Friday, February 17, 2012
Wondering what to say here.
Seems as if things are very different then when I started this blog. My world was turned upside down then. Getting the diagnosis of cancer at 33 is nothing anyone wants to hear. Especially when I was getting married and heading down that path of ....well...what is that path anyway? It's the fool for thinking that we have this all figured out. haha. When I have these thoughts I'll just return to my pretty pretty princess bed in the Mexican forest and remember....(right girls??)
A distinct memory that sticks in my mind is when I met my friend Laura in 2009. I was still a newbie at all of this. She was 3 years in the battle, and had a confidence about her even though her prognosis was not good (and has since passed on last summer). The fear didn't seem to overcome. She was cheerful and optimistic. And I was in awe. I had a fear, and an emotion that gripped--like, why me?, this is horrible and I can't believe this is happening? In looking back, I wonder what I was so afraid of. Hodgkins is a disease that is curable in 80% of people with first-line therapy, and 90% of people who add second-line therapy (yes, yes, Pam, I hear you saying...don't let me ever hear you say those stats again...). Those days I was wrought with the heaviness of it and it was nothing compared to these days--or I guess it was just different. The fear of dying never really entered my psyche. Now it does. But I go back and read my journal entries from those first months...and the pain was real too. It was uncomfortable. It was out of the norm. I go back to something a Qigong teacher mentioned to me this summer...the worst thing that has ever happened to you is the worst thing that has ever happened to you. Get it? I did.
I understand now how Laura acted as she did. Life. Life does that to you. Life gives that to you. Tolerance for pain, for disappointment, for fear...the tolerance grows strong. And the reason is because it is fed by the strength that you get from the experience. The good things. The meaningful things. The love. The fierce understanding that you can't take things for granted. The fact that you can get through. The realization that where you are now is no where you would ever be without what you've just been through--and being happy about that.
So where are we now?
Well, last time I wrote we had just found out that my PET scan showed progression of FGD avid disease. The morning after hearing this news I couldn't get out of bed. I didn't care about my responsibilities, I didn't want the curtains opened, I didn't respond to Michael's sweet words of encouragement. I just wanted to be left alone and put my head under the covers again. Michael finally left me and went to work. And in that silence and stillness, it happened...I had an awakening with the realization that I am strong and this is absurd...and then there was a true physical pain and then relief resulting from a break in my being. And by break, I mean in a good way, like I broke the chains of my fear. I looked around my room and felt suffocated and said...we are going to sell this house and move to the mountains! And I thought about my job and said I am quitting and making room for my healing and for my new life in the mountains! And I thought about what truly mattered to me and asked myself why am I waiting for a cancer-free diagnosis to realize it? It was the most freeing moment of my life, and I'll never forget it.
I can honestly say, with out pretense, or the desire to make you feel more comfortable about my situation...I AM doing well. Better than ever really. My path right now is going to be tough, but I am attacking it from a different angle. And I have prolonged moments lately of knowing I am going to beat this and live for many many years. I have never really ever truly believed it--because the fear gripped me--like a holding my breath kind of fear. I am missing out on the normal experiences of my life that I have grown accustomed to, but I am filling that up with new experiences that feel really good.
I want you to read Patty's posts about my experiences and about my next months of treatment. She has been intimately involved in this process--has been all along, and can seem to speak the heart speak so much better than I can...
Since our news in January, Michael and I have completed a 21-day Standard Process Purification program, I've been to Florida to swim with the manatees and be with those I love dearly, and then to Mexico for a dance teacher training workshop where I met the most amazing people, danced my heart and soul out, and released and received such amazing energy in the beautiful bosom of the Mexican rainforest. I came home to our second retreat at Landsong with my women's circle. I found my power animal on the Shamanic Journey...the snake, and I love her, and she's already given me so many lessons. Which leads me to now, on my journey still, with my sweet husband (who has bought himself a new motorcycle---and totally deserves it, and says he bought it for us so we can ride together :)) and lovable doggies, and juicing!!! What a journey. I know now it always won't be easy, but it will be meaningful.
I would like to share this song with you. It has filled my heart up full (thanks Dan), and allowed me to share with others in the dance. I ask you to close your eyes and just listen. Move if you want to, even get up off the chair and dance your heart speak. I promise, it will make you feel better.