Thursday, 8 January 2009

The fierce heat of living

I write from my bed, feverish with the mistletoe injected to help repel the cancer. Mistletoe is the most frequently prescribed therapy in German outpatient cancer clinics; it's said to strengthen the immune system while minimizing the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation therapy. Our ancestors laced ale with it during winter orgies – hence the provenance of kissing under the mistletoe. My fever started at Park Attwood, the anthroposophical clinic in Worcestershire, where I retreated for a week and was fed fantastic food and given foot compresses, massages and hot water bottles. I'll continue with the injections weekly or so for the next couple of years while I recover. Mistletoe is said to support the 'etheric body' – or life force during chemotherapy, which starts next week.

In between fevers I spent last weekend here in Lewes with my family and felt as happy as I've ever felt in my life. God – and not the devil - is in the details. The slam of the door as the children return home. The toot and parp of Dirk tuning his instruments. The crackle and glow of the fire. The sun moving across the sky and casting its light on the buildings around us. People dropping by, chatting outside in the street, organic carrots fresh out of a nearby field making a rainbow winter salad. It's been said a million times, that facing death makes us truly value what we have. But why stop at cancer? Life itself is terminal. Why not fall into love with ourselves and melt in to that fierce heat of living, right now and at every moment?

1 comment:

Haskel said...

How very beautiful and poetic Adrienne, i just will fall in love with myself today. It is good to hear your good spirits on living with your cancer, and hopefully living beyond it. God bless, love haskel