Cambridge and Calm

June 11, 2007

Sorry about the amendment, O Best Beloveds, but I flatly forgot one of the most important Best Things We Did, which was a day trip to Cambridge, where Jean and I spent probably the best summer of our lives briefly attending Pembroke College. I had not been back in nearly 25 years, and my Mom wanted to see the place that was so important to me. I was anxious–you can’t go home again and all that–but enough time had passed so that the burden of significance was off. I was more a visitor to these here parts, and it was familiar enough to be comfortable and distant enough to avoid inevitably dashed expectations. Exams were on, so my college was closed, but as you may have guessed, some fluttering of eyelashes was all it took to get permission for a short stroll around, including a glimpse of my old room (the current occupant insisted I take photos of it, sweet thing). More importantly, my Mom loved it. We also got in a short visit to the Trinity College library to do some Whitehead research, and heard a little of the King’s College Chapel choir, an exaltation of sound in a building that is an exaltation in stone. The above is a photo Mom took of me on the Cambridge streets; I have a new printer/scanner and have not figured out cropping and placing in emails and so forth, so apologies for the white space.

Meanwhile, an admission; I did not start my chemo pills on Saturday, as I had so nobly stated. I opted to have one more weekend not being on cancer treatment, which was silly and sentimental but there it is. Besides, Dr. W. suggested I start on a Monday, as it makes record keeping (two weeks on, one week off) a little easier. As it happens, it didn’t matter at all, because the bone-building shot’s promised “flu like symptoms” showed up, and how. Body aches, actual teeth chattering chills, the works, which resulted in spending Saturday zoning on drugs and missing out on a much anticipated LA visit by Tulane med school Cousin Craig, who is now Tulane med school graduate Cousin Craig, MD. So much for having one nice, un-cancer-treatment final weekend–instead, I felt cruddy the whole time. Sheesh. The shot shouldn’t have that effect again, or if it does, each time it should be milder.

Finally, the excellent and thoughtful Julia offered to go to the V&A and find my poster for me when she’s in England over the summer, but in the mean time, the excellent and thoughtful Arlene found it first and apparently it’s on its way over here as I type. (My gosh, I have swell friends.) As I suspected, the actual phrase isn’t nearly as apt as I recalled, but I love it anyway and I am going to go chant it now as I down my first chemo dose. Say it with me, won’t you?

Keep calm and carry on,