The Solace of kNOW

It’s been nine months for me and my myeloma.  Long enough for a grandchild’s gestation and birth, for a life to pass, for new seasons to bring new hope. No, I don’t have a grandchild, but my daughter and son-in-law now want to have a baby.  I am changed by having cancer: softened and slowed.  My bedside reading has changed. “God Calling” has daily short pieces that inspire, calm and challenge; Bernie Siegel has gone back to the library; “The Power of Now” is a bit dense for me.  Joyce Carol Oates “Fair Maiden” continues over forty years of compelling observation and reflection. “Minding the Body, Mending the Mind” offers more ways to attain wholeness and peace, while my word of the day comes by e-mail with such thoughts as “Give thanks for unknown blessings already on their way”, one of my favorites.  “Retire to the center of your being which is calmness”.

“One can’t believe impossible things,” Alice said. “I daresay you haven’t had much practice,” said the Queen. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”  — From Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking Glass

The impossible thing has been my reprieve from the progression of myeloma. Well, I have come to believe. Each month that my blood work shows no myeloma activity is another success.  I thought that my overall survival would be one of declining health, increasing limitations but I was mistaken. I found that I became strong and that life holds as much wonder and hope as ever.

kNOW is the name on my watch, a gift to me at my niece’s wedding, from my sister’s dear friend.  A local jeweler after the destruction of September 11, 2001 was inspired to design and make watches with the admonition of kNOW on the face.  The watches sold out very quickly and Sue bought two, as she knew that she would need the second for someone.  Eight years later she gave it to me.  Such a gift! It gives me calmness so often when I check, as usual, to see if I am late, and with relief I see that I have plenty of time.

– Kathleen M.