First, thank you for the overwhelming support you have given me. I had this pleasant notion that each day I would respond to the emails I got, but then you blew me away with the number of emails, with the thoughtfulness of each one. I am answering each one of you individually but it won't likely be the day or even the week that I get your email. Trust me: it's coming.
And although I am tolerating the chemotherapy well, I do get tired. I am not used to getting tired. My brother laughs that I used to say that rest was over-rated. Well, my head might want to keep going but the body needs a nap. As I give in to that nap (about every other day), my mind is racing about what I could and should be doing with that time... other than nap.
I have just finished the third of eight rounds of chemotherapy. I have one more before Christmas. After Christmas, the chemicals change but the routine doesn't: every two weeks I spend the better part of a day at the hospital with a lively nurse named Mercedes. And I feel lucky every minute I am there.
During the two weeks in between, I get blood tests, maybe see a doctor, maybe have an MRI, always take a regimen of pills and shots at home, and model my wig or my scarves on the street, at the children's school, and now at holiday events. And, you won't be surprised, since we all "met" through politics, I talk with John and our friends about what is happening here in Washington and across the country to the thousands of people we met who were so desperate for change. I think a lot about a lovely woman who was on one of my roundtables who had breast cancer herself - and no health insurance. And I think about the women survivors who - a week after I found the lump - gave me a breast cancer survivor pin after church the Sunday before the election.
I have the great good fortune of good medicine, good support, and good worthy things other than cancer to think about in the months ahead to keep me busy and focused on something other than the little Monk's rim of hair I have left - and that only for a little while longer.
Thanks again for your support and your patience as I have the immense pleasure of savoring and responding to each of your emails. I do have the sense that, as with our past and future battles, you are with us in this one.