I Chose Me

il_570xN.557874558_aln1When I walked into The Boss’ office yesterday morning to pick up my pay, I could see he was down. I had called him Tuesday morning, after much angst, deliberation and a quick phone call to the Husband, and told him I wouldn’t be back.

So much for The New Job.

Turns out, after everything I’ve been through – after all of those months of seeking Divine Guidance and Strength –  I really just couldn’t wrap my head around the idea that this New Job was where I was supposed to be.  The Old Woman had convinced me – by her very presence, if not by her words – that there was something more….something better….waiting for me.

Had I forgotten everything I went through last year?  Everything I learned? One of the main issues in my life – the one that manifested itself as a breast cancer last year – was my life long tendency to sacrifice myself to make others more comfortable, to make others feel good.  To make things easier for them.

I’ll never forget one morning shortly after the diagnosis.  I was sitting in bed reading “Women’s Bodies, Women’s Wisdom” by Dr. Christiane Northrup when I read that as far back as the 1800s, the medical literature has noted associations between breast cancer and women with an “overdeveloped nurturance gland”.  (check!)  They have a tendency toward self sacrifice (check!), and are more apt to have a coping strategy characterized by engaging with the problem, confronting it, focusing on it, working on a plan, and lobbying for emotional support in the process. (check! check! CHECK!)

In other words…ME!

It was a huge ass Aha! Moment, and I broke down wept.  Like the woman in the book, I realized that I didn’t have to “get sick or to die in order to rest”.  Right then and there, I promised myself that I wouldn’t do that again.  I would live in balance.  I would take care of me…REALLY care for me.  And I would stop trying to Save The World.

And yet, here I was!  Faced with a job that was FAR from something  soul satisfying and fulfilling, it did meet my financial needs but that was it.  Sure, I could go in and  Save The Day.  I could see that I could have a huge impact for the better, and alleviate a lot of The Boss’ problems (if the Old Woman “let” me.)  But at what cost to me?

So HAD I really gotten it? Or this was a test to see if I had actually made the internal shift needed to so I could go to the next level of my destiny?

Isn’t that what I had been promised over and over again this past year?

I just couldn’t do it.  My head, my heart and my gut wouldn’t let me. So I picked up the phone and called my husband, telling him what was on my heart.  If it were just about money – I would go.  But not for long and not because I wanted to.  That seemed unfair to The Boss, as well, paying me to be a short timer.

He totally got it.  So I hung up, made one more call and chose ME.

When I went to see The Boss yesterday to pick up my pay, The Old Woman wasn’t there and we had a chance to talk.  It sounds like my decision was a disappointment to her as well, and maybe – just maybe – she’s feeling guilty about things.  The Boss admitted he didn’t tell his mom all the reasons why I wasn’t coming back, so I encouraged him to do so – in a nice way, at the right time.  She needs to know that her actions and her words were not only why I didn’t want to come back, but  were jeopardizing her son’s business as well.

Speaking our truth, in a loving manner, may hurt someone’s feelings but we can’t let that stop us.  Not when we know deep in our heart that a change for the good must be made.  I feel for him.  She’s his Mom.  But she is also an employee – one that really isn’t doing her job the way it needs to be done, and it’s taking him down. She’s 80.  It should be okay for him to ‘retire’ her.

We agreed that we would keep the communication lines open,  and who knows? There might be something there for me down the road AFTER The Old Woman has her moment of enlightenment. And maybe – just maybe – The Boss will chose himself and the welfare of his business over protecting his mother’s feelings.

I’ve felt good – GREAT – ever since.  I feel energized again.  Full of hope and anticipation.  I let go of What Was – and an entire old way of being in the world –  so that Something New has space in my life.  And it’s possible that by deciding not to sacrifice myself and my dreams, by putting my well-being at the front of the line, I actually did fulfill my purpose there.

I chose me.

Now, maybe the nice Boss Man will to do the same.

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