image of lobby at the Perlman Ambulatory Center, university of california, san diego

Archive of a Breast Cancer Survivor

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02.07.05
Third Application

I read once that Hemingway, when he sat down for the day to work on his novels, began the first sentence from a place of truth. If not, then the whole day was simply a loss. I am no Hemingway nor do I pretend to be, but I’ve always remembered what he articulated in terms of his writing because I’ve felt life is much the same.
If we don’t start out our day as a truth, then what is the point? If the words we speak and the language we use to describe who we are and our actions are not truth, then is it trashed? This past Thursday was the third application of the “bad stuff” that sweet something. Since then life has been a simple action from one day into the next. I concentrate on holding food in my stomach and not losing it to the toilet bowl, and today is the first day I have been out of bed and walking, tender—asking for my legs to hold me strong. Last night I had funny dreams that I was writing essays of my experiences, and each and every essay seemed to come from a place of amazing truth. Of course I can’t remember the words or the language, but it seemed to be fluid and abundant. The words were pouring out, and the descriptions of what I was experiencing somehow seemed more than I could ever articulate here to you now. Maybe that is the point; that even in the fog of chemo chemicals and shifting consciousness, even then, I dream of truths. Or perhaps, I desire to dream of truth as I know best. I am not sure what it means, to be always cupping the edge of some unknown reality—waiting patiently for the end of these drugs coursing through my veins to be exhausted, and to leave me with the truth of all my being—all alone
and well.

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