This Too Shall Pass

This last chemo session, only the second one of 12 has been wave after wave of relentless nausea during the last week.  It has ranged from what felt like mild motion sickness, just wafting around in the background, to  almost losing the last thing I had eaten.   It has been most unpleasant!  The anti-nausea tablets have been difficult to keep down and I will speak to the Chemo Nurse on Thursday to ask if they can prescribe me another brand.

My sense of smell has heightened to a level beyond my imagination.   I had two beautiful bouquets of flowers for my birthday and had to remove them from the lounge as the water in the vases, despite replacing it daily, hit me as I entered the room and made me gag.   The flowers didn’t smell too wonderful either – how sad.

Conversely my taste buds have plummeted in the other direction and everything has a peculiar taste and texture of cardboard.  Food has to be quite highly spiced for it to make any mark.   Even drinking caused a problem.   I am suppose to have 8 glasses of fluid a day, which proved tough when there is nothing to drink guaranteed not to make me feel nauseous.   Plain water sat heavy and even the Canada Dry Ginger Ale which did go down a treat was not working.  The green tea I had taken a liking to now tastes foul.   I am going to buy a bottle of Elderflower cordial with the hope that will hit the spot.   I am writing this on Day 12 and into my 5 free chemo days so feeling a lot better.

This brings me to This too shall pass a phrase to become my mantra.

My eldest daughter, Lizie, gave me a beautiful bracelet for my birthday with two engravings on the silver heart:

“This Too Shall Pass”  and “You are Loved” on the other side.

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This phrase is part of a proverb with the meaning that everything, good or bad, is temporary.    I will hold on the fact that everything bad is temporary.

The story behind the phrase goes that one day King Solomon said to his most trusted minister, “There is a ring that I want you to bring to me”.

“If it exists anywhere on earth, your majesty,” replied his minister, “I will find it and bring it to you,

“It has magic powers,” said the king. “If a happy man looks at it, he becomes sad, and if a sad man looks at it, he becomes happy.”

After many months Solomon said “Well, my friend have you found what I sent you after?”   The minister held up a small gold ring and declared, “Here it is, your majesty!”  As soon as Solomon read the inscription, he realized that all his wisdom and fabulous wealth and tremendous power were but fleeting things, for one day he would be nothing but dust.

This is a very famous phrase with a lot of history.   I  found a number of poems entitled “This Too Shall Pass” one of which was written by the American poet Helen Steiner Rice (May 19, 1900 – April 23, 1981) which I found hit at particular note.   I hope, if you have not seen this before, you will find this of comfort too when needed.

If I can endure for this minute
Whatever is happening to me,
No matter how heavy my heart is
Or how dark the moment may be-

If I can remain calm and quiet
With all the world crashing about me,
Secure in the knowledge God loves me
When everyone else seems to doubt me-

If I can but keep on believing
What I know in my heart to be true,
That darkness will fade with the morning
And that this will pass away, too-

Then nothing in life can defeat me
For as long as this knowledge remains
I can suffer whatever is happening
For I know God will break all of the chains

That are binding me tight in the darkness
And trying to fill me with fear-
For there is no night without dawning
And I know that my morning is near.

…Helen Steiner Rice

9 thoughts on “This Too Shall Pass

  1. I really enjoy reading your gardening blog and I’m sorry you are going through such a tough time. I also frequently suffer from nausea and have found that ginger and lemongrass cordial (in the green tapered bottles) works well for me but it is very strong and I only use a tiny amount in a glass of water.


  2. Sending lots of positive thoughts your way and holding on to the big positive thought that yes, bad things will pass xx


  3. That taste and smell thing is a real trial – same thing happened to my Mum I remember – hope you find something that you can enjoy – elderflower cordial sounds worth a go – is fresh ginger tea too strong at the moment I wonder – or fresh mint tea? Love the poem and very much agree with the idea that ‘this too shall pass’ – it always does – even though sometimes it’s really tough to hang on till it does. So glad you have your lovely daughters and the family to care for you and about you so thoughtfully – and the support of all your friends, in their varying and individual ways. Wish we could each take a turn at the chemo for you 😦 Loads of love xxxx ❤ xxx


  4. I too am saving the poem; it seems to say so much more than the words on the page. Stay strong and keep writing – and gardening!


  5. It strange how feeling sick affects your senses. I remember having morning sickness that seemed to strike whenever and I couldnt even mash potatoes for my older son without wanting to be ill. I found ginger biscuits helpful. Also have you tried White Tea it is milder than Green Tea so might be Ok. Clipper do it.

    Sorry you are having a rubbish time but I love the sentiment behind your daughter’s present.


    1. Hi Helen, yes it is exactly like a day long morning sickness. I had forgotten about white tea, thanks, I will get some. The green tea tastes so bitter.


  6. It’s a good mantra to have and I love the poem, I have saved it. Hope the love which surrounds you will help to keep you strong xx


  7. May you feel your usual self again very soon. All the best to you.
    Your daughter is very sweet and thoughtful for giving you such beautiful bracelet. Get well soon!


    1. Thank you. I have two wonderful, caring and supportive daughters who are a tower of strength. My bracelet is very special.


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