Thursday, August 26, 2004

End of Chemo!

Tonight my minds spins from the steroid induced high of my last chemo session. Lying in bed with “to do” lists spinning out of control; I realized that sharing with you, my dear healing community, might be a better use of this energy. Being mindfully in the moment when your mind is flying and your body warm with Pele’s chemo fires is a true test of the practice. Coming back again and again to noting “pleasantly high” and “monkey mind” is challenging. Remembering that in two short days my energy will crash with the end of the drugs has a sobering effect, but makes clear the truth that the ten thousand joys and ten thousand sorrows are always changing into each other. So not taking joy or sorrow so seriously becomes more possible.

I am at the end of the second trimester in the process of “birthing” a new cancer free Dawn. This is a “through the looking class” pregnancy where everything is reversed. I am almost done with the deconstruction part. The mastectomy, the most outward change lies ahead. I am increasing aware of how much grief I have about losing my breast. Add to this the fact that there is no gross evidence of disease anymore it is hard to do the “medically correct” thing of removing the possible stray cancer cells which can not be felt or shown on the PET scan with such a drastic action as cutting off a big chunk of me! Especially a part I have become very fond of in the last thirty-five years or so.

Tonight I am excited about visioning a new healthy me. I have been chanting the mantra “I embrace health” during my morning mediation sessions (in my new healing space created by Kirby and many members of this community – thank you!) I can see the healthy trimmer Amazon I will become by the end of the year. This will be a different sort of Amazon than I was in my late twenties and thirties. This is a women who strives to loves all beings. Her practice it is to encourage compassion, love and generosity toward all beings including those who have through greed, hatred or ignorance created suffering for themselves and others. A being that laughs at her self often when she does not meet her own expectations and enjoys life with all its warts.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Happy Lammas – Celebration of Harvest

Today is the first of the three harvest festivals. I am celebrating the fruits of many years of practice and all of your loving prayers. In the last month my thinking has shifted in three very significant ways: I know I am healing instead of praying for healing, I have all my life had the help I needed even in the midst of the most terrifying times, and most importantly I do not need to be ill to be loved.

The course in chemo will be done at the end of the month after two more rounds. The Taxotere has been easier with fewer side effects than the previous drugs thanks to the help of my acupuncturist. Than there will be more testing to confirm that the cancer is considerably smaller and may be gone entirely at the conclusion of the chemo. September will see the surgery, a mastectomy with some lymph nodes removed, followed by a six weeks course of radiation. I will still need your continued prayers and support through out the coming months.

At the mid-way point in this healing journey it is comforting to me to realize how much of my days I recognize the state of grace in which we all live our lives. I am still plagued with doubt but have constant reminders to trust the process and the love around me.