Hope

Cycle 2, day 12. I just started reading Ann Lamott’s latest book, Almost Everything: Notes on Hope and how fitting that is. I have always found solace in her writing, whether reading Operating Instructions as I too was struggling with the complicated reality of raising young children, or Bird by Bird early in my career that I would come back to again and again for notes on writing. Now notes on hope seem incredibly fitting.

The last two weeks post-chemo have been a slog. I described it to someone as “is it possible to be bored and miserable at the same time?” — add uncomfortable in your own skin and you about have the last two weeks. I keep thinking that it was better in the last round, but it wasn’t, I just want to think that it was. Today, I woke up, ate breakfast and went back to bed, something I’ve done with some regularity this time. Nothing like spending the morning in bed to make you feel like a depressed slug. But today I woke up from “sleep #2” and felt ok. Then it was time for massage after which I actually had some energy. Energy? What’s that? I picked up my groceries from our lovely to go service, and then decided to stop into a relatively quiet shop on the way home to browse and be around humanity. My immunity is pretty low at this point, so I’m not hugging any strangers, or even friends, but if I wash my hands, don’t touch doorknobs and keep to myself, some risks are worth taking.

Then it was home and a good friend visited bearing lunch, so a real treat all around. Even after she left, I still had energy to make a banana bread with some aging bananas and to listen to an audiobook. Add to this a call from my daughter who just moved to NYC from San Francisco yesterday (and who I will see tomorrow) and the black cloud I’ve been living under seems to have lifted a bit today. No naps, no moving from place to place to find a comfortable spot (and often failing), just a pleasant afternoon where, yes, I had some renewed hope.

Ann Lamott talks about finding hope in unlikely places, and that was today in a nutshell.

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