The State Of Affairs v.11
I haven’t written in a while. There are several reasons for that. Its been a bit of an odd time, the last few weeks. I have always been a person who is fairly attached to dates, so the memories of what was going on a year ago have been sweeping in hard and fast and with incredible depth and its taken a significant amount of energy to process that.
They call it delayed trauma.
When we are subjected to something that is traumatic on several levels, our system can only really focus on one of those levels of trauma at a time. In the case of those diagnosed with cancer, it is fairly well documented that our systems handle the more pressing physical trauma in real time, while the emotional trauma presents itself after that physical trauma has resolved. So this isn’t unexpected, or unusual, or a sign of a problem. Its normal.
But goodness its rough.
I find myself looking at the calendar and drifting back to a year ago, trying to remember exactly what was happening a at this exact time. The flowers are blooming in my backyard, and I can remember suddenly so clearly my friend's daughter pulling them to bring in to me as I sat curled under a blanket of fleece and desperation this time last year. The rain falls down and I remember all the hours in my front rocker, under the cover of the porch roof as the rain hid my tears.
I remember, and all the pain I was too numb to fully experience then comes flooding back.
* * *
There was a period of time where it felt like several of my dear high school friends were all losing parents too young. One of us called it a club no one wants to join. But once you’re in it, you share an irrevocable bond with its members.
The same is true of cancer. I remember sitting in my very first IV chemotherapy treatment for this ovarian cancer and a message popping up on Instagram from a woman I had never met but who shared my diagnosis. I would meet several other beautiful women this way in the week that followed. When things seemed really bleak, I could count on sweet words from them. Somehow the words from women who really understood carried me further than all the rest.
In the last handful of weeks, several have experienced recurrences or other set backs. Each time I learn of one, I feel sick inside.
They call it survivor guilt.
This is also well-documented and normal. I experienced it for several years following my Hodgkins remission. You ask why you were spared. Why your road was easier. Why you get what so many pray just as hard for and they don't.
You can ponder it all day long, and there will never be an answer. But still, you wonder.
And with the wondering comes the pressure. You can’t squander a life others would give most anything for. You can’t waste a moment. I can easily find myself starting to fall back into the trap of scurrying – trying to find the path I know is gradually being unfurled on its own.
I have to remember that I am not God. That I am on a need to know basis with God. So none of this is for me to understand, explain, or figure out.
That doesn’t mean I don’t find myself trying to do all of those things.
* * *
Things aren’t bad – please don’t be mistaken. This is a necessary stage in this process. One that if avoided would surely only lead to additional illness down the road. So this is good. But not all good things are fun. And this is decidedly not fun.
I have many, many good things to share with you all in the coming days and weeks. So much good is happening that it is almost unbelievable. Its delightful, really.
But healing is a process, and I am still working through it.
* * *
Physically, I am learning to operate in what might be my new normal. My asana practice looks very different simply because my muscles fatigue quicker and my joints ache. I have been sinking much more deeply into Ayurvedic practices to heal the damage to my gut from all that chemotherapy. Hot flashes are still very much a thing and I am not all that excited about a summer of them. But all in all, I am feeling better, and if I weren’t jet lagged from last week’s time in Ojai, I’d tell you I feel stellar.
* * *
Speaking of, the return from Ojai marked the end of my healing trips for a bit of time. God and I had a deal that I would travel as far as the provisions He made allowed, and the generosity of others have allowed me tremendous opportunities in the last eight months – financial provision was made for those trips nearly to the dollar (actually - I have two cents remaining). In those travels, it was revealed what I am meant to do here, and now my focus is on walking further down that path. Both the Living School and my training with Katie Silcox are a critical piece of that.
You are super curious now, aren’t you?
Well, keep following along.
More will be revealed.