I think I should take a one week break from Chemo every 6 sessions.  I was given a one week reprieve last week to celebrate Naw-Ruz, the Baha’i new year. I kept getting stronger all week as the effects of chemo and Neulasta receded. Imagine what a difference one week makes.

The Baha’i calendar is made up of 19 months on 19 days each. The geniuses amongst you will figure out that this comes to 361 days. This leaves us with 4 to 5 intercalary days which come at the end of the 18th month. These are generally spent feasting and preparing for the fast. The latter takes place in the 19th month. You cannot eat or drink from sunrise to sunset. You can eat and drink to your hearts content overnight. The trouble is that your stomach tends to shrink somewhat as the Fast progresses. You tend to not gorge as much as you might think.

Women who are pregnant or feeding a child, anyone under 15 years or over 70 years of age, anyone travelling over 2 hours, the sick and infirm, are all forbidden to fast. For the rest of us, the fast provides an occasion for spiritual rejuvenation, a time to meditate on our lives, and renew our physical strengths. We can break some habits, like that muffin you have every morning. Far from thinking of it as a punishment, or a chore, the fast is viewed as a time of contemplated renewal.

The Fast ends at the Spring Equinox or March 21. This is probably the biggest feast of the year. We eat all day and socialise like mad. The Iranian tradition for Naw-Ruz is that the younger members of the community spend the day visiting the elders of the community to pay their respects. My parents were the elders while we lived in Montreal.  This is an interesting exercise. The elders are forced to socialise by providing food and candies and tea,  No Iranian house is complete without tea. We spent the day serving people and washing dishes, getting ready for the next crowd. It was actually fun. Very festive.

We had a Naw-Ruz party at our house this year. About 25 people showed up to help bring in the new year. This is the year 147 according to the Baha’i calendar. Our Faith was founded in 1863. More info for those who are interested (and even for those who are not!) at the main Baha’i web site.

We served three types of rice, courtesy of Fetneh who cooked like a fiend while I watched. We bought pretty much everything else, the chicken, salads, vegetables. The deserts were brought by our friends. It made for a hectic Saturday and Sunday morning while we prepared the room for the large crowd. There were so many people I wanted to invite. The numbers were going a bit out of control. My apologies to all those who were not invited. It was a very sweet occasion.

Fetneh arrives on Sunday and left on Monday. Always sad to see her go. We are planning some mini trips as soon as the weather gets warmer. I think the first one may be to Montreal in June. Just 3 or 4 days. Leave here on Friday, come back on Sunday or Monday morning. We might go to New York before that. We will see. Janet plans on taking a few extended weekends to make all this possible. A visit to Montreal requires a meal at Quartier Perse, the best Iranian restaurant in the country. Our friend Mahin owns and runs the place.  Have not seen her in about a year. It is time for a visit.

Chemo resumes this week on Thursday. I am going to try and move the Chemo to Wednesdays. That way I get disconnected from my infuser bottle on Friday leaving the weekend open.  The schedule they have set up for the next 6 sessions is a bit convoluted. Should make for an interesting interaction with the lady who sets up the schedule.

Thank you all for being there for me, for listening, commenting. All very humbling.

© 2010 I Have Cancer Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha