Written on the Body, #41, August 22, 2021: Fortunately and Unfortunately…

“Fortunately and Unfortunately” is the name of story-game I used to play with my wonderful Among Friends writing group, at the end of each session. It’s a round-robin story told by people around the circle, taking turns beginning their short segment with “fortunately” or “unfortunately,” and shows both how life can change from moment to moment, and also how we rarely know for sure what is fortunate or unfortunate. The game comes from an old story in which a man buys a horse, then it runs away, then his son finds it, but breaks his leg riding it home, but then the leg injury exempts him from the army — and so it goes.

This week I have some definitely FORTUNATE news: the CT scan I had on Friday August 13 shows that the new drug is starting to work to reduce the cancer cells. This is wonderful, and hopeful. I continue to be in awe of the doctors and all the staff’s knowledge, skill, and caring.

There is also a piece of unfortunate news — but, in balance, not so bad. We had to cancel our trip to Vancouver Island to see my son Joe and his family, because my chemotherapy was rescheduled from last week to this coming week (Aug. 26), the week we planned to be away, when I would have had a week’s break from treatment.. I think because continity of treatment is important, especially as the drug is working well, the doctors don’t want more than a one-week break in the chemotherapy. Roger, Joe, and I all agree that treatment is the first priority, and — fortunately — we can plan the trip for another time. And with fires and smoky air a possibility in B.C., even on the Island, an autumn trip might work out better. Disappointing, as I was looking forward to seeing Joe, Christina, and their family and doing some fun activities, seeing nature — but this is another example of how very little is under our control — except our attitudes. As Roger often says, “Chaos, not conspiracy” — life is just chaotic, in large and small ways.

We also had a great visit at home this past week with Roger’s son Simon (whom I have known since he was nine, and with whom I feel close.) He is now living in Halifax, in the Canadian Navy — working as a marine technician, fixing ship’s engines — and came back on leave.

I’ll leave it here for now, as I have an interesting blog in mind for #42. Be well, and enjoy the end of summer. September in 10 days!!

Mexican sunflower with bee, in our co-op courtyard. We have a humming-bird, too, though I haven’t seen it yet.

About Ellen

I am a member of The Writers Union of Canada, the League of Canadian Poets, and CANSCAIP. I have received grants from the Ontario Arts Council for both writing and teaching. I currently work with Learning Through the Arts and Living through the Arts, programmes run by the Royal Conservatory of Music that enable artists to work in schools and community organizations. I have also taught in many other school and community programs, and have been a judge for various writing contests for both young people and adults.
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