Thursday, November 12, 2009

Birth Pangs and Adventure

Dear Family and Friends,

Francis and I were up the last two nights dealing with his recent healthy return of bowel normalcy (Yeah!) and last night with his nausea (Yes, again!) and efforts to keep his blood sugar up without solids.

But when I saw that the lights were on two houses down where Chris and Chris Downy's first baby was born last Saturday, it seemed to me both households were dealing with new birth. Just as they were losing sleep introducing Ruby into this life, so were we with Francis' regenerating body functions.

His energy was so strong the morning after his return from the hospital, it seemed to us as he sat in the kitchen for breakfast for the first time since we knew cancer had struck, that the last two months had been a dream. Perhaps that's why after three good normal meals for Tues' supper, Wed's breakfast and lunch, he might have been caught off guard. He might have acted too normal forgetting he needed to eat small amounts with lots of pauses during meals.

I deduced after he lost his supper that his intestinal flora are likely in need of repair. So we pulled out the bottle of dairy-less probiotics Jan brought. But the nausea episode set him back today when he took solids again only for supper.

But, just in time, Francis' consult with a macrobiotic counselor which had to be postponed because of his hospitalization, finally took place today. Connie Arnold who lives and teaches macrobiotic cooking classes in southern Maine, cured herself of non-hodgkins lymphona without radiation or chemo, six years ago. Armed with a detailed questionnaire Francis had filled ahead of time, and an examination of his body, -- a very interesting development here! -- (Connie studied at the Kushi Institute in Boston,) she made specific recommendations for his healing diet.

I was pleased to hear Francis say after supper that he's ready "to take what we can do." The detail of it seems overwhelming. Connie expected that. So her last bit of advice was freeing: "KISS." I thought she meant I should kiss Francis often -- (which I do anyway! ;o) But no, -- "Keep it simple sweetheart." Yes, we'll do just that.

When Dr. Inhorn called during our visit I told him what was going on. His reply? -- that Francis should find his food ENJOYABLE. Interestingly, Dr. Fern Tsao, the Chinese acupuncturist he'll see again on Saturday, said much the same thing, because Francis needs to be built up. Connie said the same thing too. Enjoyment of his food is advice with which we totally agree.

In any case, after carefully studying the material Connie left us, which includes more than recipes, and after getting "Fern's" (as she likes to be called) okay that Francis is ready to start, we'll gradually embark on a healing adventure for him. In some ways it's not very different from what we already eat. In years past when we went for yoga workshops in Cambridge, we enjoyed many meals at Masao's special (and popular) macrobiotic restaurant.

Nothing will actually change in our lotsahelpinghands approach
only a little re-wording and more flexibility. Stephanie will change the calendar titles to reflect changing circumstandes. For example, without weekday radiation appointments to go to, morning or "AM Volunteers" may arrive for a few hours anytime between 8:00 and 10:00 am. And late afternoon or "PM Volunteers" may arrive anytime after 4:00 pm. In both cases we'll gratefully receive help for whatever needs to be done, -- picking up items en route to our home, doing dishes, laundry, chores, maybe helping prepare special meals for Francis, or freeing me to rest or do yoga or -- "Whatever!" ;o)

Some of the healing remedies prescribed by the macrobiotic way will take up more of my time, not less. But the meals you bring (but mainly for me now,) will continue to free me to help Francis.

If any of you are interested in helping me do this, just let me know. I know some of you have experience I don't yet have on this front, though I'm eager to learn, and we have Connie's guidance to go by. I see it all as Francis does, as an adventure in healing. It's not a life-long rigid regimen. In fact Connie pointed out that for healthy people some food she recommends that he avoid -- in order to alkalize his body -- would be just fine for him later. But for now we're ready for this.


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