Masterpiece in Violet

I know it hardly seems fair to discover new talents at the ripe old age of 32—surely, I should have found all of them by now and be tapped out.

But I’ve discovered some new ones.

1) Growing hair. I am really quite good at this. Fingers crossed that my hair growing continues unimpeded by the new chemo regime. Right now there is a bounty on top of my head.

2) Creating beautiful bruises. Not just pretty or sweet or whatnot,  but truly spectacular, gorgeous bruises. The one on my hip right now is about eight or so inches across the wound site and a good four inches at its widest. It’s this deep, stunning purple—like a rich eggplant or plumy black orchid.

Poems should be wriiten, songs sung, national holidays declared for such a bruise.

What is beauty without a little pain?

Unfortunately, I have been re-reminded that there are some talents I do not have such as tolerating drugs. The slightest hint of a narcotic and I have hallucinations, nightmares, and the bodily need to purge the drug from my system. Turns out steroids can be even worse, I’d just never realized it because I had so many other distractions during previous rounds with it.

Intra-Arterial Chemotherapy is an absolutely genius idea—the chemo is directed through an artery right into the tumor so the tumor takes the brunt of things and the rest of your body suffers less side effects. And if I’d slept through the whole thing as promised maybe it wouldn’t have been so bad. But, really, that would have been too easy. Instead I had a super hyped up reaction to the steroids (given for nausea) for the whole fourteen hours I was required to lay unmoving on my back while the chemo was delivered through a rod-type thing shoved up my hepatic artery (four hours longer than expected!).

I’ve been thinking that I could teach a class on torture to bring in some extra money. I have so many interesting instances to draw from.

The Cancer Treatment Centers of America was awesome about it though—they sent in Harold Moses of The Institute of Harmonic Science to play viola for me when they found out I loved classical muic and he played my favorite musical piece of all time (adjusted for viola, of course), Bach Cello Suites. Plus, when Barrett got talked out around three in the morning at about hour ten, the nurses took turns talking to Super Hyper Bridget on Steroids.

Next time, no steroids and they’re sending in a Reiki practitioner and an acupuncturist.

CTCA is truly fantastic and as excrutiating as this procedure was, Intra-Arterial Chemotherapy is still bloody brilliant and all of the mind-body stuff is a definite bonus. Even the five days of regular chemotherapy I received at CTCA on top of the Intra-Arterial thing seemed less harrowing than the three days of chemo I used to get here. I seem to be recovering much quicker which means being more alert and less blechy to enjoy our sunshiney house and cuddly kitties.

Thanks again and again to all of our fundraisers. We couldn’t do this without you! Don’t forget The Great Clothes Swap Sunday, October 17 at 11:30 a.m. helping me to Kick Cancer (and occasionally create beautiful bruises).

Love to you all,


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  1. Ouch! Huge bruises are no good. Lying still for 14 hours with something going into an artery while freaking out on steroids… no good. Fewer side effects, faster recovery time, and better cancer-kicking effectiveness sound awesome though, so those promises better hold true. Glad you’re back home for now.

    We’re gearing up for the Great Clothes Swap this weekend and thinking and talking of you so much that your ears must just constantly tingle. (Not a chemo side effect.)

  2. I’m so sorry to hear of your journey… I just wanted to add that Harold Moses is an amazing musician, composer and healer. I knew him and spent time with him at The Starhouse in Boulder, CO many years ago. I would be honored to share space with him again. I hope your path becomes easier and more gentle, and that all your dreams come true.

  3. I hope things go more smoothly in the future Bridget. You are a trooper.

    If I had known that Bach’s Cello Suites are your favorite I would have sent you some recordings. They are my absolute favorite pieces to play on the mandolin, especially the 2nd suite.

    Best of luck with your beautiful bruises.

  4. Bridget, you are an inspiration! To mine out all the positive little things life has placed around us in the midst of the not so positive is a skill you have cultivated into an art form and it is a pleasure to roam around the gallery.

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