Prologue to this post: This post was originally drafted Sept 30th. Or atleast the first portion was, I was struggling on that day to finish this posting, as for whatever reason, the first part was there, but the rest of the blog just… well, I drafted 2 pages 4 times, and deleted them each time, because I felt like they were things I was selectively deciding not to share. Anyone who knows me, knows this is an atypical thing for me. I am and have always been one of the most singularly oversharing people I have ever known. It has come to my attention in my healing that sometimes that is detrimental to me on an emotional and psychological level, not to mention often obviously taxing on the people around me.
I chose in this moment, in September to honor this wish of my institution and just not share. In discussing with my psychologist after this point, I realize this was both a wise and a timely decision. Sometimes, things, even good random things are just for me. I don’t have to share them for them to be good.
With that prologue provided, this post will be a little bit in two parts, the part that I kept from 9/30 and the part that I added today, and the part that I added today 10/18. Hopefully I can successfully navigate my brain enough to make them fit together somehow. Here goes nothing!
“Slow down! Life is to be savoured!” This is a quote, from one of my mmorpg games, in an expansion that happened to be one of my favorites. It had other really good priceless gems of quotes too, like: “Family. Friends. Food. These are what matter most.” or “May you find mastery in your passions.” Somehow, these random quotes, that the non-player characters would speak in the game in this particular expansion have resonated with me thru time.
This week, was definitely a week of savouring life.
My sister had a birthday this week, and we had decided to spend the day together, just the two of us. It was an amazing day, but it was most amazing because we truly did nothing. We sat, chatted and made Chai tea. There wasn’t anything profound in any of the conversation, we talked, we listened, we shared, we sipped.
It was an extremely satisfying exchange, and felt good. It was a good day. This week, was actually full of good days. This is a blessing that it is definitely worth celebrating.
A couple of interesting things came up for me this week, in terms of learning about myself. I feel, this is my job, to learn, evolve, develop and become a better person. This week, I learned about myself.
Its been a few short weeks, and the things I have learned about myself are innumerable. I have learned that I am the reason my cancer is not gone. Pausing this blog was a first step at honoring things, good things, inside myself that have always been diminished by my almost obsessive need to share too much. Some things are empowering if you hold onto them, and let them light your path.
I have learned that medical testing, although datapoint physical necessary is quite counter to my emotional quota of ability to stay positive. This is something I’m developing tools on, because it is exceptionally counter productive for me to have to do testing for a status report on my physical condition only have the testing itself do more damage than the cancer.
Case in point. I have had a recent rescan of CT, Bone scan, MRI. 2 out of 3 aint bad. The CT shows no active or new cancer with in my body. The Bone Scan shows the active cancer in my sternum is stable, meaning it has not grown or progressed further. The MRI shows that 3 of the tumors, one which was specifically radiated in June, have grown. One of these, significantly, in my cerebellum region, almost doubling in size since the scan in July.
This news is hard to hear, hard to take, hard to do these tests, it is very hard to stay optimistic and positive when what these tests basically boil down to on a physical level for me is that my body is “too healthy” for the chemo to impact the blood brain barrier enough to impact the cancer in my brain and prevent it from feeding off the hormones it so covets. To this end, it means another round of radiation on these 3 spots, and likely 2 other ones in the process for a total of 5 spots, to help weaken the cancer, and doing this within a short period of time of the chemo to try and force a lower enough immune response to let the chemo get into my brain and do its magic on the cancer there. The particular chemo I’m taking right now, it specifically designed to target hormone positive chemos, mine is triple positive – very aggressive cancer, because the food source for this cancer that I’m not really able to regulate or control well is the hormones, and my cancer just eats those up. This chemo works to target the receptors of the cancer and block them from absorption. This makes the cancer weaker, as does the radiation, and while my body will be weaker during these treatments, it should also help identify the cancer more easily to my immune system and allow my body to target and attack the already double wammy weakened cells.
All of this is extremely unpleasant to think about, first the cancer growing so much in such a short time is very discouraging emotionally and a huge ego blow. How did this happen? What did I do that made this happen? Where did I fall off or fail? But more than that, why did I do the MRI at all lol – because I felt great before I knew the cancer was suddenly bigger… and it has to be more than the power of positive energy it has to be more like now that I have a visual my visualizations kills are superior to my positive hopeful skills. This is something I can work on.
