Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Pay Attention!

Dear Paige,

You have written several lovely letters to me which I appreciate. However, as your body, I have a few things to say.

First of all, why the fuck did you wait so long. I know you felt that lump for months before you sought a doctor. And I am aware of all the excuses, "It's nothing, I'm traveling, so and so needs me, I'm just stressed, I'm on deadline, etc."  All bullshit. You of all people who claim to have such a mind body connection should know better.  I love you, but come on..

Secondly, I will admit you have demonstrated an uncanny ability to be present with each step in this process. However, I just want to acknowledge that it has been really fucking hard.  We have been taken to physical depths that no person should have to encounter.  I too am grateful that our spirit is as strong as it is to not have gotten lost in those moments, and you have been so brave, but can we please just recognize that we at least are experiencing those moments.

Thirdly, can you please cut us a fucking break.  You keep trying to push the boundaries of what you think we "SHOULD" be doing, but can we please eliminate that word from our vocabulary and embrace that we are in a time warp where our only priority is to focus on feeling good, being surrounded by people we love and who love us, and putting energy to situations that light us up - PERIOD.  Everything else will be there at the end of this or not, but its out of your control, so please,  lighten up on yourself for the love of G-d.

Finally, in the future please just promise to listen to me and pay attention - you are worth it. There is so much we have learned together over these last six months and I too am grateful.  I have learned that we really are a team along with your spirit, and together we will always be your greatest teacher to provide exactly what you need.

I love and respect you in such profound ways. And while I know my language is harsh and my tone is angry, I am so proud of you. You are taking each moment as a great lesson to be learned and soaking up all you can, and this is a gift.  Keep your eye on the prize sweet girl and I'm with you every step of the way.

By the way, can you please pass this "PAY ATTENTION" message along to all of your family and friends. You would be doing a huge favor for bodies everywhere.

Love you so much ~ Your body

ps. Apologies for repetitive use of the word FUCK - but don't you just feel better when you say it:-)

Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Birthday Bravado

When I was younger, we would spend many summers in Hawaii where my aunt, uncle and cousins lived. I can recall several birthdays there as my sisters and I all have summer birthdays.  We always had these extravagant cakes that had a Hawaiian them.  They are some of my brightest and joyous childhood memories.  

Having just celebrated my 39th birthday, I have been appropriately distracted. And what a relief it is.  My birthday fell perfectly two days before I began my 2nd regime of weekly Taxol chemo treatments. So I was on an upswing in terms of energy and recovery.  I dare to say that even a few days went by where I did not even think about chemo.

I admittedly was dreading this birthday. I didn't want to be THAT girl - chemo girl on her birthday.  But, I did some serious soul searching and realized that this was perhaps the most important birthday of my life. I mean I was alive - literally. While I have maintained a positive attitude throughout this process, the fact remains that I have had to face mortality on an entirely new level. It's an existential scenario that is difficult to describe. And as cliche as it sounds, cancer brings an important perspective and appreciation regarding the preciousness of life. I realized that this was a day to celebrate not just this past year, but to look to the future and enjoying life on an entirely different level. And I can officially say it was the BEST. BIRTHDAY. EVER.  

It was a combination of so many things. Being pampered with a spa day, having my sister visiting from New York, and most importantly hearing from so many friends and family who I love so much and have been my energetic safety net.  But, it was also something else.  I realized that all of the mental, physical, and spiritual challenges of the last 6 months were preparing for the most important birthday gift of all - the gift of receiving.  I realize that all of it has been a training ground that took being stripped down of so much to ultimately burst my heart wide open. As a result,  I am able to receive love, support, and guidance in a way I have never felt capable of.  

It feels giddy and joyous and for this I am grateful. While I did not get the dramatic Hawaiian cake this year, I received the most delicious cupcake accompanied by a $600 bottle of Cristal sent over to my friends and I from a complete random stranger who somehow recognized it was my birthday.  The kindness and generosity from this stranger was such a beautiful gift both in a tangible and DELICIOUS form, as well as a gracious gift from the universe which I interpreted as an "Atta Girl" and to keep me motivated for the remainder of my journey. 

So onward and upward we go, with the gift of gratitude as my guide.