Inspiration, Life, Love, Spirituality, The Wild Pomegranate, Women, Writing

Without A Fight

Granted, I went into Thursday’s appointment with the General Surgeon with a bit of an attitude.  Not only was I annoyed that I couldn’t go straight to see a specialist as my radiologist and primary care physician said was warranted, but I when I’d looked Dr. G up on-line, I didn’t like what I found.   His ratings in the “trust his decisions” category were below average and I already have a trust issue with doctors.  But my intention was to be polite, go through the process, and get the referrals that I wanted.

Within minutes I knew – without a shadow of a doubt – that I would never let the man touch me, even if a request for a specialist was denied.  Not only were his opinions in direct opposition to those of my other two doctors, but my Bullshit Detector was going off big time.  Here in front of me was a Bottom Liner – they guy the HMOs.  All it took was for him to tell me that the easiest thing was to do a mastectomy, radiate me, and call it a day, and my mind was made up. This, WITHOUT having all my test results!  From a guy who, when I asked, said he had done “some” of these procedures.

Oh hell NO.

Needless to say, he didn’t have a clue who he was dealing with, but I made sure he found out.

By the time I left, both the referral for the MRI and the specialist were to be submitted.  The insurance “gurus” may deny the requests,  and it may take two weeks to hear anything,  but I got what I wanted.  And this morning, I’m actually happy for the delays!

Because while they’re jacking me around in the “Standard of Care” debacle that is today’s health care system, I’m taking matters into my own hands.

Yesterday, for the first time, I started researching on-line.  I have my pathology reports, but I’ve only glanced at them.  I’m not ready to.  But I do know what the general diagnosis is and after a busy week that left me feeling exhausted and emotional, my first steps were tentative.

It started with the thought that joining a support group might be a good idea.  Maybe I should hook up with others that are going through, or who have been through, what I am.  The first place I landed was BreastCancer.org, where I found what looks to be a wealth of information and a very supportive on-line community.  Once there, I began a sequence of point and clicks, and with each new discovery, I found myself feeling a bit braver.  A bit stronger.

It was time to put my Inner Nancy Drew on the case.

Dr. CIt didn’t take long to discover some critically important things.  For instance, DCIS, (Ductile Carcinoma In Situ) in and of itself is NOT a cancer at all, but a “precancer”.  This little factoid wasn’t given much time by my doctors, which upsets me a bit.  However, it turns out that someone I respect –  Dr. Christiane Northrup – has much to say on the topic. I quickly ordered her book, “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” and it should be here tomorrow.  My immediate take away? Women die WITH DCIS, not from  it.

From there, I wanted to see if there was any information on healing breast cancer naturally.  There is the issue of the “invasive” variety I have to deal with as well.  It means that the cancer has kicked in and has spread through the mild ducts.  How far, I don’t know.  But I found another book written by a woman who did just that.  Her name is Dr. Véronique Desaulniers, and her book is “Heal Breast Cancer Naturally”.  The fact that the cover has a butterfly on it…well, that made me smile. Dr. V

So now, I know it’s been done, and more than once.  I am at Stage 0, so I figure my chances are looking good.  Really really good.

It was after all of this that I decided to search for a doctor who practiced alternative healing modalities that dealt with cancers, and there – in my Google Search results – I found him.  And right in my neighborhood!  His name is Dr. A. Meschi, and he healed himself of three varieties of cancer!  It wasn’t more than an hour after writing to him to see if he thought I might be a good candidate for his help than he called me.  Not only did he not want to simply pass me off to the front office, he wanted to personally connect with me.   I told him what was going on and from the feedback I received, I already sense this is a man I can trust.  He is someone who will look at my health holistically, and won’t poo-poo my thought that I don’t necessarily have to have pieces of my body cut out or cut off, and then be bombarded with radiation.  In fact, his work has healed someone else with breast cancer and he said that he’s being written up about it!  While he didn’t say surgery won’t still be a possibility, he did say that now – in this waiting period – is the perfect time for him to evaluate me and look at some additional scenarios.

And that’s when the shift happened.

After the sudden, unexpected news of the biopsy results threw me off the rails, I feel steadier.  More hopeful.  Stronger. The appointment is set for Monday at 11:00 and I am cautiously optimistic that I will – at the very minimum – speak with someone who will really listen and offer wise counsel.

My resolve is firm.  This tata will not go down without a fight, and I will use everything within me to help  myself.  No matter what the future holds, I will champion my own cause and make the healthcare decisions that are in MY best interests.  No way will I allow myself to be dictated to and managed by the prevailing wisdom.

Am I scared?  Yeah.  Am I feeling unsure?  Absolutely.  I still have so far to go on this journey, and there are many unanswered questions.  But in all of that, I know that I am not alone.  I am confident that I am being divinely guided on the path of healing best suited for me.  I will not only survive this, but I will thrive.