I don’t want to do more radiation, however I recognize the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Radiation is definitely an enemy to cancer. Chemo is also an enemy to cancer. While neither of them is my friend, they will allow my immune system to exploit and manipulate the cancer into submission.
I have recognized that there are certain emotional tools that I have had my entire life, that are no longer serving me at this time. I am in the process of changing them. Some of these seem almost in opposition to how I did things previously, and they are all a little bit tricky to master, but I do feel that I must. I feel that my body has been holding onto the cancer as serving a need for me to do things better with other areas of my life.
Life is a balance, and there are precious few things in life that are definitely right or wrong. Most things are completely subjective to the person, experiences, and moment. So Right and Wrong, Good vs Bad comes down to the subjective experience of the individual in the breath when its being evaluated. Having this knowledge about myself has helped me work on repathing some of my natural filters to help me recognize some patterns in my life that have expired, and lived beyond their useful shelflife. This is a struggle, as the best growing things in life are, and while I’m learning I’m not mastering yet, baby steps. I’m metaphorically carrying buckets of water up 5000 steps to try and remember what each step feels like and how the stone and cold feel against my body. As I do these repetitions, each one makes the path seem easier, and more enjoyable, and while I still do not see the ultimate purpose, I know that this is where the goal of eliminating the cancer lives, so I’ll be slogging along until the purpose becomes clear, or until the cancer is gone, either one works. I have reached the ponit where understanding is no longer paramount. Results speak for themselves, and the mysteries of the universe… well I’ll always be curious, but if something is working, I’ll just do it. If something is broken I’ll stop doing it.
I’d like to write a moment about gratitudes. I have a blessed and charmed life. There are so so many good things and wonderful experiences that I have had, and have and look forward to having in the near, short and far future. I cherish the people in my life. They are human, so they have their own mix of flaws, some greater than mine and more obvious, some more insidious for them and harder for them to see, they also have their own gifts, and blessings, which they share often and in abundance with me, and touch me and many other stars in this universal consciousness.
I am grateful for days when I wake, even at the crazy rare hour of 2am, wide awake, and after spending 35 minutes resolving to try and go back to sleep, as even with steroids 4 hours is hardly a good nights rest, but being unable to do so, embrace the fact, and enjoy the thankfulness that knows my body is doing the best it can, and I’m grateful for its help, strength and efforts towards best possible pathways for my life.
I am grateful for all of my friends and family, who experience these journeys, my struggles, their own struggles, the struggles of the world, the environment, and they persevere, they thrive. They have good days and bad days, and we share them to make them all memories and something to be cherished.
I am so thankful for all the prayers, thoughts, and beliefs of my friends, family and even the random strangers like the super cool waitress yesterday at Kerbey who was just totally in the zone with me, and was having so amazing a day that she shared it with me and all her customers. I am just so grateful for these experiences.
I am grateful for the opportunities the universe provides me to watch other people struggle. To catch the people that are having a bad day, and be able to hug them or talk with them, without taking on their struggle, but be able to let them know they are not alone, that there is someone else having struggles, and walking along the path beside them. These used to be things I felt the need to solve, to help right, to find or lead the person to a shorter path. I have learned this is not my job at this time. My job is to observe, and be present. My job is to speak truth, speak harmony, and be the balance. If they come to the balance it is neither my blessing nor my fault Some people are not always ready for the answer when its available, and honestly you can not solve anything for anyone else, only for yourself. I suppose small children are an exception for parents, but I’m not a parent to any other soul on this path, and it is not my job to solve things for any other soul but my own. Finding peace in this resolution is challenging, I am grateful each time the universe leads me to the answer, thru another soul or another event, and allows me to see the harm I have historically created for myself, as well as for others by failing to abide by the concept that I need to save myself first, before I endeavor to save someone else.
I am grateful for love, and the ability to lovingly approach myself each day with overwhelming joy for the good positive things I have in my life. “Family. Friends. Food. These are what matter most.”