Yesterday was a full day – too full to be honest. That is mostly my own doing.
The day started with seeing my General Practitioner, Dr. David Kim. Last time I had seen him was in December 2014 and a LOT has happened since then from the health perspective. While I didn’t spend much time with him, getting to him, waiting for him, seeing him… took well over an hour – and I wound up being late for my lunch plans with Hoda Hallab and Saad Houry. I met them back in the 80s when they were based in Abidjan, Côte d’Ivoire in West Africa in the UNICEF Regional Office. I co-facilitated workshops with Saad who was then the Regional Planning Officer for West and Central Africa and the last one I recall was in Ouagadougou in Burkina Faso. Hoda, Saad’s wife and I have co-facilitated several retreats for UNICEF, 1 in Nepal and 3 in Rwanda. And we have cooperated on a few initiatives, including UN Cares where Hoda coordinated the New York workshops and on updating materials for UNICEF’s programme planning workshops. When she was NY-based, we often had lunch at a local Lebanese restaurant and when I visited Lebanon for a UNICEF workshop, we met socially and even visited her hometown in the north, Tripoli. She has always been there for me, recommending me for various jobs. I love Hoda! Saad went on to become the Deputy Director for Programmes for UNICEF before retiring 2 years after me. He is an icon in UNICEF!
I then ran for my acupuncture appointment with Viktor, this time at Exhale Spa on Central Park South. This was our third appointment and when he placed the needles, I could feel the energy flowing in a very powerful way. According to Viktor, this is my body reacting to multiple treatments in a good way.
And from there, I went to my final doctor’s appointment of the day with Dr. Jamie Koufman who focuses on the aero digestive tract. I have been seeing her for a year and a half now and while she had helped me to clear up a persistent dry cough, it has returned and I wanted to see what could be done. I am back on an acid-free diet for 2 weeks and she will consult my NYU team about some low doses of medication for that. Less than a day later, I am already coughing only minimally.
By the time I got home, it was after 4 PM and I was ready for a meditative nap!
In the meantime, my dear friend, Susan Letteney created a Doodle poll for people to volunteer to accompany me to radiation therapy. The times noted are the times of the actual appointment at NYU. So please plan to come to my apartment say 45 minutes ahead of time. The radiation session should be about 15 minutes plus preparation, so we should be able to leave the hospital around an hour after the scheduled time. All in all, please count on 2 hours – say 45 minutes before and then 1½ hours after the time listed. Also, if you are not sure that I have your current email, either send me an email with your current/ preferred email or text me with the email. That way, I can contact you at least the day before and maybe even a few days before.
Click here to sign up. Feel free to sign for multiple times, but even one time will be appreciated.
(By the way, I just got a call from Dr. Silverman’s office that they may need to adjust a few of the times, but I still want to push ahead with getting the sign-up times out there. I will contact you if the time you sign up for changes.)
Yesterday evening, I spent almost 2 hours on the phone going over each page of the draft blog and I hope the adjustments will be made today and tomorrow ready for a Thursday launch. I will send out a launch notice and you will stop getting these (annoying) almost daily updates, but will still be able to stay on top of what is happening if you want to.
I finished reading the book that Noah sent me: You Are Here: Discovering the Magic of the Present Moment by Thich Nhat Hanh. Hahn takes Buddhist teachings and makes them relatable to people who live in this chaotic, 21st century world who are looking for ways to be present in the moment. He uses a metaphor that struck me: flowers use compost to grow healthy and strong. So why not use our own compost (our baggage, our junk, our past experiences, our pain and regrets) to build something really beautiful in our own lives? All of those experiences are what makes us unique and builds our compassion, allowing us to move forward and learn. Experiencing pain and suffering is fertilizer for growth. Hahn talks about using our pain to show compassion to others, to be there for people we love. To be able to say “I am here for you.”
Finally, Antonio is in Spain for work. He left Friday and will return Thursday evening. We (obviously) talk daily and I miss him a lot, but it is also good to have a few days of a break from him being around all of the time. Come home safely, mi amor!
All for now!