I am Invictus.

Unconquered.

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds and shall find me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.

-William Ernest Henly

Inspiration, Life, Love, Spirituality, The Wild Pomegranate, Women, Writing

A Hard Day’s Night

Standing outside at 3:00 am this morning, I basked in light of the gorgeous full Leo moon that hung in the sky, a single perfect pearl against a black velvet. How ironic is Life, that something so beautiful and awe inspiring could be part of the same 12 hours that contained the Inconvenient Truth handed to me by my doctor: The biopsy from last week showed Ductile Carcinoma.

Breast cancer.

That we unexpectedly had my 6 year old grandson for the night was a blessing in disguise.  My daughter, suddenly struck with a fever of over 103 Sunday night, needed to go to the Emergency Room yesterday. So my husband picked up our Little Man to stay with us for a couple of nights while Mommy gets better, even though he wanted to stay with me in a show of support. I told him that if he really wanted to support me, he needed to do this rather than sit in the waiting room, waiting.

I explained to him that everyone has their way of dealing with nerves and me? I always do better when I know my family is OK. So begrudgingly, he hit the road.

By the time I was done with Biopsy No. 2, my grandson was fast asleep in the passenger seat looking like a sweaty little angel and completely at peace. As we pulled out, Mr. Man looked in the rear view mirror and asked how everything went. I just mouthed the words “It’s cancer”, and turned to stare out the window. We would discuss details later.

So, there it is. I have an appointment with a surgeon on Thursday and will get more information on the process then.

There is some good news. I feel myself rousing from the lethargy that’s held me the last couple of week, and just now, I can feel fire lighting up my veins again. The “waiting” is over, to a certain extent, and I can sense a rising up inside of me.

Yesterday was Imbolc. For some reason, this – and the Goddess Brigid for whom this special festival day is connected – seem important. There is a message here for me, even thought I don’t know anything about either.   I can feel it. This feeling came to me this morning, after my moon gazing and while I was praying. As I moved through my prayers, talking first to Jesus, and then my Father, I suddenly found myself praying to the Great Mother, the feminine face of God. It was completely instinctual and seemed very appropriate. A sense of fierce calmness came over me. A sense that the both the Warrior and the Healer inside of me were waking. I’m not “there” yet. I know I have many miles to walk on this journey before it’s completed. But I feel strengthened by the symbolic messages of Love that the Universe arranged for me yesterday.

Inspiration, Life, Love, Spirituality, The Wild Pomegranate, Women, Writing

The Bullying Stops Here

As I sat in the examination room yesterday, I remember thinking to myself, “there is something wrong.”

It wasn’t that I had been hit with some huge premonition.  It was more like a series of smaller “hits” had finally accumulated enough girth as a whole to become undeniable.  Some of those hits went as far back as last year (maybe even earlier) and the latest ones had come just that morning.  They showed up in the subtlest of energy shifts in the two wonderful techs that had performed a follow-up mammogram and an ultrasound on me.   I noticed the slight withdrawal of presence, the merest tucking in and tensing around the mouth, and a slightly more businesslike, albeit kind, farewell.  To me, it added up to one thing: they couldn’t give me the reassurance I was looking for.  They saw something in the photos.

The longer I sat and waited, the more frightened I became.  By the time the doctor bounced in – a stunner  of an older gal with long gray hair, a generous smile and bright blue eyes – and asked me how I was doing, all I could say was “I guess I’m waiting for you to tell me that.”

And she did.

With great compassion, kindness and optimism, she explained that there were a couple of suspicious areas in my left breast that need attention and proceeded to show me on the film.

The “good” news is, the area(s) is/are small (thanks to regular mammograms), are very treatable with surgery and some radiation applied directly to the affected area(s), and I won’t have to undergo chemo or radiation.

Then, in an attempt to keep things light, I guess, she told me that she heard many women met some wonderful galpals on the journey I was about to embark on.   Sisters dealing with the same issues.

I guess there’s an upside to everything.

The “bad” news?  In her opinion, what she saw was most likely a breast cancer.  A couple of biopsies and an MRI will be done to confirm that, one way or the other.   I am, naturally, praying for a miracle call “The Other”.

Anyway, because of the hits I’ve been receiving, her news wasn’t a complete surprise, although – in all honesty – by the time I walked out of the office with paperwork in my hands and a couple of appointments on my calendar – I was in tears.  And I continued to cry on and off for most of yesterday.

One of the biggest of those little hits happened sometime last year. I had a “Aha!” moment.  At least, that’s what it felt like at the time when I realized just how much time I’d spent completely not liking my breasts – mostly since the changes they’ve undergone in the last few years.  They’re huge, for one thing (G cup), heavy and – thanks to gravity – tend to create the illusion of thickness around my mid-section that no amount of lace and underwire seems to alleviate.

