Anyone that knows me, or meets me for that matter, within a very short period of time, will likely learn that I think alot. This coupled with talking alot generally equal an extremely social person. This is not to say that I’m especially an extrovert, more what I’ve come to learn is ambivert, but that’s a subject for a different posting. This posting is about a thing I’ve been doing, going through and generally learning about and from.
Last year I was diagnosed with and subsequently treated for breast cancer. I’ve been struggling to come to peace with the fact that from a western medicine perspective, once you have cancer its like a permanent stigma that stays with you forever. Being unable to process and deal with this diagnosis, and reality, I decided to give my tumor a nickname and a code name as a coping mechanism. For me, life is about making things fun – and I sure as heck wasn’t going to have to deal with this without making it fun. So my Tumor was named: Purple Opportunistic Pirate Squirrel, or “POPS” for short.
It was and has been an intense year. I learned a great deal about myself, the limits I am actually capable of, of life and death, and of misery. Of human condition, and what matters. While its not a condition I would chose to experience again, it has been an enlightening journey, and I feel like I am a better stronger person now coming through the other side. I’m not finished yet, still have a few more treatments to go through, and then the building back the empire of me in the post-pops reality. That being said, I feel its is a good time to give pause and express a few things.
Gratitude. The many resources that creeped through my life over the past year, both emotionally, physically, spiritually, psychologically. There were many many down times, but there were also many unexpected up times. Amazing moments of Joy within the ample periods of growth and struggle.
Awe. This experience has been awe inspiring in many ways. Some of them in a light of disillusionment, disheartening, but also many of them in the sheer compassion of so many individuals. Inspirational in the compassion and drive and dedication to helping that so many people have afforded me throughout this experience.