Like dandelion fluff I seem to go whichever way the wind is blowing.

For those of you who don’t know yet, my brain scan came back just fine. However, I spent an exhausting 36 hours waiting for the results.  Nothing like a little freak out to jumpstart your heart and mind in mostly unproductive ways. I did however find a Zen place while doing dishes last night that went something like: (to self)  “I hate doing dishes…. This stinks. Well, at least I am alive to be doing the dishes my family has made all sticky and yucky. I guess actually doing dishes isn’t so bad. I’d rather be here doing dishes than not here.” And VOILA now I can appreciate doing the dishes and cleaning the house and well, still not so much making salads, but I enjoy eating them!

Now I can focus back on my experience that almost got swept away in the terror of potentially having brain cancer too.  On the spur o the moment I decided to go for 3 days 2 nights to the Kripalu center in Stockbridge, Mass, to participate in an Ancient Tibetan Buddhist Healing Chöd.  The basis of it was we lie down and meditate or sleep while two Buddhist nuns and three Monks and the Rinpoche recite beautiful songlike chants that are supposed to heal what is ailing you, mentally, physically and spiritually.

My first night there I actually cried tears of frustration during the 2 hour session because I could not get my head to be quite. So many images, ideas thoughts memories were fighting for their place in the forefront of my mind. Argh.

The next day I ate breakfast, read a bit and then went to the 2nd session. This one was better. I cleared my mind and got totally into the experience. On our break I went on a long walk through the paths and into the woods to the ruins of the old estate on the grounds. During my walk I was consumed with thoughts about how trying this last 9 months have been and this idea of life equaling slowly dieing. And yes, kind of feeling self-pity. Which all spiritual and earthly beings know is both boring and ineffectual. But being in this state of self-consumption I am not exactly thinking on my feet and therefore ended quite literally not on my feet.

Live every day as if it were your last and then some day you’ll be right. ~H.H. “Breaker” Morant

I was planning on venturing from the upper part of the ruins down to the lower; I stepped off onto a downward slanting smooth rock, which turned my treadless Jamaican “get through Liver surgery trainers” into ice skates. I whizzed down and tried to catch myself on a tree my hand missed, my head just barely missed it and I fell face down into a tight little crevice; as if I were the meat inside a taco; knocking the wind from my lungs, my arms pinned beneath me, a nice sharp rock on the right side of my head and a giant woodland animal shit to the left, mere inches from my face. It took me a while to regain my breath and then lie there and figure out if I was indeed broken and how to get my arms out. Eventually I did get up and out and walked down the paths touching my body and muttering out loud to myself, “am I fine?  I am fine. Am I fine?  I am fine. Am I fine?  I am fine.”  And I was, save a horrible bruise on my left hip and generally sore body parts.

Okay, so it doesn’t take a genius to read into this. Our lives can end in a second. Anytime anywhere. Enjoy yourself.  It’s later than you think.

Later that same day, after the 3rd chanting session I went to the labyrinth.  Which for those of you who don’t know is a kind of mediation maze. You can’t really get lost physically, but it does wind and wind about. On my way in, again, I was thinking about my past 9 months, but in a different way. I was thinking about my road, and how compared to other people I have met and heard about going through cancer I have had a pretty easy time of it. And then thinking that every ones hurdles are their hurdles and the height varies from person to person. I may be able to jump a hurdle that others may not. My experience of pain is so different than yours, or hers or his. Sometimes I have felt almost ashamed walking into the infusion rooms at the cancer center, because I look healthy, I have my hair, my weight is fine, my symptoms and side effects, though there, are not what some people experience. I feel like a fraud. And yet this experience is so real and I wouldn’t want anyone else to go through it.

