Chronicle of a Stem Cell Transplant (and on through to the other side)

Monday, March 29, 2010

Salad Days

I had my first CT scan since starting Bendamustine today, and it only required three pokes instead of the five I had last time to get the IV in.

Yes, I am being mildly sarcastic.

Anyway, as most of you know, I like to have my test results lickity-split, prior to my next appointment if possible, in order to avoid walking in unprepared. However, this time, I am not scheduled to see my oncologist until next Thursday, the 8th. I am quite sure he will let me know the results beforehand but, even so, I am not in a huge rush to get them.

I guess it is because I have been experiencing an incredible resurgence of energy since mid-way through the first cycle. My cough is still gone and the node on the base of my neck, which is one of the only ones I can ever actually feel, is currently undetectable. Over the past few years it has ranged from pea to baby-carrot sized. Did I mention that I hate baby carrots?

So, whatever the reason, I want to bask in what I believe to be true, that the Hodgkin's is taking a hike right now (I hear hell is a good place to visit).

Now, since we've just been talking vegetables, I may as well post one of my favorite spring "love" poems.

(Wow, that was certainly one of my more bizarre segues...)

I included this in a card to some incredible friends at their beautiful nuptials this weekend, and also dedicate it to the memory of my writer pal, Peter, who so loved to play with words. I think he would like this one too.

Vegetable Love
by Barbara Crooker

Feel a tomato, heft its weight in your palm,
think of buttocks, breasts, this plump pulp.
And carrots, mud clinging to the root,
gold mined from the earth's tight purse.
And asparagus, that push their heads up,
rise to meet the returning sun,
and zucchini, green torpedoes
lurking in the Sargasso depths
of their raspy stalks and scratchy leaves.
And peppers, thick walls of cool jade, a green hush.
Secret caves. Sanctuary.
And beets, the dark blood of the earth.
And all the lettuces: bibb, flame, oak leaf, butter-
crunch, black-seeded Simpson, chicory, cos.
Elizabethan ruffs, crisp verbiage.
And spinach, the dark green
of northern forests, savoyed, ruffled,
hidden folds and clefts.
And basil, sweet basil, nuzzled
by fumbling bees drunk on the sun.
And cucumbers, crisp, cool white ice
in the heart of August, month of fire.
And peas in their delicate slippers,
little green boats, a string of beads,
repeating, repeating.
And sunflowers, nodding at night,
then rising to shout hallelujah! at noon.

All over the garden, the whisper of leaves
passing secrets and gossip, making assignations.
All of the vegetables bask in the sun,
languorous as lizards.
Quick, before the frost puts out
its green light, praise these vegetables,
earth's voluptuaries,
praise what comes from the dirt.