Recently I have been a little low. I am ashamed of it. I think
back to the young man that I met while volunteering. He had hydrocephela
and was in the hospital because of an infected shunt. He was
fifteen years old and in a lot of pain. We spent some time talking
and I found out he liked video games. I joked that because he
was so knowledgeable with doctors and treatments, he might think
about a career in medicine. He looked at me like I was crazy
and replied "Working in a hospital is the last place I'd
want to be" His grandmother was there and spent most of
her time by his bedside making silk roses out of ribbon. In this
boy, I saw a young man that wanted to be a typical kid his age.
He was scared the day of his surgery. I had a model sports car
with a balloon attached sent to his room. It was a small gesture
but I hoped it helped. He is a very brave soul. I feel ashamed
Don't Worry About What Others Think
I have been too worried about what other people think. I cover
up my head and it's strange bald circles and people see my hair
around my face and think I have a full head of hair. I may look
the same as I was before but I'm not. I have changed and do not
want to forget that. I am forever transformed inside. I may look
like I'm cured but I'm not. My journey continues and I feel like
taking off my hat and showing everyone that I'm not the same,
not covering up myself but being open and not tucking this change
neatly away under a bandanna.
Counting My Blessings
I am so lucky; I have lived 38 years and been healthy for
all of them. I have a loving husband, son and family that give
me support and inspiration. My work is rewarding and I love doing
it. I live in a community where I feel a part of it. I have true
friends and I live in a place where beauty surrounds me.
I am lucky to have the opportunity to take this journey and
know what is real and learn about myself.
I am listening to a C.D. that a friend gave me. It's called
Migration by Peter Kater and R. Carlos Nakai. It is so moving
and when I first listened to it I cried. The music touches my
deepest feelings. The twelve pieces are titled with a short description.
They seem to mirror my journey. Wandering, Initiation, Honoring,
Stating Intention, Surrender, Embracing the Darkness, Lighting
the Flame, Transformation, Quietude, Becoming Human, Walking
the Path, Service.
I feel I have reached a new place in this journey. It is in
some ways more difficult then when I was having radiation treatments
and feeling nauseous and sick all the time. At least I had a
focus and could concentrate on something. Now I'm back at work
and my mind is constantly busy. Recently I felt overwhelmed.
I had avoided thinking about the cancer or writing in my journal.
Maybe it was my way of taking a break. I feel a need to go on
with this journey. To learn from it and not go back to my old
life. It is a spiritual one and I realize I need time for reflection
and having solitude. It is important. Like the music quietude.
The words to describe it are listening, observing, being still.
What I've learned
yourself, your body, the doctors that didn't figure it out, family
members that don't know what to say so they don't say anything,
strangers that ask dumb questions
All the emotions: anger, sadness, joy, fear, love Don't hide
it, let it flow out of you.
Be strong and courageous and a fighter. I am a survivor not a
learn all you can -- ask lots of questions. You know your body
and have ultimate power; and responsibility over it. Even when
you think there's no choice, there is, and you make it.
Trust in yourself, your instinct and find a doctor you can trust
and give yourself permission to let them help you. Trust God.
Laugh when it's easier to cry. It feels so good!
focus your energies to the fight, to the healing. Too much energy
can be wasted.
believe you can win. Believe you will be around to see your grand
kids and have gray hair. Believe in the journey and have faith
in the outcome.
When you no longer have a specific fight to focus on (such as
six weeks of radiation) you still must stay positive. Going back
to your old life is not possible. Instead, focus your energy
on living each day and enjoying the gift of life you have been