Adjusting to what just happened and what’s ahead is going to take time. And the hardest part is being okay with that. But, you CAN teach old dogs new tricks. At least, HE can, up above and I’m just going to have to hang tight.
Ouch ouch ouch. Yes. Like an old wound. Nothing but a scab being picked picked picked at. What is this laceration? What chance of healing? What festers so deeply underneath and how resiliently has it tunneled through me? Gauze falls off and washes away. New patches. New tape. Out of sight. Never out of mind. Scratch scratch scratch. How it fills with vinegar and salt, mingling with despair. It erupts, needing a washing. A cleansing. A diagnosis, please? What are you made of? Are you of the same substance from which I hail? Are we a disease? A parasite? Relegated to capacity of battle scars that wear on the soul. Like an anvil on a soon to splinter chest. The distance each splinter might reach upon release. Ribs, like a cavern, ready to cave in. Would the wall around the heart still stand impenetrable? Could Water truly break through and smooth out these old stones? Will the boulder disintegrate over time and the Spirit emerge free, from within this carcass of a form?
Back to balancing allopathic and naturopathic care. It has been our MO to see the Western doctor for a diagnosis and recommendationand then the naturopath. Two approaches; more informed decision making. However, once I received the breast cancer diagnosis, we were most comfortable going completely with allopathic care.
This means I only gave myself enough pressure to choose between two options:
- lumpectomy + radiation
The most comfortable decision for me was fueled by, “What if it comes back? Our kids are 10 and 13 years old. Just get it out of me. Get it all out of me.” Plus, I wanted nothing to do with chemotherapy or radiation, if it could be helped. Early detection made a big difference for us and our options.
I was more comortable removing body parts than risking the effects of these treaments and my fears (reasonable or not) of their failure to prevent recurrence. That was what drove ME. However, this is something each woman is going to have to come to terms with herself. I cannot make that decision for everyone. According to one of my surgeons, the attachment/identity some women have to their breasts can be far greater than their wanting to do anything at all. Some may choose to go an alternate route, and, there are many. Some have nothing to do with Western medicine at all.
While there was a 6mm cancerous nodule to remove, we found out later, after pathology, that it was actually 8mm and there was a second one, a 3mm cancerous nodule off the the side on the same breast that they discovered. This was undetected by the mamogram, the sonogram and the MRI.
I found great relief, in our decision to remove the entire breast. Not only that, that we removed the second as well. Now, part of what made me confident in this decision is the dedication and integrity I sensed my breast surgeon had for providing me with information to weigh – sitting with me for an hour or so at a time to go over things at different stages – as well as the pride in continuing to study and master the latest and greatest knowledge and skills in her area of surgury. She has been provided accolade after accolade for truly caring for her patients and for the incredible strides she has made in the breast surgury field.
That being said, I did not wish to do more research than I could handle, once I made the decision to go for a bilateral mastectomy and DIEP Flap reconstructive surgery and felt a peace over it. Prayer and well wishes helped beyond imagination. Two surgeries in, I did everything by the Western medical book. All the blood tests, CT Scan, MRI, pre-ops, etc…
I stayed away from herbs, red wine, shaving, accupuncture, chiropractic, etc.. as directed prior to my surgery.
But at this stage of having been cleared completely of cancer and been given a clean bill of health by my oncologist, I am working with both him and our former naturopathic doctor. Both are happy that I am taking a well rounded route to continued healing and overall recovery and rebuilding.
This video is a snippet of my first day on the homeopathic remedy our naturopath put me on. I am posting this three days post starting on the regimen, and so far, so good!
There are many roads to healing and recovery. I am grateful I have come this far and have been able to incorporate more natural ways into my healthy lifestyle again!
I get sad. Lonely. Hopeless. Angry. Disappointed. And, at times, for no obvious reasons at all. It doesn’t last. I have hope, joy, love and comfort too. The challenges, the successes and, the little ho hum things in-between, are part of what define me. All of it. Not all or nothing.
Things aren’t what they always seem but there’s support for us mentally, emotionally and even physically. 🙂
It might just be be time?
I am finally in a place with space for peace. Though I can’t stop it, I am time rich because I have more of it. I am at a job that matters only when I am there and it is only one of the things, not the most important thing, about me. Instead of it being all consuming all hours of my waking life, I get to go, I give my best, enjoy the company of few co-workers and plentiful children I can give my brightest smiles and kind words to. I don’t have to think about it when I leave, make calls about it, answer emails, promote it, write newsletters about it, race against the clock to steal time to do it, network day and night…. I can leave the house ten minutes before I begin and am back home with time to nap before picking up the kids from school, take our time to enjoy great and difficult discussions in the car and over afternoon snacks. When I am better from the mini surgery, I can walk with the dog or bike before I go into work again. I finally have head space to feel myself alive and can take my time to be alone with my thoughts – however good or bad at it, a wife – however good or bad at it, a mom – however good or bad at it, a friend – however good or bad at it, a daughter… sister…. I have never felt more FREE. And all it took over the last few years to get to this place? Letting more and more go. Oh I fought it. Very hard. I put my dukes up and had to fall down and break open, several times, before I put my fighting fists down. You know what happened then? Did the world stop spinning? Surprisingly, not at all. I actually found, instead, that I got to breathe again or, perhaps in my case, for the first time ever.