Posted by: Teri Simon | 2012/06/17

Que Agua

I’ve been wanting to write this particular blog for quite a while, and am excited to be doing it today, but before I dive into the water (!), I’ll give you a little health update so you know what’s going on in the Land of Lung Junk:

The Flying Elephant continues to bounce back!  Yay and hooray, I can tell you that what I’ve been doing (resting, eating and keeping everything down, drinking lots and lots, and getting fluids once or twice a week) has really been helping.  I’ve had many more good days than bad ones lately, a good day being one where I spend most of the day on the couch, eating all day, visiting with people who are sweet to come over, talking on the phone, and getting up every now and then do actually do something, like feed the cats, or have my BFFAEAEAE Lisa come over and bake a noodle kugel with me, or something like that.  It’s amazing to me how important those little “I used to do that all the time, but oh, yeah, I was bed-bound for 2 months and couldn’t” things are, but in truth, they’re vital.  The many ways we need to define ourselves as ourselves take a bit of a beating in the Land of Lung Junk, and when you feel your very identity slipping, it’s almost more devastating than feeling lousy because of the stinkin’ cancer.  I cherish every good moment, believe me.  And the spiritual and emotional toll of the past couple of months has been felt most keenly (had a MAJOR panic attack last week! yuck!), and finding my way back to faith and good spirit and waiting expectantly on God to show up and do the God thing has been a challenge.  This morning, I watched a Joel Osteen sermon, and it really did me a world of good.  That man knows how to preach on some hope!  Every little reminder is a nod in the right direction.  And I need all the nods, because at the first of the new month (July), I will start chemo again.  We can’t let the cancer get ahead of the chemo potential, and although my body is still recovering, the timing will become an issue and I just have to be ready sooner rather than later.  I’ll be doing weekly treatments of a drug called Taxotere.  Apparently it’s more effective if you can get the treatments every three weeks instead of every week, but my body likely wouldn’t bear up well right now on that schedule, so we’ll have to go with option 2 of weekly. It’s hard to get psyched up, but I’m actually looking kind of forward to doing something a bit more aggressive to at least maybe stun this crap stupid for a moment or two!  I hear y’all cheering me on, and I thank you!

OK, update out of the way.  Lemme talk to you about water.  Throughout my cancer journey, there have been a lot of things that have come to mind that are blessings in my favor that a lot of people in this world/country/city don’t have:  imagine Lung Junk and homelessness?  Lung Junk and no family or friend support?  Lung Junk and no health insurance?  Lung Junk and no hope?  Lung Junk and a lousy doctor?  It’s all out there, my friends, tons and tons of people dealing with all kinds of crap and junk and missing essential pieces that could make their paths easier, more liveable, better.  Believe me when I say I am GREAT at counting my blessings–all of them, every day, tiny, huge, and every kind in between.

In this country, though, I think a lot of us take water especially for granted.  We drink it from safe taps, and shower in its clean goodness, fish and swim and clean our clothes and cook and live with water most of us don’t give a first, let alone a second thought to.  I thought about this week before last as I sat on my shower chair in my wonderful shower, luxuriating in the great stream of high pressure warmth, as it washed away the terror of my hospitalization, and my panic and worry about what’s coming next.  I sat there with so much gratitude that I could just SIT there and let the water run over me, and I was overwhelmed.  What a gift!  What a gift to have this life-giving, life-preserving, life-affirming entity so readily available for ME!  Without need of first or second thought, for the price of my Metro Water bill each month, it’s there for me.  In my shower, my laundry, for my yard, for my kids, for my health.

Water is important in every culture, and it is how pretty much every civilization got set up:  find the water source, build the city.  It has spiritual implications, faith is built on it.  Yes, like anything else, too much of it is a bad thing, a destructive and terrifying thing, but in balance, in normal, it is our lives, it is us.  It just seems to me it’s not something we should take for granted so much, but appreciate and nurture and honor, maybe just by giving it the occasional first thought, and not just when the water heater blows out.

I love water.  I respect it.  I need it.  I’m grateful for it.  I hope your summer includes lots of opportunities to enjoy water in many many ways.  I share with you a lyric to a song I like very much about water, from the Manhattan Transfer.  Enjoy!

Here beneath the desert moon tonight

So pale and fragile

Is that shining in the distance I see

Real or just imagined? Imagined mirages of Agua
Somewhere in these sands that spread before me

There lies a silent spring for me

Que Agua
The Earth without the Heavens’ rain Becomes powder and gravel

Life without a spirit Whole in time becomes a thread unraveled

 Or traveled in the circles of Agua
And lately there grows a thirst inside me

With only hunger to guide me

Que Agua
Agua ever deep, Agua ever wide Agua ever still and silent

Flowing into sleep finding what we hide

 Dreaming what cannot be sighted
Agua ever warm, current ever strong

Agua ever, everlasting

Gathering in storm, pouring out in song

Washing over understanding
Agua, Agua deep, Agua so wide

Carry me to your shore

Carry me Agua

Much love and hopes for a great week,

Teri, The Flying Elephant



  1. So glad you wrote about water, something so precious thAt is taken for granted, like Life itself. So happy for you to have some normalcy for a while . This is good !

  2. I admire your courage – – keep on keepin’ on!

  3. You are amazing – and SUCH an example of hope for the rest of us!! If I were in a fight – I sure would want you on my side!
    I look forward to reading your weekly post – it is always a boost for my heart! You’re in my prayers!

  4. i needed this ever so much right now…you amaze me with your ability to bless others …. God is surely guiding every move you make. Praise Him indeed!


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