating because tomorrow I’ll finish the last of my radiation treatments and start the process of healing my body from that trauma. Many of you are likely thinking something like, “Great you’re done. Aren’t you glad this is over?”
I should be and at some level I am. My body, mind and soul are weary from this journey. I’ve spent most of this weekend moving between places to rest. Normally I find writing to be a bit energizing but today it is a chore – a chore I do simply to keep my soul from sinking further into depression and despair.
I shouldn’t be depressed as my oncologist told me on Thursday that he is 98% sure that this treatment will kill all the cancer. That should make me happy and want to dance but my bowels grumble, my hemorrhoids itch, my stomach wants to reject it’s food, all my joints ache and my mind couldn’t even enjoy an old film today.
I shouldn’t be, but I am – afraid. Afraid that this trip isn’t going to work. Afraid that the radiation will cause a secondary cancer. Afraid that I’ll have to do this all over again. Afraid that this the best I’ll feel before I die.
What to do?
It’s pizza night here at our house and the Academy Awards are on. I’ve got sketches all over the coffee table for woodworking projects I’d like to do. We have family staying tonight.
What to do?
Tomorrow I’ll get up at 5:30 for my last trip for treatment. Heather has promised to drive me and we have plans to go to Santa Cruz to have breakfast at a favorite restaurant and to walk by the sea. There is a power in the sea – a power that I can barely describe.
The sea has the power to inspire, to heal, to energize the soul. There is song in the sea. There is poetry in the sea. Whenever I go there, I am reminded of John Masefield’s poem, “Sea Fever.”
I MUST go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel’s kick and the wind’s song and the white sail’s shaking,
And a gray mist on the sea’s face, and a gray dawn breaking.
I must down go to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.
I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull’s way and the whale’s way, where the wind’s like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick’s over.
I wish I could explain it but there is a comfort in that poem. I’ve read it a number of times and I have version of it set to music in my sea shanty collection.
What to do?
Tomorrow, treatments end and I must start to heal.
Tomorrow, I start to move on a different path – one that starts at the sea.