Once in the center of the maze, which I reached at about the same time as three other women, there was a Buddha sculpture and the other women lay symbols and trinkets at his feet. I didn’t come prepared to leave any thing; I didn’t know he’d be there. I thought about a trip to the Galapagos my family took when I was 16 and how the guide kept saying, take only pictures and leave only footprints. I kind of felt at a loss and tears sprung up into my eyes and then thought. I have nothing to give you but my tears. So I wiped some from my eyes and touched his belly.  As I walked the path out of the labyrinth the tears just started flowing like mad. My thoughts were of this 9 month journey, of how I, and many of you, have talked about “new life” “rebirth” my new liver and new self.  Is it a coincident that this battle with cancer has taken just as long as the gestation of a baby? Am I reading too much into it, or do I embrace this idea of rebirth?  If so, then I thought, I must have patience with myself, like we do with our children. I am hypothetically learning to crawl, walk, talk and look at the world a new. To take every day as an adventure and to look at the brilliance and newness and curiosities of the world like a child new to the world be the greatest gift, don’t you think? We are all so consumed with our lives, the dishes, the bank accounts, jobs and whether we look/seem like we are cool enough and fit into the society we exist in.

We’re fools whether we dance or not, so we might as well dance. ~Japanese Proverb

Wow, I know this is a tremendously long entry. But man, my head is spinning with all of these varied experiences.

Again and forever I will say and remind you, every one of you, your efforts, your love, your words, your support is invaluable, amazing, fantastic. And although I have my last and final Chemo infusion scheduled for the 24th of September I will say right now and forever that:  Because of all of you, I believe am the luckiest girl, that doesn’t have cancer anymore, in the whole world!

Don’t be fooled by the calendar.

lina lion

There are only as many days in the year as you make use of. ~Charles Richards

10 Responses to “Like dandelion fluff I seem to go whichever way the wind is blowing.”

  1. allie Says:

    for you:

    go to the link for the article at the bottom of the page, it gives better sound quality on the composition

    or go to this:,foto-de-passaros-no-fio-publicada-no-estado-vira-musica,428209,0.htm

    but that’s in spanish and the vimeo link is in english.


    love you!

  2. Elena Says:

    You, my friend, are amazing and I am glad to see you stronger, more joyful and if possible, more lovely with your hard won wisdom at the other end of this journey of health. A rockstar combo of mama, wife, sister, dancer, artist, daughter and friend!

  3. Louise Says:

    Lina, I am so relieved to hear this entry. I’ve been biting my nails and thinking good thoughts at the same time. I am also so glad to hear that you found such a spiritual adventure at Kripalu. I love it there for the same reasons, plus the food is awesome. Linnie and I hope to see you soon. Maybe we’ll try again this coming weekend. Today I was trimming the large bushes at the front of the house and gripping the whole time about how I hated doing that chore. Then I thought, this is a privilege, to be outside, in the sun, working my body, feeling my muscles, being alive. It’s so good to be alive. It’s so good to have you in my life.
    Love Weaza

  4. Jane Says:

    Such a week, Lina! phew!
    And above what an enlightened description of it with gems of insight and perspective. For a moment I was picturing you as Alice falling into Wonderland, but of course it wasn’t at all like that because it was your fall instead. Real alarms and false alarms I think you can handled them both quite effectively, you proved it, but scary!

    Wishing you a calm and lovely week, take it easy, because we love you
    Hans and Jane

  5. amy brooks Says:

    Phew…. Wow. You are sunshine on my shoulders, Lina. You are. You, you. The cancer never touched that. Never was able to stand up to your core, your youness. You just walk on, as you always have, with this inspiring, raw, rocking honestly. It thrills me, makes my jaw drop and just smile.

  6. Cynthia T. Says:

    So many responses to your various stories and imagery in this one.
    I particularly liked the labyrinthy image of leaving your tears on the Buddha. How perfect.
    That fall sounded like no fun though. Ow. Maybe, time to dump the Jamaican trainers? Or at least save them for less hikeworthy occasions?
    I am so glad the brain scan came out just fine. What a friggin ordeal though.
    Let’s just see it as the beginning of more positive test results.

    As always, I am so moved by the honesty and intimacy of your sharing.

    Onward and further…

    shovelfuls of tender love to you, Cynthia


  7. jenn sargent Says:

    thank you for your words. perhaps this journey has brought you to writing more. you truly touch me and many others with your words. you are a gift, a lesson, a teacher, a friend, and above all an inspiration. you are human!
    i love you lina…

  8. Amy n B Says:

    “We are all so consumed with our lives, the dishes, the bank accounts, jobs and whether we look/seem like we are cool enough and fit into the society we exist in.”

    You’re blog words often help me out of this trap….

    thank you

  9. Kelli Garner Says:

    I enjoy this site, it is worth me coming back

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