30 Days of Guidance: Day Twenty-Three, Cancer Journey

Posted: 04 May 2010 03:58 PM PDT

484371_pink_heart_of_stoneI have cancer.

I am starting to get used to that phrase, even though it has been not yet two weeks since I received the diagnosis. It doesn't shock me now the way it did at first. Cancer.

I’ve been turning my inner shock into an outward one by using the C-word to create a reaction in people, at least when not chanting "I have cancer" inwardly to myself with every step. CANCER! I shout, watching people’s faces slide off into their laps.

(You have to get your fun from wherever it is. And life IS funny. It’s also awesome.)

Back to cancer. I received the diagnosis on Day Eleven. Remember that one? (Yes, and I dare you to go back and read all the posts since then while holding the thought that I was writing – no, LIVING – all those posts while having cancer).

Almost my very first thought when hearing C-A-N-C-E-R applied to ME was – Of course! This is perfect timing. I know exactly why this is happening NOW, and not three months ago or four years ago. I needed the tools I have now in order to truly learn from this experience.

Cancer. The very word strikes terror into our hearts. That fear is prevalent in our culture, something about our bodies that we cannot control. I know I have it, the fear. I'm not immune to this. But I enjoy shouting CANCER! at people because it's a way of bringing the fear out to meet it. Cancer is simply where I am. It's not who I am.

What else is cancer for me (so far)?

It’s an invitation to see my body in a new way. To make friends with what is there.

It’s a learning experience. Oo! Shiny! I am now an authority on melanoma, treatments, staging, and endless lists of statistics. Not that any of this is dinner-party conversation, but learning new things rocks. Besides, it's about ME! We're all egoists at heart.

It’s an invitation to live differently. Already I am reaching out to my sphere, my circle of connection, in order to ask for help. “Help” might be information, a ride somewhere, a delicious meal, a phone call, or a hug. But now, more than ever, I am tuned into what I need. To what feels best for me. And if someone else can help me with that, I joyfully accept. It connects us in a way we couldn’t otherwise. In the past I resisted, held back, and was uncomfortable with asking for help. Now I see how much it gives to not just myself but to others as well.

It’s a connection to others. In addition to the wonderful sense of community, being held and supported by so many people around me who have love to give, this cancer journey is a way of connecting that I couldn’t receive any other way. Everyone has their own (often visceral and emotional) response to what is happening for me. I can learn so much about another person by just looking into their eyes while we talk. It gives me an intimate glimpse I couldn’t receive any other way.

I am more myself than ever. I teach people all the time that by being bigger they give others more to connect to. I have nothing to lose here. I know that the C-word is a big deal. Life-changing. I’d rather live my life as ME – all of me – than stay rooted in old patterns that never served me and weren’t pleasant to begin with.

You can walk with me. Deep down I know that everyone walking this journey with me will benefit as well. So thank you for being along for the ride. I’m enjoying your company.

What can you do?

Plenty. I am having surgery tomorrow, Step One of what will likely be multiple and as-yet-still-unknown steps. So from wherever you are, please just hold me in your thoughts. I’ll feel you. If you feel inspired to or otherwise wish to contact me directly, I welcome that. I’ll be reading, even if not answering. If you have a bit of wisdom to share from your own experience, I welcome that too. Part of opening myself involves opening as well to the inner guidance of my sphere of connection, and you are a part of that. Please feel free to share this post with anyone whom you think might benefit from it. And please comment here on the blog! (every time my blog has no comments – even if I receive multiple and wonderful personal emails, which I do – God kills a kitten.)


What will I do?

I wrote Day Eighteen, Going Inward as a reflection on what I am anticipating. I did a ten-day meditation retreat two years ago and LOVED it, especially keeping silence for ten days. It was the most prolonged inward time I had ever experienced, and it felt very much like home. So in this next week or so I’ll be resting in True Rest, talking with my guides and Polaris and being in my body as much as possible. On the more mundane side I have a selection of books from the library awaiting me and a number of movies to watch. If I feel up to it, I have lots of writing to work on. I have friends lined up who want to visit and bring food. And Matthew is here.

I've made all sorts of plans knowing full well I may have to throw them all out the window. But at least I made them and it kept me busy.

What will I not do? Put my energy into anything other than HERE and NOW.

Yes, I have moments of doubt, of being afraid. I am a wimp about pain. I'm both excited and scared to death of what's coming next. I found it doesn't feel good to live in my fears, though. I can walk with them, hold their hands, and get to know them but they don't control my experience. I still have them, though. I feel like I'm coming to the end of Phase One (hunting and gathering), and am about to embark on Phase Two, which is ... still a big question mark. What comes after that is anybody's guess.

I’m not alone. Ever.

Mostly I just plan to BE.

What about the future?

30 Days of Guidance isn’t ending, but like everything else in life it will be changing. I’ll report when I can, because I know you’re on this journey with me or beginning your own and I value our connection. I'm still working, channeling, living -- just taking a wee break from the first two for a week or so.

Until next time – love, and be loved. The rest takes care of itself.