Om Namah Shivaya


Sunday, October 16, 2011

First major milestone come and gone...

One year ago yesterday I was undergoing a bi-lateral mastectomy in an effort to greatly reduce my chances of the cancer coming back, and also in hopes to get rid of all that was left as well.  I woke up in recovery groggily asking "Am I clear? What about the lymph-nodes?", it wasn't until a few hours later when Dr. Ryan came by again that I grasped the fact that he had told me numerous times "The markers were clear, there's no sign of cancer left", I was relieved.  

Now I've hit the huge milestone of being cancer free for a whole year.  My how time has flown.  I still have six months, or so, to go until I'm out of the "risk of recurrence" stage, and I can hang with that.  I think cancer learned a big lesson when it decided to invade my's not coming back (at least we can hope).

So thank you for the support over the past year and a half.  Thank you for going along on this journey with me, and continuing still.  While I wished for lots of things to happen yesterday, it's okay that I celebrated the day away mostly in solitude.  Brunch with the girls was perfect in the morning, then the afternoon to myself was just fine.  I won't be selfish and say what I wish would have happened, because in truth I'm a year cancer free and that's all that matters.

So in the month of Breast Cancer Awareness please make sure to get yourself checked, and if you've already found something *please* go to your doctor and get it checked out.  Early detection saves lives and you can't fix the problem until you know what the problem is.

Wednesday, October 12, 2011

It's all an illusion I tell you...all an illusion.

Me the Teacher
I have found myself, as of late, using this phrase a lot "It's all an illusion I tell you...all an illusion".  I use it when I'm given praise, complimented, or recognized for something positive and I'm not really sure where it came from or why it's stuck around so far but it amuses me, and I relate to it on a visceral level that I can't quite explain.  

Allow me to try...
First my hair went away
I am coming to believe, realize, *know*; whatever word you want to use there, that some profound shifts took place in me over the course of the past year as I battled breast cancer.  One in particular was the loss of my sense of beauty.  First my hair went, which I had been growing out for so long and had *finally* reached a length I loved; then they took from me what is, too me, fundamental in being a woman.  They took my girls right off my chest and put foreign objects there, in their place.  Talk about weird.  Losing that sense of beauty took me to a level of pure, oh I don't know, purse sense of self maybe?  There was no hiding who I was, what I looked like, or what I was going through.  That was me, the real me, take it or leave it. 
And then they took my girls

Now, I'm not saying that I'm hiding or anything like that; but there is a certain level of...*difference* between who I was before cancer, who I was during it, and who I am now.  So what's the illusion I speak of?  What does it mean?  Why do I say it in reference to myself?  I've come to feel that something bigger than any of us could even *begin* to comprehend is going to happen in the next few years.  I don't know what, and I certainly don't know when, but it's going to happen and when it does, we will all be revealed for who we truly are, and the true reality in which we are to live.  So this, then, this life that we are all trying to carefully craft, nurture, and direct into where we want it to be because that's where *we* see ourselves in five, ten, fifteen years down the road, are undeniably #Crazy and are living in our illusion.

In the chemo chair
I sound crazy don't I?  And maybe I am, and I'm fine with that. *laugh*  it's just that after going through something as stupid as breast cancer, it just seems all so pointless to try and control everything in my life.  It makes much more sense to enjoy what I'm doing, to do it to the fullest extent of my ability, to not sweat the small stuff, and to watch myself closer because every single choice I make effects every thing else in some way so I want to make sure it's a positive effect indeed.

Me the Drum Line/Band Director
Now, don't get me wrong and don't misunderstand.  There are certainly things I do & say that I am not proud of, and kick myself in the pants over after it's said and done...but I'm working on that.  Yet that's what we are all, really, aren't we?  Works in progress.  We're constantly evolving into, hopefully, better versions of ourselves than we were the day prior.  Whether these changes take place because *we* wanted them too, or because something happened (or didn't), or because the divine spirits that reside above decided we needed too.  We're all aiming to become the best version of ourselves we can.

Our fifth anniversary spent at chemo
That's what I want for me, for you, for my students, for my husband, my family, hell even my dogs.  I want us ALL to start living the best life we possibly can as the best possible version of ourselves that we can.  So OWN YOURSELF.  Know that every single decision you make ripples throughout this world and affects everything.  Whether it be positive, negative, big, or small; it affects us all.  

Think on it for a while.  You may just see my crazy talk has some truth too it and if not that's okay, I'm going to keep living my life the best way I know how, enjoying it the best way I know how, being thankful for everyday I get, and continue to work on becoming the best version of myself I possibly can be until the truth is revealed to all of us.