Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Cozy Yellow Blanket

Growing up I remember this yellow electric blanket - literally you had to plug it in. It was warm and so cozy. My sisters and I would all huddle together under it on Saturday mornings while we watched cartoons (well for us, it was actually world wild wrestling) and wait for the cinnamon rolls to come out of the oven, at which point we would always fight over who got the center.  I usually ended up with it, not because I was the most articulate negotiator, but because I was the baby, and my sisters loved me so much.  So today, as I am surrounded by my sisters and parents, I am simply overwhelmed with all of the thoughts and prayers from my family, friends, friends of friends, family members of friends, co-workers, friends of co-workers and the many more people who have been sending me their thoughts and prayers for the weeks ahead. 

I literally feel enveloped in a cozy yellow blanket of love, light, ease, care, and grace that I know will cocoon me and my medical team throughout my healing process. And I welcome as much love and light that people want to send in whatever way the choose to send it. I am cozying up with this energy for a swift recovery that is full of joy and sacredness of the present moment of which quietude and being surrounded by those I love will be the greatest gifts. For if there is anything that this most recent phase of life has taught me, is that there is so much magic in the simple art of receiving and being present. 

Thank you to all of you for being my greatest teachers and supports. And especially to my parents, you are my rocks and my best friends and I could not do this with out you. Thanks for being at my side at every moment.  I am so proud of how we have all grown and embraced the transformation of this time and look forward to the many unexpected gifts I am sure await us all. 

Onward and upward to the next chapter. We got this..

Thursday, March 14, 2013

Dear Boobs...

It feels like just yesterday when I was praying for your existence. As you know, I was a late bloomer, so I spent far too much of my teenage years in angst that you would never show up.  And much to my surprise as well as everyone else's, the summer following my sophomore year revealed you in all your glory.  I spent years trying to “minimize” your existence until my college years when I met a group of like-minded girls who as irony would have it were all well endowed as like me. We were named “The Rack” by the all too mature boys of our college years:-)

Through my twenties I began to connect with you in a more meaningful way. As I became more comfortable with my body, I found what I hope would be described as classy silhouettes to highlight you and enjoy the sensual aspects of your existence.  We have had many fun and important encounters over the years which makes this all the more difficult.

Luckily, I do not define my womanhood by your existence alone. I will not lie, my body is very important to me, and this will be the biggest challenge of my life thus far, to accept myself realizing the challenging journey ahead of me and the physical aftermath of which is still unknown. But what I know for sure, is that I have confidence in my body and trust this wisdom it brings. I realize that I am a combination of cells building an incredible immunity system based on millions of years of evolution, and my body knows exactly what to do to heal with ease and grace. My greatest job will simply to get out of the way and let it do it's thing.  I’m just sorry it will be at your expense.

Despite all of this being completely outside my control, I simply want to thank you. I know you have been doing everything in your power to maintain health, and that the cancer cells posed a great challenge for you. But I am grateful you have kept things as contained as possible. I have confidence in my doctors and using whatever medicine it takes to bring my body back to a healthy state and you can be officially relieved of your duty.

As I celebrate the good times we shared, I will also mourn many of the experiences we may never share, especially that of a child nursing, although many have tried:-). But while I will mourn this path not taken, I also embrace the infinite new possibilities of which I could never imagine that lie ahead of me.  While that specific moment may never be able to be re-created there are millions more that will have a great significance – this I am sure of. And so as we enter our final days together, I just want to thank you and honor you.  Please know, that while I may be a new perky “c” I recognize I will never be the same.  With love, gratitude, and admittedly great sadness, I let you go sweet boobies.  

Monday, March 4, 2013

Duality Reality

The concept of duality is nothing new. Yin and yang. Ebb and flow. Peaks and valleys. Giving and receiving. All metaphors that I thought I understood and were key to how I like to live my life, but which I am realizing on an entirely new level.

It is weird when the moments of reality seem to hit. One of my first low moments came when we were in between appointments in Houston, and decided to peruse William Sonoma looking for a new set of pots and pans. This would normally be an exciting time, but all I could focus on was the fact that the only reason I was there was because I would be “healing” for the next several months of my life, and my mother (and other caretakers:-) essentially would need new cooking ware to help take care of me. Please note, I am 38 years old, do not cook, and the only set of pots and pans I have are probably from college which alone, independent of cancer, is a dark moment.

Another frequent moment of when the darkness hits is ironically during road rage. Normally a tolerant driver, in the last few weeks I find myself literally yelling at people cutting me off or not allowing me to merge with traffic. On a few occasions I have actually yelled out – “Fuck you, I have cancer.” I did this once when my sister was in the car. And normally one to not balk at ANYTHING, I found her a bit shocked and slightly  embarrassed. Anyone who knows me, knows this is not typical behavior for me at all.  It makes no sense, but it feels almost outside of my control and admittedly cathartic which I figure I deserve.

Cancer is ironically the best teacher of being able to stay present. The rollercoaster of emotions, divulgence of information, and the massive life altering choices that need to be made are simply overwhelming when you look at them all at once, so the ability to stay focused and present is literally the name of the game. I can honestly say I have never felt more focused in my entire life. I am more productive in every moment, including the dark ones.  And what I know for sure is that every low is ultimately met with its opposite high. The highs also come in the most unexpected ways that produce a sense of love, gratitude, support and a profound faith that I can only describe as gifts from the universe.

So for now, I will continue to stay focused. Embracing the good moments for I know there will be infinite ones, and find tolerance and compassion for the dark ones. And as the universe is so eloquently challenging me, I am quickly learning that the duality of our lives lies in how we choose to embrace these moments. And the real gift lies in transcending this duality with surrender as our guide to lead us to that profound love, faith, light and healing that is ultimately defined as an all knowing presence, God, Universe, Woo – however you wish to define it.  It’s with us always – and in those cases we forget, we have the darkness to remind us of the light, the yin to inspire the yang,  the deep valleys to escalate us to the highest peaks, and the act of giving to pave the path to receiving. 

ps. My parents and sister are currently en route with the new pots and pans and I gotta say - feeling in the light!:-)