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Thursday, December 1, 2011

Back to Life, Back to Reality

Outside my window, yellow leaves are swirling down from the trees into the garden below. Through the opposite windows of the courtyard, I can see hospital staffers coming and going like ants in a child's plastic ant farm. In my room, I'm surrounded by medical equipment and more disinfecting products than I ever thought I'd see in one day.
The stem cells come in in five more days. I've been here for four days already, and it's just starting to sink in today how very long I'm going to stuck here.
Turkey Nuts
I'm definitely experiencing a bit of a comedown after all the exhilaration of my pre-hospital adventures. Driving up into the mountains and down the coast, re-visiting Esalen and receiving some healing touch, pulling out the old Razzle Dazzle for a Karaoke night with some of my best peeps, sharing Thanksgiving with my little family, and welcoming my parents-in-law to California and some of my favorite places....all those things sure were fun, footloose and seemingly cancer-free. 
Now I lay here and receive my treatment, which today includes one kind of chemo and some fancy Rabbit Serum that's supposed to lower my immune system. Yes, it's safe to say that I officially feel at the height of my Cancer-Patient status. Knowing I'll be in this room for about a month, knowing I have to wear the HEPA mask every time I step outside, missing life as I've known it forever. I know it does no good to dwell on the past—how much I miss my old life in Northampton, my friends, my job, my dog, my family there—but neither does it do me any good to dwell in the future - i.e. "when will I get out of here? Will my cancer come back? What if it does? etc etc."
I can only be in this moment, in this bed, in this place, with this view, one day at a time.


  1. Wow. Mega live-in-the-moment lesson, and what a moment it is. Perhaps interesting to ponder how we assign good/bad, fun/horrible etc. to all of our experiences. Who is the assigner? Where/when did she come in? After eating two donuts and coffee for breakfast, and crashing all day on little else, I ponder whose idea was that? The rebel who is bored by the bland sameness of my paleo diet? I wonder how I can survive without salt. You wonder how you can survive in a bubble. You know, of course, I'd choose my dilemma. Hang in there girl. In time, this will be a blip on the screen of your life. Cute, cute picture!!!!!

  2. I've wanted to comment on the last couple of posts but nothing I thought about saying felt right. Just wanted to let you know that I'm here, checking in, and rooting for you like crazy. <3

  3. Thank you for the update Kia. Does Annie get to stay with you during this process? You are so lucky to have her physically by your side. Everybody needs somebody looking out for them and keeping them company even if all they do is pass the days alongside each other locked in the bubble together. Sounds like Annie is bringing some entertainment as well - a bonus!

    Keeping my fingers crossed these stem cells make themselves at home and give your immune system a true boost.

  4. Hang in there Kia, channel all the warriors in your DNA. You were made for this, imagine that. The Island waits, like a Kia Lighthouse on the lake.

  5. Hi Kia, This is Helen, we studied together in Paris and traveled in Amsterdam a lifetime ago. I am rooting for you and hoping for your full recovery! You have a very strong spirit - keep up the amazing work!

    xo Helen

  6. Sending love to you and Kia; I'll hold you both close all day long. Maggie

  7. Hi Kia, Wanted to let you know that we are thinking of you from France. Sending prayers and comforting thoughts your way.
    Hugs to you and Annie.
    Sarah and Mike Goldthwait Shoemaker

  8. I forgot to wish you a very happy new birthday. We folks with birthdays in December are the best!!!!! Hope you had fun with Doris!!!

  9. Hi Kia, I was poking around fb last night and stumbled on you. I wish you the very very best. When I think of you, we're still 10 hanging out at the YMCA in the summer or reading copies of my Mom's Cosmo. Sending strong thoughts your way, raise hell in that hospital! Love, Mercedes O'Leary P.S. Congrats on getting married, so exciting. She sounds very supportive.

  10. Hi K! I met with Caitlin today who told me your story.

    I am running the 2012 Boston Marathon to raise money for Leukemia/Lymphoma. I will think about you this weekend as I hit the training miles this weekend. As I tell all of my sponsors, every mile is meaningful and every dollar matters!

    All the best,


  11. Does this mean you are Sagittarius now? Interesting... my dad was. It's a good sign, I think. Or at least you can lay claim to some of its better qualities and leave the rest behind!!! Heard you are doing great (considering). You are one tough babe. Hang in there. The worst will soon be over and the best yet to come. Love, Love, Love. Tell Annie I said she is amazing.

  12. I wanted to wish you a very happy christmas. You now have a birthday and christmas in the same month!!!...just like me...welcome to the club!!! I got the pics and text about your trip outside the bubble. What a great present!!! I hope your enjoy the holiday weekend!

    Love you...

  13. Happy New Year, Kia. Hope you´re doing better and better each day. Thinking of you and wishing you a greater year than the last one was...

  14. Any new pikkies? You soakin in some rays? with the Annster... Glad you escaped. Stay that way. Love and Blessings and good food!!!

  15. hello! my name is Jennifer Saparzadeh. Both of my parents are Iranian immigrants. I joined the registry and really hope that we match up! Unfortunately the time it takes for them to process the cheek swab I sent them is a few months. I sent it in about two months ago. I hope that the results come back in our favor and there is a perfect ten match!

    Also, there is a Facebook page dedicated to getting fellow Iranians to join Be the match- i have sent them a request to become a member to let my Iranian friends and family know about it.

    Perhaps if you join you could let your Iranian friends and family know through it too!

    It is really wonderful that you have made this blog to keep your friends and family up to date. I am keeping my fingers crossed that we are a perfect match!!


  16. hi kia!

    i just finished my last round of treatment at stanford, remember us meeting in the garden a few months back? i have been following your blog since that day. thinking of you and praying for you. i keep wondering if i'm going to run into you or annie since i am down there so often. just hoping you are hangin in there! it really is tough, i can't believe how long you have been journeying through this. you really are an inspiration!


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