January 12, 2012

Knock, knock; guess who?

On Monday, I was leaving an appointment with Jennifer Christy, my massage angel, driving home when I began experiencing a bathroom emergency.  I thought to myself, why did I fail to ask Jennifer if I could use her bathroom, I mean I had already downed two large cups of tea.  It is not as though I was in a rush as I was busy cleaning the seat of my pants after noticing it was adorned with spots of brown around my body’s evacuation site.  I apparently sat in something of the brown persuasion. Good grief!  Back to the story, as I refocus … I barely made it to a public bathroom before urinating all over myself.  Relief at last, followed by the discovery of a long forgotten visitor … Auntie Flow!  Holy wow, I know.  This is simply too good to be true!  I did it; I reversed menopause and am back on track; my body is finding balance and normalcy. No more menopause, no more night sweats no more hot flashes!  This is welcome news and comes on the heels of retiring my church-lady fan from my purse a couple short weeks ago.  Awe, the little things culminate into something glorious and life altering!  Nice to see you again Auntie Flow~   

Earlier in the week, I had the opportunity to connect with a new friend, Shawna Troncale; she too seeks to find balance.  In May of 2011, she was diagnosed with stage four colon cancer; she is 35 years of age and has three children under the age of 11.  Shawna keeps a blog as well www.lovingonshawna.com.  Being so young and facing a serious diagnosis, as we both are, leaves you feeling alone sometimes.  How refreshing it is, to connect with another woman who is traveling the same journey as I.  She understands firsthand the range of emotions I feel and is living similar experiences.  I expressed to her that we are in this together!  Shawna is a strong and inspirational individual; please send good thoughts and prayers her direction as she seeks to find peace with her diagnosis and treatment options that will serve her best.  

One of the most beautiful gifts you can give an individual facing a serious health diagnosis is to support them in every decision they make to save their life, without judgment or commentary.  No one wants to live more than the directly impacted person does!  Daily, I make an effort to not take on the identity of my diagnosis.  My diagnosis is not who I am as a person; it does not define me.  I will not make cancer the center of my identity; it is simply a life experience.  Nor do I fancy the term “cancer survivor”; to me it puts cancer at the center of one’s life; it is as though a microphone and spotlight blanket the cancer diagnosis.  It is critical for me to live by my belief especially when there is uncertainty brewing in my mind.  

Last week, I awoke in the early morning hours and was not feeling well, I felt as though I was having a panic attack of sorts and my stomach was not well.  I believe this to be a physical manifestation of what was going on in my head.  What I quickly realized is that I need to remind myself that I am safe, I am loved, and I am at peace. This has become my daily mantra I repeat multiple times throughout the day, especially as I am drifting into sweet slumber.  Living in the present is huge and keeps me grounded.  Trust – I must trust that I am making the right choices and decisions for my body, mind, and soul.  Love – I must love myself just as I am.  This is all a part of embracing and holding close to – Strength, Hope, Courage.

Today, I am hopeful~