A lesser-known offering at MGH is their Integrative Therapies Program. On my first day back, I let the staff know I’d like access to it all: Reiki, Therapeutic Touch, Massage, Acupressure, Art Therapy, Music Therapy. Why not? I have already reframed my central line dressing change as a spa experience, why not extenuate the concept? In addition, I somehow have been rewarded a room with a spectacular, panoramic view—from Logan and the water in the northeast, all the way across to the Blue Hills in the southwest. The hardscrabble brick skyline of Beacon Hill, capped by our gold- domed Capital, where I spent so much time, fills in the rest of my vista; I am immensely grateful for this truly expansive panorama.
The cityscape offers up a kind of beauty so different than my bucolic Western Mass. Even on this cold January day, where the sun is trying its best to pierce the gray-blue sky and where snow graces the rooftops, I see beauty in the geometry, in the thousands of windows winking in the morning light. I am humbled by the industry of it all. Everywhere I look there is an expression of creativity: architecture, engineering, horticulture, city planning (okay maybe not so much of that in this city!) I think about all that is going on in these buildings: children playing, work getting done, conversations happening, food prep in the kitchens, somewhere an idea coming to fruition. The size and diversity and enormity of a city makes me feel small, but not in a bad way; more like I feel a small part of society that is made up of all these moving pieces.
When my Therapeutic Touch person comes to offer her graceful energy, she notices my lineup of essential oils on my nightstand—peppermint for nausea, lavender for peace, sweet orange for a little pick-me-up. She asks if I’d like to use some before my treatment begins. I choose the lavender and she asks me to place some on my wrists, rub them together in a criss-cross fashion, place my hands over my eyes and repeat after her:
I Am. Here Now.
This is truly the perfect mantra for this rather bizarre staycation where I am promised a healthy future while at the same moment must absorb the razor sharp edges of the hard parts. Come next Tuesday I will literally be infused with new stem cells to create a healthy immune system and rejuvenate my bone marrow. Sounds like a spa experience if ever there was one!
At the Four Seasons in NYC last week, where we enjoyed an entirely different type of getaway, the family gathered to hang out when Jonah and the NBA Portland Trailblazers were playing in the city. Another assistant coach, Rodney Billups in response to a question about the team’s future replied, Gotta Be Where Our Feet Are.
So these are the ultimate lessons I am charged with, I suppose across my whole life, but especially for these weeks at MGH: To recall that: I Am. Here Now. And that I will do best to: Be Where My Feet Are.
Wherever you are, whatever you’re doing, whatever you’re trying to accomplish, whatever you’re processing, whatever you’re whipping up, whatever you’re reckoning with, whatever you’re trying to create, whatever challenges surround you, whatever you are relishing and soaking up, may you have the blessing of being present and appreciative of the moment.
I believe we have an upcoming candlelight date if you are so moved: I will cut and paste this paragraph from my last post:
If you are so moved and have the bandwidth, on Tuesday, Jan 23rd, let’s say between 12-3pm east coast time, light a candle and send some positive thoughts or prayers in the direction of Fifty-Five Fruit Street and me! If you need some verbiage to work with, here you go: May Amy receive her new cells with grace and without trouble. May her recovery be complete, uncomplicated, and enduring. I will work to be wide open to your love and to integrate your healing into my new found stem cell miracle. Whatever you send my way will arch right back over toward you, probably picking up at least some of the other beautiful energies coming my way. Ever grateful for your ongoing love and support.
Love & Light from Fifty-Five Fruit Street,
#leukemia #stemcelltransplant #thriver #naturopathic
For the next few weeks, if you’d like to send a card, here’s my address::
c/o Lunder 10, Mass General Hospital, 55 Fruit Street Boston, MA. 02114-2696.