We are at the dialysis center near Madison (on Fish Hatchery Road). We are getting quite used to the place with our Monday-Wednesday-Friday appointments from 5:30 to around 10 p.m. I think it is particularly difficult to do dialysis and also be going through chemotherapy. It takes a lot out of Sabine (but, of course, those of us who know and love her know that she is not only a "tough cookie" but a positive cookie as well!).
As I mentioned in an earlier posting, we do three intensive days a week of lab work and dialysis and then we get Tuesdays and Thursdays and the weekend to rest up.
Next week begins with the usual lab and dialysis and then Sabine goes into surgery for a more permanent "tunnel catheter" to facilitate her dialysis. Then on Wednesday we meet again with Dr Sheehan, our hematologist/oncologist at the U.W. to see how this chemotherapy has progressed and, hopefully, some idea of what our next steps are in trying to curtail and control this cancer of the bone marrow.
At the same time, I know that we Christians are going into Lent -- Wednesday is Ash Wednesday, the beginning of the Lenten Season -- a time for reflection and reparation.
As we pray for one another, let us in fact "keep a Holy Lent" as the Ash Wednesday liturgy asks of us and that the ashes we receive on our foreheads (and I think they can also mark our hearts as well) remind us that we are "dust" and to dust we shall return. Life in this existence is finite.
David Swanson, a member of my Japanese sword club sent me this. It is a translation by Robert Bly of the Indian poet Kabir:
Are you looking for me? I am in the next seat.
My shoulder is against yours.
You will not find me in stupas, not in Indian shrine
rooms, nor in synagogues, nor in cathedrals:
not in masses, nor kirtans, not in legs winding
around your own neck, nor in eating nothing but
When you really look for me, you will see me
you will find me in the tiniest house of time.
Kabir says: Student, tell me, what is God?
He is the breath inside the breath
What I have learned with this illness is that every day matters. And every day we have is truly "the first day of the rest of our lives" and, yes, God is "the breath inside the breath."