“Look into my eyes and trust in me. You are going to go on a long journey now. When I snap my fingers, you’ll come back into the room. Don’t worry if you cannot remember…”
It wasn’t like that. Not at all. I didn’t strip and dance on the table. I leant back in the lazy boy and the legendary Dr Jeffrey Rink’s soothing voice led me into a gentle trance. My breath gradually eased into a more relaxed rhythm and as Dr Rink’s voice rose and fell, my body let go of the tension I hadn’t even noticed. Tears rolled unchecked and I felt relaxed enough not to even wipe them away. As my body unclenched, the debilitating nausea began to ease off. It was as if in softening my muscles, I had let go of it too. I could hear every word being said and yet I was snuggling into my blanket and allowing gravity to centre me. Somewhere deep down, I was aware that the session would come to an end. I didn’t want that. I just wanted the gentle man to go on and on talking. In fact, what I really wanted was to drift off to sleep with the sound of his voice in my ear. But alas, my time was up. I was reluctantly but ever so gently brought back to the room. Even though I hadn’t fallen asleep, I was fully rejuvenated.
As I walked to my car, I thought about what I was taking away from this experience. There were many things, but the two that really stood out for me were these: The first was simply that I was able to let go and shed some tears. The second one was more profound. If I welcomed the chemo in and allowed it to work with my own innate healing powers, I’d be doing myself a huge favour. I had fooled myself that I was already doing this. Afterall my tumour had started to shrink… But deep down, there was still some resistance. I had pretended not to be afraid of “the Red Devil.” I’d laughed and joked with my fellow travellers in the chemo room. To them I was the picture of nonchalance. Except that it wasn’t the truth. Well, not the whole truth anyway.
Archie eyed me suspiciously from the garage roof, when I pulled up at home. I hadn’t made eye contact immediately. I’d even neglected to call out to him in our secret language. He did follow me inside but rejected my belated cuddle, before high tailing it into the garden. I’m hoping that a good night’s hunting will soften him up. His morning tea will be on my bedside table, just in case.
I have some time to get my head around the next chemo session. And this time I’ll be armed with Dr Rink’s recording on my cell phone. His voice will guide me through the morning. So if I have ear plugs in and my eyes closed for a while, please forgive me. That crimson coloured liquid is on the way to becoming my body’s new best friend…