Deer hoof (yes, i know they’re a band)

One week past my first cycle of chemo. What a week. Thank god I am pretty good at spontaneity because this is requiring some serious daily reevaluations about how I feel mentally, physically, and spiritually. Friday and Saturday went alright. I had my little “fanny” pack (sorry all you Brits & Scots, I know that is about as lovely an image as a sweaty Codpiece). My parents call it a “Doo-boo-boosie”, which is entertaining to say and yet the origin entirely unknown. Me, I call it hideous. I am not sure that I will ever make peace with this accessory. The “cleano” I will accept, but there is no way in hell that sack is going on my “chemo is my friend, happy, warm, ocean of love and health visualization trips” with me, ever.

Sunday was a hard day. Very tired, but mostly VERY nauseous. Oh my goodness. Worse than morning sickness because, the obvious, there is no cherub on slow bake in the oven, but also it is hard to keep in mind that this “cleano” is a beneficial poison to me, but a real danger to my loves. For instance, I have to keep a Chemo Spill kit with me, no bodily fluids must pass between me and anyone, and I have to flush the toilet extra times, just in case. Since I was hooked up to my pet pump, then felt so yucky and the whole bodily fluids thing and not knowing whether, (but making the educated assumption) that includes night sweats, I opted for sleeping by myself in the little room. Um, yep..lonely, except for when I was feeling my worst… At that point it was all I could do to keep the mere idea of food out of my head. Mushroom soup! ACK! Emergency, finger in the ears and trying to push the thoughts/words out as fast as I could with an out loud list: polar bears, shoelaces, Elton John. glitter, air, the muppets, Cassiopeia, the lone ranger… you get the picture.

Adrian held up through my nausea induced bitchiness. The man is a saint carrying the weight of so much, too much, on his shoulders. Thankfully they are broad shoulders.ย  of course there is no way I could feel so confident and strong if I didn’t have him. The kids did well too. Heikke had a bit of an emotional wobble, but we held him together. Poppy is not asking questions about me, but rather thinking about other mysteries than what is happening to her mama…UFO’s, monsters, the bermuda triangle. Georgia is doing her best to thrill me with the varied news of her boarding school adventures. Good girl.

I still felt queasy but traveled to Boston Monday with Anne and Arthur, to visit Dr Liu the acupuncturist. All slim needles were well received by both belly and mind. Tuesday: felt pretty good and spent the morning being and doing โ€œnormalโ€ with the Butterbean. Wednesday: felt SUPER and attended a ballet class in the afternoon. This was just the thing for so many reasons.

I feel like a big part of this cancer has to do with having put dance on hold. Not even on the back burner, seriously on hold. When I was little my parents worked at this wonderful off Broadway theater. Lorna and I went to the all the shows. We spent a good portion of the school year in the spotlight booth up in the ceiling of the theater, standing off stage, and nestled in between the costumes. Quiet and completely enthralled I watched and memorized everything. After school I would practice every day in my grandparents living room (where we lived for my k-6 years). I danced and danced all the time, lessons, alone, always dancing. I really thought that could be where I would end up. But boyfriends and the insecurities that come along with a “woman’s” body derailed the kid and preteen confidence I had possessed. Besides a newly gained fear of failure, rural Vermont wasn’t exactly a treasure trove of opportunities. Still, I danced through high school and college and kept dancing after Georgia was born.
deerhoofSo what happened? Strangely I had this life path choice in 1999. I was starting a clothing business, had the plan, the finances, the partner; everything set to go. But I was still dancing. had done a couple masters classes with BTJones and there was this multigenerational dance troupe that I loved called Back Porch Dance. I tried out for them and guess what? They wanted me to join. My dream. But I was beginning a business so I figured I had made the troupe, I could revisit it. Better to follow through with the business I was starting. Well, long long story short: business folded, I got a umbilical hernia, surgery and then I met Adrian and was on a whole other adventure.

Yesterday I was at the ballet class and there was this 3 second moment where, I swear, my mirrored reflection was moving at a different time than my body… and then it was as if I fell back into myself. I think I neglected my soul, my body and in turn, my body rebelled. Have you ever felt like you were being eaten up by regret? Now, I know there is no off-broadway in my future, but I also know there is a lot more dance in my future and lucky for me with age a good deal of that kid like confidence has returned.

“Try to be fearless, because fear can inhibit you and keep you from a life.”

10 Responses to “Deer hoof (yes, i know they’re a band)”

  1. Ann in Woodstock Says:

    As always- your words inspire. I am glad that Dance is back in your life. AND yes- I many of us know what it feels like to be eaten by regret. You are doing something about it.

  2. hannah Says:

    you are surviving your first chemo – hurrah! and you’re doing it by pushing, dreaming, reflecting… and dancing, dammit! a tall order, and a fulfilling one. keep your eye on the prize (your soul). love to you and the tribe, h xxx

  3. Sarah Says:

    I am learning so much about me through you.
    Thanks luv.

  4. Sharon Fantl Says:

    Dance your cute butt off woman. you have it deep in you and i can see how good it is for you to reconnect with that dancer in you.

    One request: your belated birthday/ post caner celebration has to be a HUGE dance party!!!!

    Much love- so nice seeing you guys last Saturday. We’ll be heading your way again before too long.

    Kisses to everyone,
    Sharon and Ron

  5. Pam & Harry Says:

    I’m so glad you’re feeling well enough for the muse of dance, Terpsichore,
    to inspire and to heal. I feel that way when I do the hula. Dance is a joy
    and a gift and is something that is all for you.
    Love to everyone up there in cold Vermont…..and yes, it’s freezing at 41
    Orchard St. too.

  6. Jane and Hans Says:

    Lina, I will get you the DVD of Poppy, Heikke and Adrian doing an acrobatic flamenco in your kitchen over the holidays. It is inspiring and a hoot-and-a- half!!
    Sorry to report that your blog is not accessible in China according to my brother Peter. I guess you are deemed a threat to stability there. Peter sends his best wishes. He is scheduled to be in Boston mid-April, with Simone.

    with thoughts of you in class, love and hugs to you all at 47 River Street
    Jane and Hans

  7. Amy Says:

    Thrilled to read about your dancing past and to picture your dancing future! More! (Encore!) love Amy

  8. Shajen Says:

    Dance Dance Dance mama! what a trip…and your courage and humor continue to amaze me. I am thinking of you lots. I am back at work and standing 7hrs a day. It is actually great considering, I can stand. Your inner and outer musing are so interesting and I thank you for sharing. The pics are intense, I am sure no where near as intense as they feel. I hope you are finding inner peace as you journey forward. My love to you, Adrian, and the kids.

  9. Dana Says:

    Hey Lina
    miss you!
    here is something maybe to inspire some booty shaking okay not exactly boston ballet
    but check it out.
    love you

  10. Hillary Says:

    Wow, Lina – this post really moved me. I *feel* for you so much having to be careful with your “fluids”, when touch is obviously one of the most amazing healing mechanisms we have.
    Maybe you and the kids and Adrian can start trying to harness your chi and send it back and forth to each other.
    Yay for your acupuncture ๐Ÿ™‚
    And yay for dance ๐Ÿ™‚
    Yay for *now* ๐Ÿ™‚
    Remember though not to be hard on yourself about letting it slip – it’s been known to happen. Gentle reminder.

    Take care,

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