Wednesday, September 22, 2004

Surgery

Thank you so much everyone for giving me loving support following my surgery and throughout my recovery, emotionally as well as physically. I feel quite well on both levels now. I still have moments of deep sadness/grief and anger but for the most part I am comfortable with my new body. For the past three weeks I have watched equanimity grow within me. It was gained daily with mediation and accepting was “is”. My body is what it is, I can choose to accept and love it or I can choose to suffer. I am lazy. I happily choose to accept reality.

The cancer has again given me the gift of experiencing my practice “work”. It “works” to sit mindfully watching painful emotions arise, peak and fall away with loving but detached observation. This discipline does create equanimity.

I am moving forward with my treatment plan. Radiation treatment begins on Monday and will continue Monday through Friday for six weeks.

My fear of radiation required a different practice, one from my Wiccan tradition, of naming something to “own” it’s power. Gently probing the fear I discovered images of radiation sickness from the grainy black and white news-reel documentaries of my elementary days as a “duck and cover” kid in the 1950’s. I am struck by the power of this propaganda even forty years later! I am thankful for the opportunity to cleanse myself of these deep-seated nuclear holocaust fears.

The radiation that is being used is photons (x-rays) and electrons. I am envisioning these particles as a healing wand of light that touch each cancer cell releasing it to return to creator while my healthy cells bathe in the radiance unaffected.

Friday, September 17, 2004

Surgery Date

The next adventure on my healing journey is scheduled for September 24th, my surgery at Providence Hospital. The surgeon who I saw at the beginning of this journey has left private practice. I now have a new surgeon, Dr Kelvin Yu. Dr Yu is quite experienced with IBC and has given me a new prospective on surgery. He feels that IBC can only be cured with chemo and the surgery is to see if more chemo is required as well as being preventative. This is very different than my previous understanding.

The combined psychic stresses of the difficult period following chemo and the impending surgery created the perfect environment for an existential crisis. All my life I have been comforted by the very real presence of the Divine but in the days after chemo I had doubt. Laying in bed a movie which could be titled “You live you die – Where’s the meaning?” played in my head. The doubt was a gift which when unwrapped exposed many cherished but false assumptions neatly nestled in the arms of my ego. Taking this gift of ignorance and offering it up to the Divine has been very fruitful. My teachers have helped me to see that the continued practice of surrender and service to my healing will guide me through this dark tunnel.

I read an article about a women who was dedicating her cancer treatment to people and groups who are making a difference in the world (see website http://www.witnessingproject.org/treatded.html) which inspired me to think about to whom or what would I “dedicate” my surgery. This has been an interesting exercise that will end in a dedication before the surgery but probably not to a person or group but rather to either the Divine or an aspect of my healing. I will continue the practice of dedicating when I do the radiation. Any suggests of person or groups?