Lisa Ray

The Yellow Diaries

Back to Business

Back to the business of blogging

It’s been a while. Of moving from highlight to highlight. And then not writing about it. Cause the heart is not simply suspended in a body. It’s also linked to time and place.  So there’s a heavy in my chest, after all these months of membership in the Cancer Club. And if there’s a way to separate it all, I haven’t figured that one out.

‘Take a break.’

That’s Doc Galal. First appointment after the stem cell transplant.

‘I mean now take a break from the disease. No thinking about cancer, no writing about cancer, no talking about it either.’

Sure thing Doc. Except…

Minutes ago, in the waiting room, a row of faces swivelled towards me as I sat down.

‘Are you Lisa?’ Pleasant expressions up and down the line.

‘Ah, yes.’ Flash of pride.

A pause. Barometer changes. Brows lower.

‘Update your blog.’


I’m pulling myself from the wreckage of my body. Operation stem cell reboot is a morphine-memory. My blood counts climb, I no longer count an IV pole as my closest companion, my father is relieved of his cot duty and I’ve banked all six seasons of Curb Your Enthusiasm.

No offense Larry, but I’d rather not see you for a while.

So why the anxiety now?

I’m touching shadow instead of  bright. Having less real problems and more imaginary ones.

The crisis is over but the healing has just begun.

And dammit if there isn’t a protocol for how to witness your own rebirth.

Amidst all the mixed signals, Jess points me in the direction of some relief.

Go see Anne Davis. She’s gifted in the ways of the body.

Anne is a cranial sacral therapist. My mind is so busy these days, I have no space to admit the ‘what’. I’ve never tried this therapy before and I’d rather know nothing about it. I want to melt into the bed and leave the sentences at the door.

But wouldn’t you know it. Anne spreads me thinner than a shrimp roll wrapper and then she speaks..

This is your time to sit back and watch. The period of action and treatment is over. It’s like you have thrown a pebble into the lake, now you only need to set an intention and watch the ripples.

Cool. A hint.

I take this as a cue to leave Canada.

I hope I’m not running away. In my experience the act of physically extracting oneself from a confusing situation means you end up carrying all your baggage with you . And I don’t mean the checked in kind.

But this idea of simply being, getting out of my own way, is appealing. Certainly less action oriented than ‘picking up the pieces’. And while nobody offers a blueprint on what to do after checking out of the Cancer club, the idea is that you do something.


Maybe I need a mission statement. I’ve taken to reading a lot of self-help, financial books in the vein of ‘Rich Dad, Poor Dad’. And it seems that to be wildly successful, you need to have some sort of plan. Which never occurred to me before.

So here goes…

I want to make visible what wasn’t before.


from a Borges poem which Sol sent:

I’ll try to make more mistakes- I won’t try to be so perfect.

Probably won’t find that in the Seven Habits of Highly Effective People.

Somewhere, somehow the pursuit of perfection has lodged itself in my very marrow. From making lists to vaulting over myself to achieve, these manifestations of a lack have seeped into the deepest, most secret part of myself.

A lack.

If I don’t try to be perfect, it will mean that I am.

All I’m trying to say is that I do not want the Cancer to come back.

Therefore something must change from before.

See- I have become more logical. Thanks Robert Kiyosaki.

I’m reminded of Michael Pinto the undertaker in Bombay.

‘Grave Problems Resurrected here’

That’s so not gonna happen.

Not on my resurrection.

That’s why I’m posting from Landour. Seven thousand five hundred feet above sea level.

Or according to the Lal Tibba Binocular Complex:

‘Highest peak of mussorie  from where you can see an exhilarating all around view of the Himalayan ranges through the most powerful binoculars.’

I’m in India. Posting from a higher place.

To see what I didn’t see before.

Most exhilarating view.

So this new chapter opens with a message from Aarti calling for Rado…

Oops. Dinnertime here at Landour.

More tomorrow…

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