Saturday, September 4, 2010


Saying goodbye to Phoenix? Easy! The thermometer stood at 115 the day I stepped off that Southwest jet, and yesterday, September 3, driving away from Mesa, the car thermometer read 118! Yikes! I can't begin to fathom why anybody would ever make a home in this brown, sere landscape. Yet some claim to love it.

I do get tired of our short, dark, cold, and often wet Northwest winter days, but they seldom trap me indoors. Even the famous rain seldom falls all day without letup. Linda and I walk practically every day, only letting the cold or snow stop us for a few days here and there.

If rain is predicted for home, my poor nostrils will welcome air with a little moisture in it. My eyes eagerly seek visions of green trees, blue water, and the loving faces of family and friends.

Still, when I reflect on my time here, it has been mostly positive. I'm very grateful to have had this rare opportunity to learn how to deal with cancer in a less destructive, more natural way, to see the dedication of the staff at Oasis, to meet courageous people who are fighting for their lives, often after receiving cancer treatment at home, then being told there was no hope.

All our stories continue, with progress and sometimes setbacks. I've met some of the kindest, most patient and dedicated people who have come to help their loved ones, whether friend or family, in their struggles for life. All have adhered to the policy of speaking only kind, positive words in the clinic, always seeking the highest good for everyone.

We've become foxhole buddies, forging friendships quickly with people whose paths we would never have crossed anywhere else. The various therapists, the chef and her helpers, the nurses and office staff, the doctors, all have grown to feel like family over these last seven weeks. For all of this I am most grateful and filled with love and hope. Leaving the clinic? That was not as easy. Knowing I'll probably never see these people again, praying for all to grow strong and well, to gain new insight and new health from their experiences here, to go home to forge new lives, using their new knowledge: all that is filled with conflicting emotions.

As Haifa said once, "God has a plan, and it is good. It is all good."

And now, back to the seemingly impossible task of cramming everything back into the suitcases which brought me here with so little. How did I acquire so much stuff? Bundles of Chinese herbs from the acupuncturist, a few clothes from that trip to Chico's, the cute sandals I had to have, bottles and packets of supplements, a humidifier to make the night air breathable, and more. Where did it all come from? And how will we ever get it all home?