This is the message that kept coming to me while I was away between surgeries. Many times, when I hear a message, it’s a singular whisper into my consciousness. This one though wouldn’t let me be. I heard it but didn’t know how to move through it or what it fully meant.
The mastectomy was on the calendar. The mammaprint report categorizes my cancer with a high risk of recurrence. The recommended path remained as mastectomy, radiation, then chemotherapy. The report gives x % of survival for n years. Lots of boxes, lots of labels. Boxes, labels and standardization make it easy for systems but it doesn’t mean it’s always the right answer.
Boxes, labels and percentages are things I move further away from with age. Because I know that when I look underneath what is, that’s where I find the gold.
Through my research, I found that while standard present-day treatments of radiation and chemo kill or slow the growth of cancer cells, they also affect the nearby healthy cells. There are some pretty extensive side effects that include brain and sight function, amongst others. Although chemo has come a long way, it’s discovery for cancer treatment was based on seeing the effects of mustard gas used in WWI and WWII. None of this gives me the warm and fuzzies.
It brings to mind one of my favorite songs, Sand, by Phish.
If you can heal the symptoms
But not affect the cause
It’s quite a bit like trying to heal
The gunshot wound with gauze
Following the standard course isn’t getting to why or what.
I’ve known all along, deep within, that chemo isn’t right for me. We know when we know and there’s no questioning it. But what wasn’t necessary? I hadn’t made the connection, yet.
After I returned home, I started to count the days until surgery. Moments of abject fear arose, the thought of having large portions of my tissue cut out of me. I needed to move through my fears of reaching out and asking for help. It’s always been so much easier to do things on my own. Through these life challenges, Spirit has a way to shine a light on the very things that are here to heal, the things lying underneath.
Our biggest fears are the key to our freedom.
When I’ve faced mine, the majority of the time the imagined fear was bigger than how it actually turned out. Or the fear was based on old stories. Even when those old stories were true, they’re just that. Old.
Friends were lined up to help on certain days and times. I was finally resigned to what would be, the abject fear gone, and I started to visualize how I’d move about my days post-surgery. I got a pre-surgery haircut and cried on my drive home, still not knowing who would be staying with me at my place the night I got home from the hospital.
I’d been exploring off-shore immunotherapy. But I didn’t like that I had to reach out to the organization to confirm they’d received my tissue samples. Plus, working with them would only happen after the mastectomy. Communication wasn’t what I’d like. I’m done chasing.
The night of my haircut, just before sleep, I pulled the Serendipity card. As I was nodding off, I asked Spirit for guidance. To show me a sign, because I’d completely and totally surrendered.
The next morning, I awoke to a text from a friend. Someone she knows has the same type of cancer and would I like to connect? Yes. To me, I had nothing to lose.
The gift I was given via our exchange was an alternative to all that was already known. A clinic that’s been working with alternative cancer treatments for over 40 years.
Within a few hours after some research and a deep trust and knowing, I cancelled Monday’s surgery. It’s one of the most empowering and uplifting decisions I’ve made so far.
Rather than being resigned to what felt like an obligation with few choices, I’m following the illuminated breadcrumbs. That once I was at peace with what was to come, no longer fighting or reacting in fear or trying to control the process, a door opened.
A weight’s been lifted. My body no longer feels heavy.
The thing is, there are no guarantees. With anything. There was no guarantee that radiation was going to work. It was just the easy answer. An easy answer for the folks practicing standard medicine because they need to conform to the box. This isn’t to say that the box doesn’t work for many people, because it does. The standard box has worked for me in many other cases. In this case though, it’s not for me.
This was the message of the message. The meaning wasn’t going to come through until I’d resolved what needed to be resolved, let go what was there for me to clear, and until I was truly ready to receive.
I’ve been sitting quietly with this the past few days. Sitting in the energy of it.
So, a new chapter emerges. One where there are still lots of open questions. Questions that will resolve themselves in Spirit’s timeline. And in the question of today, I know that in two days I’m not undergoing surgery, and that I am fully exploring this new option. Feeling fully empowered in the open space of, I don’t know, yet. And, this isn’t necessary.
- Welcome to The Way of the Diamond Warrior - May 9, 2023
- The Power of an Apology - July 2, 2022
- Honoring the Journey - April 18, 2022