It was good news. I let out a deep, soulful breath, unaware that I hadn’t actually been breathing (or so it seemed) for who knows how long.
But I didn’t cry. At least, not then.
Four days later, I cried. I laid down on my bed and wept as if I was being told for the first time that I have cancer. I cried for my life; past, present, and future. I cried for everything that cancer has taken away from me, and everything that I’ve gained in the last two years.
The last three weeks I have been doing a Deepak Chopra meditation on gratitude and grace. But I couldn’t feel it, the gratitude, and it began to scare me. I consider myself a very thankful person; deeply in touch and very cognizant of all that I have, my blessings and the love in my life and the fact that things could be so much worse. But meditating every night I just couldn’t get in touch with that feeling of appreciation. I felt numb. I began to worry that one of the most important things that has been holding me up in my life may be fading.
And then I had my scans and heard that things are stable, thank g-d, and four days later I cried, and the gratitude flooded my body in a way that I can’t even describe, but it was beautiful.
It felt like coming home.
So I kept crying. I shed tears for the fact that I will never walk the same path as anybody else. I crumpled to the floor with the truth that I may never have children. I acknowledged that I will live, most likely, always wondering if and when the cancer may return. I live with hope, optimism, strength and compassion, but I live with fear. It has a place inside of me, and I don’t think that it will ever quite disappear. I need to learn how to live with the fear, don’t I? If I try to pretend like it doesn’t exist, will I ever truly be myself? Will I ever be able to heal from the disappointments? To set my sights on my dreams and go after them? Because I’m still me. I still have dreams, and I still intend to live them out.
And then I cried for what I know is true: That I am loved. So deeply. And that I love, also as deeply.
So I let myself cry in the hopes of healing and I let myself cry for the goodness that lives even in the face of such fear.
And that, my friends, is cancer.