Monday, November 3, 2014
Things on My Mind
In other societies, there are things like "Spirit" and other names that fit that idea of a Great Being. Is it because there is "One"? Or is it that we need to on some level believe there is something bigger than ourselves?
I feel there is something that transcends what we think we know. There are such fascinating experiences that come out of the seeming coincidences that we find ourselves a part of. But what I find myself wondering is just how much of what we want is get-able, and how much of it might just seem like a great tease.
Many times I have heard people say that when something doesn't happen like we we would want, we have likely done something "wrong." That idea - that we aren't doing something "right" - is one that troubles me as it seems that there is no clear cut path to the things we want. It seems to be something of a guessing game. It also seems to create all kinds of other issues, as there come judgments of those who aren't where they're "supposed" to be. A person who doesn't heal becomes someone who either didn't pray right, enough, or isn't judged worthy of saving. Pretty much - pretty often - nothing good.
That is one thing that is on my mind.
Another is a Despacho ceremony I took part in yesterday. There were about 30 something people present. I met some really great people, and the ceremony was quite a beautiful one. It is not the easiest thing to describe, so I link to it above.
The ceremony can be done for any number of reasons, but the person leading it, made it about healing. It was something she had wanted to do for me, but felt that she should extend it to others, as well.
I loved that there were others present. A few even thanked me after it was explained why the event was occurring.
I have found on more than one occasion that those who interact with me while dealing with cancer seem to get something from it for themselves. It seems that it is in some way a gift for both of us. I have found this to be the case more than just a few times. I am grateful for those who work with me, and even more grateful for what our interaction mutually brings.
This week is my week of "vacation." I am not really sure what that means, as I will likely be writing and will definitely continue to paint. I know it means not making any jewelry, although I briefly second guessed that choice yesterday as I received a few donations for some of the work already created.
I also continue to consider the book that I want to create from the artwork painted so far. I think it would be all too easy to get caught up in putting it together this week. Is it work? Or is it something I would enjoy doing? Maybe it is both, as I love the idea of the project.
I am struggling just a bit with which direction to take. I am guessing it will reveal itself in time. Toward the end of the week I am going to take a long drive to enjoy some of the beautiful scenery, and see where I wind up. I may get to a point I wish I had taken more time to enjoy life outside of the pressure cooker that feels like my life right now, but I have really enjoyed what I have been doing, and seeing some of the jewelry I made on someone else yesterday gave me such great joy.
One last thing was a new video I posted yesterday. It was a short one, taken around the time I was feeling frustrated taking pictures of myself. I was feeling pretty down.
I keep remembering looking at myself in the mirror before I started chemo again. My hair was looking pretty nice. I had a moment in which I checked in, considering what chemo might just do to my hair. There was a possibility I was going to have to wait a long time for it to get back to where it was. It took 6 months for me to go wig-less in public after the first go-round with chemo. And even then I did not have much hair. It took another 6 months for me to feel like it was getting to a place I kinda, sorta liked, but it was still pretty short. Another 6 months, and it was where I was, standing there, sad about what might be coming.
What if - for some reason - I did not do the surgery?
The thought flickered, but I pushed it away. I was going to do surgery. I had to. It is why I was taking the path I was. I had to be clear about what I was doing. I had to be intentional. I had to be OK with my choice. Little did I know then that that was likely my intuition knowing that it wasn't going to work out, and that I would be left with not much hair, sometimes hating the way I look, and feeling essentially medically option-less.
Some days I struggle more than others to manage the array of feelings that move through me. Some days I find myself unexpectedly emotional. It seemingly comes out of no where. Other days I feel blissfully ignorant about what may or may not be going on inside of my body, caught up in the love of the things I am doing.
Those who have "Spontaneous Remissions" seem to often be those who either walk away from the doctors and/or are given their Walking Papers by the doctors. I cannot tell you how many times I have wondered if I should just walk away. I am not sure at this point how helpful being around people who think I am going to die is.
Of course they don't say that to me - directly. I have even asked them to be very careful how they do say things. I think, though, they may feel the need to be sure that I know what I am choosing. The fact is I haven't a clue - and neither do they.
I feel like I am going to get to live for a while. I imagine in time I will find out just how right I was. I always hope that I am not that "cancer blogger" who talks about things, and hope and living, only to be "found" by someone after I am dead. It is kind of a surreal thought to think of someone reading this after I have left this life - especially if it is any time "soon-ish."
I say this in part, because I have stood where many who might read my stuff likely stand, and it sucks to see someone so alive but no longer is. It sucks to see them struggle, and wonder if they are still alive. It is even harder now that I am dealing with what I am dealing with. I have to tell myself that I am not them. Just because something happens with one person it doesn't mean it has to be my experience.
The alternative is to continue to try to find a way to live a life in the shadows of a cancer diagnosis. Things were just so much "cleaner" when I was free and clear for those couple of months after the first go-round. I was "on the other side." I was moving forward. I was trying to reclaim my life.
It wasn't really easy, though. It, in some ways, did suck. But I was "free" to live my life. The illness cancer wasn't present. But within a few months, it seemed to come back, and with it, a myriad of issues that still linger.
It isn't easy living on the precipice of life and death. But the fact is, we all do. It is just that those who deal with issues like cancer are living reminders of what we'd rather forget. So with forgetting the thing we don't want to talk about, we often forget them, too.
Thankfully I have met some wonderful people in the last few weeks that don't seem to care about cancer in my life. They are treating me like me. They are interacting with me - and not the cancer. We may talk about it, but it is just one of the many things in the conversation, and is spoken about just as plainly.
This post is really long at this point. If you actually read it, thank you for taking the time. I could have broken it up into several pieces, but just decided this was easier for me - even if it isn't as neat as others may like, or would want it to be. It is also more a "whole" piece of me this way, than if it was broken up into bite-sized pieces. I really think it is hard to convey the depth and breadth of what it is like to be me each and every day. Maybe things like this help.
Who the heck knows?
The funny thing...there are likely to be some who will read this who will think THEY do. :) If you are one of them, I don't mean any offense by saying that. It is just one of those things I have noticed a lot more since dealing with cancer. There are always others who know a lot more about me, my situation and how I am handling things than I do.