I noticed my first red leaf today, and it took me by surprise. I suppose in between doctors appointments and preparing for surgeries (two) that I was never going to have (at least not now) and trying to figure out how to boost my immune system and filing paperwork to take time off of work, it became fall.
I wonder what else I have missed.
I long to hash it all out, to find some sort of catharsis in the whole thing; to tell you about the many appointments, consults, research, decisions. To explain that I woke up from the anesthesia last Thursday to find out that my surgery had been cancelled. My brain was still so foggy as I came out of the medicine and when I asked the nurse if I was OK (always my first question when I wake up) and she said, “You couldn’t have the surgery” (a really weird look on her face, I remember thinking), I felt so confused. Was it the anesthesia? Was I dreaming? Did the power go out and the back-up generators never came on and they couldn’t do the surgery without electricity? Did my doctor just get a text that there was a huge sample sale of doctor supplies in the city and he had to scoot out before ablating my tumors? t was all so surreal.
Fast forward to now: The KACP (kick-ass cancer plan) has been re-written. I suppose this is all, in the end, that matters, or at least that’s what I wanted to write– but given that the surgeon saw so many more tumors in my liver and that’s why it was cancelled, that actually feels like a pertinent piece of information.
“Dear Universe,” I wrote in my journal after this but before my appointment with my oncologist. “Please send me a sign that my health and happiness will be OK. Please show me that I am on the right path.”
(Yesterday out for a walk, I saw a mailbox with “I WIN” in big letters on it. I laughed realizing that it was supposed to say “Irwin” but the “R” was so faded that all you could see was the I win). “When we change the way we see things, the things that we see change.” ~ Dr. Wayne Dyer.
About a week or two before this journal entry I had been driving in my car and wondered if I would or could spot a miracle that day. I was just getting ready to lay my head down on the pillow at the end of the day when my friend M and I were hanging up the phone after a long call, and truth be told, I had forgotten about keeping my eyes open for a shift in perspective or a sign from the universe the rest of the day.
“You’ve suffered enough,” my friend reminded me (after listening to me talk about all the ways I could blame myself for all of the bad things that have happened in my life, because sometimes you just want some kind of an answer, even if it’s you that’s the bad guy, and all the ways that you could be doing more)– “You don’t need to suffer anymore.”
I think this is what we’d call an “Aha! moment” or a “Come to Jesus moment” or at the very least you can picture me with a little light-bulb above my head. This was my sign. My miracle.
It is so true, and as she said it, I felt it in my bones; the truth of it, the weight of it, how much I contribute to my own suffering by beating myself up for having energy bites with dairy in them or skipping a day when I easily could have worked out or not feeling like meditating or not being able to keep up with emails and texts when people just want to support me. When I surround myself with the holistic and spiritual world, I need to remember that I do not need to get it perfectly in order to be living well. I am so.hard.on.myself. And for what?
I have suffered enough.
So as much as I want to tell you the nitty-gritty about the trauma of being woken up from a surgery that could never happen, about waiting to meet with my oncologist to figure out what the next step would be, about putting everything in a tiny little box marked “Wait and See,” the only thing that now seems truly important is this:
I am done suffering.
I do not deserve it.
It does not support me in my highest efforts to live a joyous life lived without regrets.
I am doing the best that I can.
I had two slices of pizza yesterday.
Yup. And they were damn good slices, too. And piled with veggies, which helps just a little bit. And this morning green juice and gluten-free toast and vegan butter. I am an actual human being made up of all different kinds of emotions, feelings, cravings, thoughts, and beliefs.
I did Kris Carr’s Crazy Sexy You Program for 10 days. Not 21. I can focus on the 11 days and out of those 11 days the few times I had a cup of coffee or mozzarella in a sandwich but I’d actually much prefer to focus on the fact that I was vegan for 10 days (something that I never, ever thought that I could do), and that I haven’t had meat in almost three weeks. That the day I had dairy I had to take no lactaid because I hadn’t had it in my system for so long that I didn’t even get sick. That I now know how to make a kick-ass gluten-free vegan pasta dish with peas.
I don’t want to connect dots anymore that a) don’t need connecting, b) may not even be true in their connecting, and c) make me feel lousy about myself.
The negative self-talk is an obstacle to me living my best life. And I want as much positivity as possible for the next step in my cancer (hell my life) journey.
So the KACP is in place: I am beginning an immunotherapy systemic treatment next week. And maybe surgeries again in my future. And maybe not. A box labeled “We’ll See.” (When you have cancer you kind of have to get used that box being around but put it to the side so that you can focus on the “right here and right now” box that is much, much more important).
And I have no intention of suffering any longer. Enough is enough. An intention is super important here: It helps us get specific with what exactly we’d like more or less of in our beautiful, deserve to freakin’ be happy, magical lives. It reminds us to be aware of our goals without just “going through the motions.”
Today, I promise to be kind to myself, because I believe that my thoughts are just as important as the food that I feed myself. And I know that this intention is something that I will have to be thoughtful about every.single.day. For the rest of my life. It won’t just resolve itself on its own. I must work at it. And so I’d really love to know: What’s one intention that you can set for yourself today as well?
~ Dr. Wayne Dyer. xoxo.