I had been boob bullying, and it occurred to me that The Girls might not fare well under that sort of onslaught.  If you are familiar with Masaru Emoto’s “The Hidden Messages In Water”. you understand what I mean.  Our bodies are made up of about 60% of water, so why wouldn’t the cells in my breasts respond to energetic bullying?

So I began to apologize to them.  Sincerely apologizing for all the negative things I’ve said and thought about them.  When I remembered to, I would hold them tenderly and told them I loved them.  I blessed them.  Probably not often enough, or consistently enough…especially when I stood naked in front of the bathroom mirror.  But it was a start to the turnaround and you can bet your sweet tatas that it’s something I will be an expert at in short order.

*sigh*

I’m not going to lie.  This is SERIOUSLY not a journey I want to go on.  I had hoped that things would be calm for a bit after going through my daughter and brothers ‘ recent cancer scares.  But Life Happens, and this morning, after sharing a bucket of tears and two bottles of wine with my BFF last night (miraculously, without much hangover effect ….the first of MANY miracles I hope to be the recipient of), I feel calmer. More under control.   And my mantra is:  I AM HEALED, WHOLE AND HEALTHY.

I’ve also begun praying over my breasts, Ho’oponopono particularly, and have let any cancer know it cannot stay in my body.  This photo I altered for my electronic wallpapers shows the four lines of Ho’oponopono.  If you’re unfamiliar with this prayer, check it out.  It is quite powerful and healing:  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I don’t know all that the future holds, but I do know this.  I want to embark on this new journey with the intention of loving myself thoroughly and mindfully every step of the way, and to heal.

Forgiveness, love and gratitude.  They seem like the best place to start.

Family, Inspiration, Life, Love, Spirituality, The Wild Pomegranate, Uncategorized, Writing

Not Another Manic Monday

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Shhhhh……don’t tell The Boss, but I’m playing hooky today.  And while I have to use some much valued vacation hours to pay for it

I…

JUST….

COULDN’T…

GO…

IN

No, I don’t have a hangover.

See, after a half dozen weeks of high stress/low sleep, my body and emotions said,“oh hell no!” when it was time to get ready for work this morning.  Thankfully, the situation that’s been taking up space in my head since July came to a positive conclusion yesterday, and – break out the champagne! – life can resume normally. (Whatever that is!)

On the plus side, after years in Menopause Boot Camp, I’ve learned how to hold down a full time job while dealing with insomnia, worrisome “others”, and all of my other responsibilities and still manage to appear relatively together.

But only on the outside.

On the inside, I’ve been a fucking mess.  You would think that after all these years, and all that Enlightenment, I’d be good at dropping the Good Little Soldier routine and just let my shit show.  But no…I can’t.  I won’t.

Right or wrong, true or false, I believe that if I have a melt down, “they” will freak out.  If I fall apart, “they” will, too. Who will keep it All together if I don’t?   It’s my job – my mission, even – to make those in my care (three generations worth) to feel at peace, and that It’s All Good.

So I do what I have to do.   I put on a stiff upper lip, pull up my Big Girl Panties, and get on with the business of taking care of business.

Only when the Crises has passed do I allow myself to fall apart, and almost always in the comfort of my own home when no one else is looking.  Hence, the need to take a day off – because even though The Man knows, he doesn’t know.  Only Those that see my midnight tears, and hear my 3 a.m. prayers, really understand.

Oh, it’s not like a few close friends weren’t in on what was going on.  They “got it”, and prayed and supported me.  Thank God and the angels for them.  But there is a limit to how much another person can realistically be there in our dark moments. There are just some Valleys of Shadows that we have to walk through by ourselves.

And while I can pray and let go and believe and all that happy crap, Being Strong can be a very scary, exhausting, lonely road.

Some of you will know what I’m talking about.

*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Time to shower,  have a good cry and take a nap.  Truly,  I have so much to be thankful for!  Why, in just a hand full of hours I’ve got a Girls Night Out to get ready for. I’ll be attending a special cocktail and discussion reception prior to the closing night of  “Twelfth Night” at one of our local theaters.  It’s set in the 1920s flapper era.  How fun does that sound?

By then, I’m sure I’ll look fabulous!  Why, my outfit is all picked out, some makeup will hide the dark baggy circles, and I’ll be all smiles.  No one will be the wiser that I’ve just finished a trek through hell because

It’s Show Time!

*note: The photo above was taken a couple of weeks ago on a very special day.  My future daughter-in-law invited me to go with her entourage to look for a wedding dress!  Yes, my son is getting married next March and I couldn’t be more thrilled.  That’s my hand with the turquoise ring and age spots, and FDILs is next to it on the right.  :) And while I didn’t take the photo, I brought the champagne and glasses to toast the occasion, with four generations present.  Yes, so very much to be thankful for….and here come those tears!