Yesterday I learned we have a patient whose breast cancer has metastasized, and she's young, with a family, and she's foregoing traditional chemo warfare for a more gentle treatment. While she's using oils, positive affirmations and prayers, healthy eating, to purge her body of this cancer, it is growing, has grown, and will continue to grow.
I was a vegetarian, new vegan, eating healthy, living healthy, at my optimum weight, practicing positive affirmations, etc., when I found my tumor. And as much as I wanted to do the same as my patient, I knew, knew, knew this was not the best route for me. And a dear friend said to me - "This is war. You need to use chemical warfare to fight the invaders. Then support your body with green drinks." I don't like war analogies, never have, but his statement made immense sense to me, and I began chemotherapy a short time later.
And I'm glad I did. I lost a helluva lot during that treatment journey, including the doubt that I think I would have had, if I'd chosen an alternative treatment plan. That was my peace of mind.
So back to yesterday - I'm sharing with the team what my oncologist told me, my friend had told me, and how I chose my treatment plan. They're nodding their heads. And then one of the team members mentioned my doctor was her doctor; and my colleague told us what this oncology doctor had told my patient, and it was the same explanation he had given me, nearly 4 years ago.
The dam broke, and I had to leave the room, in tears, to just be able to breath. Talk about triggers. I thought I was past this - I use my experiences daily to help my clients; I'm not afraid to talk about my cancer and all of the issues that arose because of my treatment. I'm okay with this; I think I'm healing by being able to tell my story.
I walked out, went into the break room to cry, my colleague found me there, apologized - which wasn't necessary, and talked with me. I'm trying to figure out why I'm crying, he's trying to do the same, and I cannot sort out my emotions:
School beginning, summer ending, Dad gone, Storytelling Festival on its way, 4 year anniversary, physical struggles, still mourning the loss of me, and gratitude - opportunity to help others, a life changed, a life of possibilities, and a future, with no wondering if "I have done the right thing." All of this spilling over into a tiny trigger!
I look for affirmations daily to give me peace. Here's what I found, just shortly after I gathered my me and took a deep breath before returning to work -
And then later, after 3 English classes, my sister sent all of us siblings this article (please read). And while I think she meant it for us to read in context to recently losing Dad, I couldn't help but think of yesterday's scenario and saying good-bye to that older/younger, wiser/innocent, unsure/cocky me.
Hell - some days are filled with peace, others with angst, some with pure joy, others with wondering and bewilderment. And I am so grateful that I'm here to participate in this dance.
I'm not afraid of change, of different, of plunging, yet for all of us, grief is that sharp note that pops up in any piece of music - that's meant to be heard and acknowledged. Mourning isn't easy, isn't clean, doesn't fit into a time-frame or process; mourning is about allowing ourselves to identify triggers - as they happen, and to allow this trigger or reminder to take us on the journey into the loss, recognize and affirm the loss, and then move forward, even if it's dancing a dance you don't know. Embracing the change and the tears.
Happy day -