My head tried to convince me that I didn’t need to write the blog my heart was asking to write. That I could let this significant day breeze by and instead just write about yet another bizarre experience I’d had this week. But each time I went to write about about one of my outlandish adventures my fingers went on strike and my head went blank. Nothing. There was only one thing my heart wanted to explore and it wouldn’t allow me to justify myself out of it or do a creative dance to avoid it.
So, I am writing the blog my heart wants to write.
Exactly one year ago today, I was in surgery to have the lump removed that’s had me on a roller coaster ever since November 13, 2017.
From the moment I found it, I knew that although this lump was full of cancer and aggressively working to take over my body, I didn’t want to be angry with it, and I didn’t want to gird myself for a fight; all I could see was the fact that it was part of me. To fight it was to fight against myself.
Without a doubt, it wouldn’t get the shot gun seat in my life, and by no means was it going to be in charge of my personal GPS, but I remained aware of the fact that with surgery, I was loosing a little piece of myself. So the question I asked was, how do I want to feel after the surgery? And the answer was a no brainer, I wanted to feel joy. So, I did the only thing I could think of to help myself work towards that end goal. I decided to love it out of me.
I only had two weeks to prepare all aspects of my life before the real journey of dealing with cancer would begin; but between writing report cards, marking essays, shopping for essentials for my home, I would pause for a few seconds, put my hand over the lump and, corny as it may sound, I told it I loved it, but I needed to let it go. I figured the only way to be left with love was to release it with love. To release it with anger, would’ve only left me feeling victimized and bullied.
It was the most bizarre breakup I’ve ever been part of.
Then, on January 22, 2018 a nurse wheeled me in a hydraulic bed down the long daunting hallway to the doors of the surgery as I watched the figures of my mom and brother get smaller and smaller. With the combined realization of what as I was about to do and my brother just telling me that his daughter was going to be named after me, I was truly primed with emotion, and there was no amount of inappropriate jokes I could tell to avoid the rush of emotion that had taken over. The scene was much more dramatic than I would have liked, and that hallway became the longest ride I have ever taken. The space between the known and unknown. The beginning of a new adventure.
I had done all I could to prepare myself to let go of the lump, the fear, and the need to know ‘why’. All I had left was gratitude.
A year later, I’m still in the mist of the crazy, but look forward to the day I can look back and appreciate all there’s to learn from this topsy-turvy escapade. Because as much as this type A overachiever would like to see everything there is for me learn right now, I can’t expect to see clearly when I’m still in the mess of it all; it’s a ‘can’t see the forest for the trees’ situation.
So in the mean time, I focus on gratitude for catching the cancer before it took over my lymph system, gratitude for the care I receive at the cancer centre and am grateful for the friends and family who cheer me on, keep an eye out for me, and know when to tell me to just calm down.
Why did my head fight so hard against my heart to avoid writing this blog? Because this year was steeped in so much emotion and fear decided I didn’t need to look back at it and feel overwhelmed; fear thought it was protecting me. But looking back doesn’t mean I need to dwell on what’s happened, it’s just what I need to do to appreciate how far I have come, and get the motivation to keep pressing forward.
The journey of loving it out of me continues…