Great Kindness at the POW WOW

For the past 15 years I have visited the annual POW WOW, which was only 30 min away. I may have missed one or two when I went on the Camino and once when I went to Germany when my brother died.

Always loved the colorful Ragalia. (I was told by one Native American whom I’d asked a few questions that these were NOT called ‘costumes.’ It takes a very long time and skill to sew them and especially all that wonderful bead work.

This year I had also fully intended to go but I had also had painful ‘issues’, again after chemo. But, I thought this may distract me. So, I took my umbrella as it looked very much like rain and walked the 5-6 blocks to our  Fairgrounds where the Pow Wow was held the last couple of years.

I was a little early and so walked around the huge hall and looked at all the beautiful jewelry, paintings, blankets, good smelling grasses and sage bundles. I picked out 2 necklaces for my granddaughter and her beloved. I went to the kitchen section and was greeted by one Native American woman, whom I’ve known for years. She came out the side door, beaming and enfolded me in a big hug. “How are you?” she asked. I pointed to my blond wig and said, ‘I’m surprised you recognized me with this on.’ She answered, ‘I would recognize your beautiful smile anywhere. ‘ She gave me a cup of mint tea, from leaves she had grown herself. After a few minutes conversation I moved on.

I had not gone the whole perimeter as I had leg pain and sat on the bottom step. As I looked around I saw some more booths against the back wall and since I still had time before the Grand Entrance, I got up and went there to see their wares. A friendly Native American came toward me with a beautiful necklace but I held my hand up, smiled and said that I was sorry but simply could not afford one since I had lots of medical bills.

He asked me, what was wrong? I told him that I have cancer, now the second time. He nodded and told me, somberly that his wife too, had breast cancer and died 5 year ago. He said it was the worst but also awesome experience he’d ever had. (Awesome???) He said with their ritual and her grace, how she dealt with it. He turned and picked up something and then handed it to me. I was a long, gray feather with two smaller feathers, one yellow and one green bundled and fastened with a leather strap. He said that this was his gift to me. It was a “smudging Feather” and meant to heal. I immediately became emotional, and tears ran down my face. He took a step toward me with wide open arms and said, ‘ Come here, sister.’ Made cry more and I was so embarrassed. Here came a younger woman, also hugging me from the side, and a third one and she said, ‘this is a healing circle.’ I had told them that I had wanted to go to Santa Fe (weekend before) to try to find a Shaman. That I had wanted to visit Santa Fe for a long time and that it almost felt like a ‘pull’.

After a few minutes I had myself in better control again and he handed me a napkin. I smiled and thanked him. We exchanged a few more words and as I turned to leave, the younger woman approached me, with a Native American man in tow and told me that he was a Shaman and that he would take care of me. I said, that I had no money. ( Because I’d read in my Santa Fe research, that they could demand $300-450.00 for a session.) He shook his head and took my hand and sat me into a chair, at a little more private area.

He told me that he could see my aura, the rainbow colors and black spots which were blocking me. He took my newly acquired ‘Smudging Feather’ and waved it up and down my body, chanting in his native tongue. He stopped one time, looked at me and said, ‘your chakra is way out of line on your right side and it has been that way for quite awhile. I will try to align it.’ On went the chanting as he moved the feather from head to knees. He said, ‘oh, there is a big blockage in your leg. ‘ I said, yes, this where I have blood clots. ‘ (How could he know?) He told me he would now ‘give me over to the ‘Great Spirit’, to heal me.’ That’s when I started crying again. He too, had tears in his eyes as he looked at me and said, ‘if the Great Spirit would not be filled with love for you he would have not put you in his (Shaman’s) path.’ He told me, what a beautiful spirit I had. He asked me, if I felt the heat of his hands (which never touched me) and indeed I had. He apologized as he had had many sessions the day before and was thus weakened. I told him, that I was grateful for anything he could give me.

After about 30 min he got off his knees and asked me, if he could hug me. I totally said yes. I took the only $20.00 bill I had and handed it to him, saying that this was all I had but wanted him to have it. He thanked me big time and said, that most people didn’t even say Thank-You and that I was only the second person within those past  days that had given him a GIFT. He also gave me his phone number, in case I wanted to have another session. Imagine my delight to see that he only lived 30 minutes away, and I was prepared to travel 700 miles.

I sat on the bleachers and enjoyed the rest of the program and felt very much at peace, marveling at the set of many ‘coincidences’ which had brought me there that Sunday.



Yellow Love and 2nd ‘new’ chemo

After my ‘new’ chemo, I was trying to be as ‘normal’ as I could. Doxil, the charmer had different ideas. The depression and deep, spiral to darkness had me scared and overwhelmed. I absolutely can understand when people, who hurt like this, committ suicide. Even though a tiny part of my brain did whisper that this is ‘chemo effect’, and interlectually I understood, it is very hard to deal with it. I’d go to the store and as I stood before the pasta a wave of such sadness came over me, I started weeping. I ran to the bathroom to control myself.

