My mom called me this evening to share that a few of my "fans" back home are waiting with bated breath for the next installment of, "What the hell is happening with this damn and entirely bizarre cancer stuff" and I'm trying desperately to find the words to please them. To give them the very thing they want but they just aren't coming and oddly enough, I don't even really want talk about cancer anymore. I've actually gone a whole couple of hours completely forgetting that I still have it. That I am still in the middle of being diagnosed and I still have a long road ahead.
Surgery has come and gone and on Wednesday, May 31st, after weeks of more insurance issues, I am finally having the other lymph node biopsied to see if it is in fact, cancer. This will dictate my treatment protocol, something I'm still wrapping my head around.
There were actually three lymph nodes that lit up in my PET scan, one has already been removed when I had my inguinal lymph node dissection on April 20th, and the other two are in my pelvis/sacrum area. They can only reach one because the other in my sacrum is too deep. This requires sedation and a big long needle going directly into my pelvis. All I can say is, THANK GOD FOR DRUGS. As much as I am a purist at heart, eating organic, using organic and natural products on my skin and throughout my home, I am so grateful for those wonderful and glorious drugs that will knock me out for this procedure.
But like I said, I don't really want to talk about this.
Lately I've been thinking about how much has changed in my life over the course of three months. Right before I was diagnosed I had this crazy feeling that I was on the cusp of some pretty major life changes. There was an anxious energy in the air and being the highly intuitive person I am, I knew cha cha changes were around the corner. Have you ever known your life was about to drastically changed right before it did and then it does and you feel like you are spinning in the middle of a tornado and you can't get proper footing? That's pretty much what happened to me and it's how I have felt ever since.
Everything is the same yet nothing is the same. It reminds me of that t-shirt you see EVERYWHERE in SE Asia with the words, "Same same but different" printed on front and I feel like I need to own that shirt because that is now my life.
I stare in the mirror every day and see the same women yet hardly recognize her. Has cancer really changed me that much so soon or am I just going through one of those periods in life where you have a massive internal shift that just so happened to coincide with a tragic life event?
To give you an idea of what has changed over the last three months here is a rundown:
* new roommate
* cancer diagnosis
* massive amounts of art made and sold/art opening
* MANY doctors appointments
* MANY visitors (mom, sister-in-law, older brother, both my best friends from Seattle)
* fostered a dog but have totally fallen in love and have decided to keep him
* something else I can't quite mention yet but it's BIG
* got a new car
* met some new friends
Now I'm totally aware that most of this stuff, minus the cancer is pretty amazing but change is change and the processing is always interesting and sometimes presents its own challenges. Especially when you are creature of habit and a women with many daily rituals as I am. There are moments when I am craving the familiarity of life right before everything changed but then I realize that real change, the internal stuff, happens when your life gets thrown upside down. That's when you see what you are made of. That is when you see if all those other millions of lessons in your past and all the learnings you took away have really stuck. This is when you are forced to see just how grounded and sane you actually are.. or just how crazy.
So yes, most of these changes are exactly what I've needed but they still cause me some pretty significant anxiety and make me feel like I'm stumbling around drunk and naked in the dark looking for my clothes after a racy one night stand. I've actually never had a one night stand so I don't technically know what this looks or feels like but I imagine it is a mix of "oh shit oh shit oh shit, what did I just do and F*&K yeah, I just DID that!" as you run out the door giggling as quietly as you can as to not wake them and have the awkward, "Well, that was fun" exchange.
And that my friends, has me thinking, maybe I SHOULD have some racy one night stands because if all of this has taught me anything it's that life is entirely too short and anything can happen at any moment and I'll be damned if I go down without feeling like I've truly lived. Then again. I'm not so sure that a racy one night stand will make me feel like I'm actually living but hey, I'm sure as hell going to figure out what does.
So that is where I am at. Trying to figure out what exactly I need in my life to feel like I'm not wasting any of this precious time on things that weigh me down and contribute to my own personal suffering.
So my new motto, the one I'm going to live by from here on out is, "Does this make me feel like I'm having a racy one night stand?"
If yes, I'm on the right track.
Maybe we all need to think of that one thing that terrifies and excites us all in the same moment. That one thing that will help us gauge if we are truly living. What is that for you? What is that thing that is going to make you feel alive. Maybe it's not the idea of a racy one night stand. Maybe it's a double cheese burger with extra mayo when you swore you were giving up meat for the last time. Maybe it's jumping out of an airplane when you are terrified of heights. Maybe it's falling so deeply in love after your heart was shredded in a million pieces. Maybe maybe maybe...
I don't know what it is for you but for me, it's the way, I think, a racy one night stand would make me feel. A bit terrifying and extremely freeing with a good dose of uncontrollable giggles.
And really, isn't that what we all need more of anyway?
Get your mind out of the gutter.