What yonder light…


photo-5210 days past since last writing. I know it’s been a long time and there are questions and wonderings afoot. Tomorrow (Tuesday) I get my metaport (PICC) “installed”. It  is a little surgery. Same day, one hour or so, and then a little sedation recovery. For those of you who don’t know what a metaport is: 

A Mediport  is an internally installed needle accessed device. It is surgically placed, usually by creating a false pocket somewhere in the upper chest wall (under the skin on top of the ribs). An internal tube is then attached to a nipple on the device, with the other end of the tube then sewn into a nearby large vein (usually one of the subclavians). 

SUBCLAVIANS! argh… (here is where my ego start dictating). My collarbones happen to be one of the body parts I am most proud of. I mean at this point, as my brother-in-law Jonah said (something like), my belly looks like the losing “member of the knife fighting Pomeroy clan”. Since both Lorna and Bill (my bio-pop) are adorned with a number of their own trunk scars. And just wait till the liver surgery! Oh well…..

 The fact that this is all reving up gave me a bit of pause last night. One of those “Okay, okay,I get it, I need to make some life changes, now let me get off this ride,” feelings. Having had a couple of previous surgeries, the whole removing part of my colon didn’t seem so unusual. I mean after all, I have had a doctor cut me open…. and…. then…pull an entire…human being out of my belly. So 8 inches of colon, big whoop. But damn,chemo-liver surgery-more chemo, here I must go… it’s not the road, (right?) it’s the destination. Although this road is looking sort of like my pal Andy’s pictures of the “roads” on the Mongolian steppes, mid winter.

However the reality of this port and chemical infusion is well… REAL!  My friend Johanna sent this quote:  “If you are going through hell, keep going.” -Winston Churchill. Which, in relation to my last entry about my near drowning experience, speaks loud and clear to me.

The last 10 days have been a mix of events and lulls. My great Aunt Anne, 89 years old, seemed to be on the very brink of death. She fell ill with pneumonia not long after I was diagnosed. This fall I have had the great pleasure of spending quite a bit of time with her, driving to the dentist, various errands and bringing the kiddos by her assisted living household for raucous balloon exercise classes with the rest of the elderly folks there. Last week she seemed to be slipping away from us, but I had some great moments where she recognized and responded to me. She told me I was a smart girl, but I still had a lot to learn. And that we would both be alright soon and that we had to laugh and smile, which she demonstrated without the dentures she and I had spent all autumn getting fitted and tweaked. What a strange experience to be fighting my own battle and holding the hand of my 89 year old Auntie, was both feisty and so childlike at the very same time.

When it seems that it is not quite her time to leave this earthly plane, it can certainly not be mine.


“We are not human beings having a spiritual experience but rather spiritual beings having a human experience,”

-de Chardin


Chemo starts Thursday. I will be doing infusions every other week for two months up here at the Dartmouth Hitchcock Hospital. If anyone wants to get in on the schedule and come hang with me, while I get my 3 hours of in hospital infusions and then 2 and 1/2 days hooked up at home, you are more than welcome. 

I love you ALL, so much.

This web, netting, hammock of love and support is phenomenally uplifting.




10 Responses to “What yonder light…”

  1. Leigh Says:

    Hi lina, I was wondering if you were going to get a port. I work with them all the time really saves alot of agravation for you in the end. I would love to come up in the coming weeks and hang with you.. i went to nursing school with a woman who works at Dartmouth. She works in the OR but maybe she could get you free parking or an extra jello or something… I think you are so beautiful and to hard on yourself.. lots of love and good luck this week.

  2. Cynthia Says:


    I would happily come hang with you and would love to rub your feet or some other non-porty place during one of your infusion times. Let me know when you know when.

    Meanwhile, I’ll be holding you in my heart tomorrow and sending strong juju your way.

    with love, Cynthia

  3. Tracey Says:

    thinking of you today my darling!
    love, love, love you
    hug hug hug hug hug

  4. Sarah Says:

    Just finished reading “The Elegance of a Hedgehog”—beautiful (thank you for the referral). I felt like you were there with me as I turned every page. Thank you for sending me to Paris for a week, it was a pleasure to stay with such interesting characters:-)
    Now you must start “A Fraction of the Whole”. It’s an Australian version of human angst and self-reflection, with a lot of laughs. I think it is the perfect book at this point in your journey. I love you lots sweet woman. I hope the kids are feeling better and you are all snuggly warm in VT.
    xxxx Sarah

  5. Brooke Says:

    I’m thinking of you dear friend and hoping that it’s not too ouchy… just so you know.. Nothin’ is gonna ruin the beauty of those clavicles of yours!! Nothing… there will just be another place of interest to draw the eye to them if anything… I’m sitting here knittin’ and thinkin’… wishing that I could come and give you massages and play with your kids and entertain you by doing a wee dance or song while you have to hang… oh… I’m a pretty good mango slicer too! I hope that today is as ok as possible…love to you xoxoxoxoxoxoxox

  6. Elena Says:

    “In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.” ~ Albert Camus

    I love to think of the golden summer that is within you that will indeed get you to May and beyond that seems so very far off now.

    It’s a road a head, and very much hope the road it isn’t too rocky, even if it may be steep. And the battle scars here and there, can’t they just be more wisdom marks?

    Besos y Abrazos from me.

  7. Pam & Harry Says:

    I’ll be thinking of you on Thurs.
    I hope the chemo goes well, and more importantly, does the job.
    I miss your presence and energy in my life, as well as Adrian’s and the kids.
    I’ve been doing a lot of work for the CAA…they want we to be president!
    I’m not sure I will do it as it will take away from my painting and other
    things….but I have fond memories of when they put all of our pieces on the
    same wall. Maybe you could write a journal of this journey, along with
    photos, paintings, etc….I love your insights and reading your blog. It also
    keeps me from pestering Adrian for updates.
    Keep running, Lina Deer.
    L, Pam

  8. Jesse Says:

    Lina – Thank you for all of this wonderful writing and keeping all of us updated. I feel so connected to you. Even though I seldom dream of people I know, you are often in my dreams now, and all of them are good dreams! We talk about what you’re going through, and what your thoughts are, and when I wake up I feel great to have shared that time. Maybe we really are visiting eachother’s dreams while we sleep on other sides of the Atlantic! I like to think we are.

    I send you lots of love, and think about you every day. I hope today goes well! Helen and I will be thinking of you and your family!

    It was great to see you recently!


  9. Sharon Fantl Says:

    Hi Lina- thanks for these inspiring and informative posts.

    You’re getting such positive signs along the way. And the spring and summer and fall to come will be so worth the winter journey you are taking to get there. You are so much light in the sleepy dark and cold of this winter. You are our beacon!!!

    You are in wonderful hands at the Dartmouth Hitchcock… you know my uncle Ted was the Administrator there for many years, just retired a couple years ago. I bet he knows some of your people. I think that’s always nice.

    We see you soon. Can’t wait. xxo,

  10. connie feydy Says:

    Thinking of you – such nice thoughts.

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