It also happens while watching T.V., going for a walk. Even in the tub and the howling that was produced scared even more. I definitely need to ask what is available to help. (Probably Xanax or another drug which will have its own side effects. Maybe hash oil would work, if I took a larger amount to put me to sleep.

On the other hand, however excrutiatingly real this feels, it is NOT a reliable emotion. The brain has been altered by chemo and therefor we need ‘sound minded’ family and friends to help differentiate. Those people who know me best and can sort through this mental mess.

On the tail of this darkness comes paranoia. ‘I’ll probably die. I won’t be able to get well, this time.. and other, similar thoughts. I think of my daughter, grand daughter, grand sons and my son. And I weep because I already miss them so much. I weep because, well, because. A song, a bird, a flower, a word, blue sky, rain, the mountains , because I have cancer, because I have blood clots, because I feel sorry for myself and because of no reason. My emotional equilibrium is way off. Its pendulum swinging from one extreme to the other. Friends call and ask ‘how are you?’ I don’t know what to say anymore. This has been going on for sooo long. I want it to be over. I want some semblance of my life back. I want to walk and just enjoy nature around me. I definitely want the pain to stop. Backache, abdominal pain, constipation, heart burn , on and on and on. I am exhausted by it. And now the question remains whether this chemo would work. I have no date scheduled for the nextinfusion, since we don’t know. Added stress. (What do you mean, it may not work?? What is in that bag? Sugar water?)

I get so tired of people complaining about such small and crazy ‘problems’. I know it is not their fault that I am in this situation and I really don’t blame them for getting tired of this long journey. Not as much as I am.

So. My wonderful friend, Bonnie came last week, holding out a plastic container with paper towel cover. I asked what was in it? She told me that her 2 grandsons (9 and 5)  Harrison and Mason (whom I know and love) had gone mushroom hunting with their dad. They remembered that I LOVE chanterelles. They had walked 8 miles ( 4 in and 4 out) to find these for me. Imagine. Walking that far and that age. I was in tears from this gift of LOVE. Impressed and proud as well. You can’t PAY for this sort of thing. I cooked them the next day and ate them with great appreciation.

 Then, it was time for my 2nd Doxil. Short check up: Heart, lungs, prodding and pushing on abdomen, blood tests (which were ‘excellent’.) Then, off to Infusion room. After the pre-meds, here came Hawaiian Punch colored Doxil. It woud not go in. Something wrong with the tubes. After a while, new tubes were attached and then it flowed pretty quickly. Had another CA 125 drawn to check whether cancer marker went up? Oncologist told me ‘not to freak out, if it went up because usually it take the 2nd one to bring marker down.

Meanwhile, I saw on my support group posting, that 2 more ‘Teal Warriors’ had died. Had me very upset as I had just ‘conversed’ with them, not so long ago.

Then there’s my friend Sue, who has a recurrence. Shout out to you Sue. Fight like Hell. If you want to know other and or additional information, call or come.

After the 2nd chemo, Cameron had to leave for a couple of days and invited me to come along to Silverton, where he had an offer, for the free work he had done, to stay in this B&B.

A very nice, Victorian house, blue and white trim. Lots of flowers and gorgeous views. Since this was short notice, the owner had previous engagement and so we had the whole house to ourselves. My room was lovely and next to it a huge bathroom with BIG tub and jets. I was (what else?) in a lot of pain and so Cameron got some Eucalyptus Epsom salt and I took a hot bath and felt some better. We took a couple of drives around the area and we saw just the most gorgeous surrounding. (We are on the ‘Western Slope which is many hours away from the devastating flood zone.) We went to the grocery store and I fixed our supper. I tried to go into a couple of stors but my back was killing me and so, frustrated and upset that I simply cannot DO anything, we went back.

I believe now, that this has to do with high altitude. Silverton is nearly 10,000 feet. My veines are compromised due to blood clots and the thin oxygen may deprive organs and extremeties of needed blood flow and thus cause pain. (Right? Dr. Inge??)

My Bonnie came Tuesday, punctually as always and for so long now. She took me to diner and then a movie. “The Butler”. Except for Eisenhower, the rest of the presidents is the same time I have been living in U.S.A . September 16th marked my 50th year. I went through all those growing pains and historical times of this country.

One week after chemo, the horrid depression has disappeared. THANK GOD. I have not called for my cancer marker result. Same reason as before. IF it went up, nothing I can do (except get upset). On Sept 30th when they draw new test, THIS one will show what has, or has not, happened.