I’m back—on a Black Moon! So many moons have come and gone and some were incredibly special or rare, all coinciding with pivotal moments in my year. This week I passed the One Year Anniversary of the autologous stem cell transplant. I believed it was auspicious (in a good way) that the ASCT occurred during a Supermoon Blood Moon last September. I remember how Michael and Ursula stayed with me in the hospital so that we could stare at the moon as it rose over Dallas, watching for the eclipse of a supermoon that turned the moon reddish. A blood moon for my blood cancer healing. Not a cure but a healing.
The past year has been an exercise in patience and endurance. Silence has been my mode, more than I expected, so that I could not bring myself to write any new posts since the end of March. Too much change to assimilate and I was exhausted mentally and physically. I yielded and kept faith in my future but also focused on being present, even when the “present” was overwhelming at times. Some things still feel permanently changed by all that I went through in 2015. I am still taking stock of those changes and trying to accept them. Overall, though, I feel so much better than I’ve felt in years, other than a few issues with drug side effects that accompany my days. Grey curly hair still confounds my self-image; I can’t say why but I think that particular change was so abrupt. Not bad, just abrupt.
Today is a Black Moon, the second New Moon in one month. In all my years I’ve never heard of this but again feel it is auspicious (in a good way). I am in Texas now for the annual restaging of this disease with lots of labs, x-rays, and yet another bone marrow biopsy. Next week the oncologist will meet with me and give me his opinion on the results. I have done well since starting a new oral chemotherapy regimen at the end of 2015 and I am very optimistic. The disease has been controlled for now and I am anxious to get on with a new year. They (patients and medical staff) refer to the date of the stem cell transplant as a new birthday. I scoffed at this last year but this year I did, indeed, sing “Happy Birthday” to my cells and now have two kinds of birthdays to remember.
Some of us pay attention to the Moon; I always have sought it out in the night sky and sometimes wished it away when I wanted to see more stars. New Moons symbolize new beginnings and an accompanying energy of change and action. This Black Moon appears just as I let go of a year’s worth of waiting to reach this milestone of finding out how well my body has healed. Of getting necessary immunizations, finally, that were wiped out by the high dose chemotherapy last year. I believe in the body’s power to heal better when we work with it, not against it, and give ourselves time to heal. Some might say that chemotherapy works against the body as it is powerful and toxic. But, I am so very fortunate to be a beneficiary of the newest drug therapies that target the malignant cells and do less damage to the healthier cells. I still wonder how this unpredictable disease will go and I wonder about how many years I have that are years when I feel stronger and healthier, as I do now.
Today’s Black Moon appears to me as an opening into new beginnings. I will bring my light into the darkness and discover what is next. I am ready to let go of all the waiting and live with less resistance to the boundaries this past year imposed, ready to make new maps for myself.
I went up to Nebraska at the end of March and still am adjusting to that relocation/dislocation. I missed the sandhill cranes, after all. The spring was too warm and the birds left early. Summer was hot and humid which, for me, translates into inertia. The best part were fireflies that appeared at dusk. Soon I will return to Nebraska and live with how autumn unfolds into winter, a midwestern phenomenon that may make me wish again for warmer weather!