This morning, I’ve sat in my red-upholstered chair here in front of the computer and thought and thought and thought some more about what aspect of my life to write about today. This on-line memoir offers three possibilities: growing-up, convent, and post-convent.
Of the years between birth and entering the convent after college graduation, I’ve reconnoitered only my childhood up to sixth grade at St. Mary’s Grade School in Independence, Missouri.
I’ve shared with you the convent novitiate years as well as my first two years on mission in Omaha, Nebraska, after making first vows. But there are other stories yet to tell about teaching in Seneca, Baileyville, Atchison, and Kansas City, Kansas.
Back in 2012, I spent several months posting about getting involved in social justice issues when I was in my thirties. That leaves four decades yet to explore of my life as a single woman who established a career after leaving the convent and then retired to write and enjoy friendship.
And yet, I find myself simply thoughtless today—lacking any stories to tell. So I will simply reflect on this day here in Independence where the sky is overcast and the day chilly. It’s gray, threatening drizzle.
Back on Thursday March 6, I posted about the CTCL—cutaneous T-cell lymphoma—that has cropped up again. I have an appointment today with the dermatologist who diagnosed CTCL and who prescribed the light treatments I’ve been doing for the past five and a half weeks. Yesterday I went to the clinic for my sixteenth treatment. Today the dermatologist will assess how my skin is responding to treatment and where I am in the remission cycle.
When the cancer goes into remission, the skin color changes. For me, it goes from pale pink to a blushing pink then to a dull gray and finally to a darker gray that is a sign of remission. I can already see that several of the blotches are beginning to change color. So that is an excellent sign.
Because my skin has twice burnt with these recent treatments, I am up to only two and a half minutes a session. Back in 2011, when I went for treatment three times a week for nine months, I kept burning and so never got up to more than four minutes a session. So these sessions are never long. However, I find myself tired afterward. Recently I asked the nurse if other patients got tired, and she replied, “No one’s ever said so.”
So perhaps this tiredness is of spirit. Or it’s because I do an errand or two after the treatment. Or it truly is that I’m aging and I just don’t have the resilience and energy I used to have. Whatever the cause, I’ve decided that going three times a week is too arduous for me.
So I’m going to reduce the treatments to twice a week. I suspect the dermatologist will simply remind me that fewer sessions a week mean more weeks of treatment than in the past. But right now I’d prefer to enjoy each week, despite having to go for a longer period of time.
Also today I’m going to cancel my appointments for tomorrow (Friday), next Monday, and next Wednesday because two friends are coming to visit for several days, starting tomorrow.
I’m looking forward to taking time off and being with friends. Winter here refuses to admit Spring. I’m hoping that my friends and I will experience together the arrival of its balmy days. Peace.