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The “You Have Cancer” News

Famous words for serious conversations:
“Is now a good time to talk?”
My biopsy Dr. said one late afternoon.

Her words softened,
Her words hung in my head.
And yet, I was strangely detached.
Not really bothered. Not in shock.

I had long known I would get cancer at my age. I didn’t believe it to be a death threat, although that was what my doctor referral notice said. I thought I should be alarmed. But I was not.

A silence grew between us as I processed. The Dr. asked if I was alright. I said flatly, “It doesn’t surprise me”. Silence again. Then I followed up with “What’s next? I want this resolved.” I am not one to bury my head in the sand. Although I knew the lump was growing and passed it off months prior to ripping a tendon or muscle while lifting heavy gates and much more. Actually told a friend I was going to need surgery. However, I didn’t think it would be BREAST CANCER.

I told the Dr. what I had done months earlier and wondered if there was a connection. NO. This was a very slow growing tumor, commencing with estrogen deposits in the duct. I figured it did not become noticeable sooner because my diet is healthy: anti-oxident aka anti-cancer foods. The good news. No cancer was detected in the lymph node next door to my soft, swollen ‘cyst’ that was a tumor of ugly.

There are no coincidences. I wrecked my body after months of heavy lifting, digging and prepping my property to build a house and horse barn. I was severely misaligned and my left side was hurting bad. I went to my primary care and asked for a referral to see a chiropractor. And added I had a lump too. He asked if I wanted a mammogram. I said YES. So if not for my broken body I may not have detected this tumor even though I knew it needed attending.

My first time ever chiropractor visit revealed I had 3 ribbed stretched out of place. Right next to this tumor. I had felt the fluid flow into this area and form a soft ball. And I monitored it as it got hard. I ignored. Why? Because I know my body always healed itself. Yet, my body screamed loud, in spite of my high pain tolerance. The chiropractic visits realigned my body. As the rest of my body reset, the tumor site did not. It had a voice of its own that screamed too! My side was on fire. I hurt from much that was self induced. I grew overly tired and often fell asleep during waking moments. My conscientious had been drifting as if I was in a lucid dream state. I was in this world; yet not feeling a part of it. I had lost bits of time; blank spots. This had been going on for a while. I did not connect it to the mass of dead cells inside me. Until I knew better.

Of course I went through a big head time reassessment. And realized this prognosis was about me changing my consciousness; elevating it to the next level. After all I am a person who seeks to expand my mind. A student of the universe, and a co-creator in hand with the Almighty. So why not me? I seek experiences, not always nice, and as a teacher I am compelled to share for the benefit of others who will walk similar paths.

MY cancer news came on the Monday of the last week of Advent. Timely. Fitting. On Good Friday I did a backyard ceremony. I had held onto PSTD for too long that was related to too much past trauma. I made a list of the people, events, and circumstances I allowed to take up rent in my head. I cut the list in strips of items to purge out of my life permanently.

I took a new white mug, the strips of the list, and a lighter outside. Set up a pseudo alter. Burned each aggravation and set it in the mug to smolder to ashes. I chanted a prayer and blessed my past. Forgave myself- and others for our ignorance of being unaware of our follies. I intentionally used the Easter Triduum to journey the path of Jesus. I repented. Gave thanks. And held gratitude in my heart and soul. And loved and thanked all who I believe trespassed me, including the lump that laid inside my bosom. On Easter Sunday I went to the Pacific coast to soak up Ocean Ions. A non-Catholic since 15, I still firmly believe in many of blessings that Christ gifted to us. I acknowledged and found God’s journey and this timing was quite representative of my own walk and circumstance.

This tumor of growth has set me on a cycle of acceptance. Releasing resistance. And trusting the medical profession during this tumultuous time following Covid, and with our world in chaos. I reach back to the innocence of my youth when the world belonged to my desires. Fearless. Adventurous. Faithful all would work out. And it did.

Consciously I decided to be proactive. Learn about what so many women before me have persevered. Understand their breast cancer, so in turn I can help another. It’s about choices. The little ones and the big ones.

It took me awhile to utter the words “Breast cancer” as if it were contagious. And, I have barely uttered the words to this point that: “I HAVE breast cancer”. I will tell you why. I see myself as whole and in a few weeks on the other side of this and healing up from surgery. I do not want to focus or dwell on it. I see myself then telling many friends for the first time, “I HAD Breast Cancer”.

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Every Day is a Gift: A Lesson for Self Love

“Every Day is a Gift.”
My aging Mother told me one day.
I pondered this often.

Her astute words came after a comment I made.
That I did not want to be on this earth
if I could not do the things I could do now.
I lead a very physical life.
Built Fences. Did Construction.
Hiked Mountains. Rode My Horses. More.

I could not conceive another type of life. But now I am forced to. I bought a property that seriously called me. I told the seller that nothing about buying his property made sense. But, for some reason it was beckoning me to live on this land. The view was irreplaceable restful. More so, I knew it was my predestined spot.

The property needed plenty. Serious clean-up; a questionable 1930s house; a hillside with dying trees that needed logging and de-stumped to make horse pasture. It was not just the horse setup, but a house for me and my cats too. While the task did not daunt me; a timetable was looming. I needed to exit where me and my pets were temporarily housed.

Exactly 3 months after closing day I brought my horses, cats and myself to my property. The house had been demolished. The trees gone. Pasture was de-stumped leaving huge slashed piles to burn. All underground utilities replaced and new. Temporary horse corrals and shelter setup. A small RV for me and my cats to live. I was literally in the trenches doing much of the work and orchestrating the rest. Determination and a vision drove me. My body worked tirelessly in the hottest week of August. I was a machine of accomplishment. Neighbors asked if I had an off switch. They also thanked me for giving the land new life.

Once living on site. More work. Fencing. Burning the slash. More months of cleanup ensued. My horses went to a close by ranch for their safety. As for me, I didn’t stop until I broke my body. I felt a rip through my back left side.  I ignored. I let it go and continued to work, hurting. I reasoned my body would heal as it always had. But, it rebelled. My body burned. I felt a lump growing in my left side by my breast. My sister suggested a chiropractor to realign. I went. First time ever. I had 3 ribs out. After months of hurting I felt good. So good I went out and worked again. I felt my rib pop again. Sh*t. Why can’t I stop?

At this time I had a mammogram scheduled because of said lump. I went. There it was clearly. A mass on my left side by my rib. A lymph node also enlarged. The technicians were concerned. Sent me to ultrasound to measure it all as I watched. Then scheduled a biopsy. Sh*t again.

This is a strong lesson in self love. And to alter my life to self care. To think different. Do different. Ask for help. Accept outcomes. And LOVE myself more, because I AM WORTH IT.

I could slap myself. But believe I just did with a reality I manifested from ill thinking. I feel my mother hovering over me in spirit. A lot. I Love you Mom. And you are so right: EVERYDAY IS A GIFT.