A few minutes ago, I wrote a cranky entry about how pissed off I am about the space BC is taking up in my life right now. But as always, I am a big jumble of thoughts and emotions, which often contradict each other.
I have ALSO been thinking about how, for someone with cancer, I am so lucky and blessed in so many ways. My mom and I (hi Mom!) have been talking about it...without getting into the details of my spiritual beliefs and practices here in my public blog, I will just say, I do strongly feel guidance and protection from Spirit. I will use Spirit as a generalized term for what others may call God, G-d, Goddess, Jesus, angels, the Creator, Allah, spirit guides, etc., etc.! Suffice it to say, I feel the universe looking out for me in a strong, real way, and am content to not name or define it because I don't think it can truly be named or defined anyway. "The Way that can be spoken of is not the Way..."
Anyway. :) What I mean is:
- I am so lucky to have health insurance from the state of VT.
- I decided "on a whim" to get a physical, despite being so healthy that it seemed unnecessary to do so. That's the guidance of Spirit right there.
- The doctor found the lump in my breast, and ironically, it was Breast Cancer Awareness month!
- I got the ultrasound and biopsy, but several times, I almost decided not to bother, because everyone was so "sure" the lump was benign. Still, something kept nudging me towards continuing with the tests, even when on the day of my biopsy appointment, the surgeon spent the first 20 minutes talking about how it was SO unlikely that I had cancer that it would be okay if I chose to not get the biopsy and instead monitor the lump on my own for 6 months to make sure it didn't change. As my mom said, even when the doctor "dangled the 'wait-6-months-and-see' bait" in front of me, giving me the opportunity to forego the thick-as-pencil-lead needle that I was terrified of, I chose to have the biopsy that day. Imagine if I hadn't??
- Even though I was SO SURE the results of my biopsy would be benign, I asked my Mom and Andee (hi Mom and Andee!) to come with me to the appointment anyway. And then when he said the C-word and I had a meltdown, THANK GOD I had two people I love so much there to help me. Mom and Andee, you help me more than I can even explain, and I love you!
- Just two days before I was diagnosed with BC, I had reconnected with a dear close friend, helping her celebrate her 100% healing from BC. What incredible timing. She is now helping me navigate these new and scary waters, providing me with both practical and emotional support to a depth that no one else can because A) we've been friends for 12 years/she KNOWS me! and B) she just went through all of this herself!
- My BC is THE BEST kind to have, if you have to have BC at all. It's Stage 1, Grade 1, a TINY TINY tumor. There is a 100% survival rate for women with the type of BC I have.
- I have THE MOST AMAZINGLY WONDERFUL FAMILY AND FRIENDS IN THE WORLD to help me get through this. It's ironic... I have been severely underemployed for nearly a year now, barely barely working enough hours/making enough money to pay my rent and bills, and it sucks being poor. But the flip side is that while I've been poor in money all this time, I've been downright wealthy in terms of TIME and FRIENDS. Not having enough work has meant I've had lots of time to spend with my friends/family/people I love and to put lots of energy into nurturing those relationships, and that has made me really happy. And I did not know how very, very important my web of friends would become to me. Imagine if I were one of those workaholic types who worked 60 hours a week and thus had plenty of money but almost no friends because I didn't have time for friendships??? I would be pretty screwed right about now. Instead, I still don't have much money, but what I do have is a freakin TSUNAMI OF LOVE flooding my being every day, and that is so much more important to me. THAT is what will help me through this.
- I decided to go to [a bigger hospital] instead of continuing with the hospital where I'd had the biopsy (thanks to inside information from an in-the-know friend! THANK YOU!). I didn't know any of the surgeons there, but they ended up assigning me to the DIRECTOR of the BC program... who seems amazing. Last night I went to my first BC support group, and the first woman I talked to had also been treated by this same doctor and had all kinds of wonderful things to say about her. She seems to be everything I hoped for in a surgeon.
So although I wish I did not have BC, I am so grateful for all of the ways in which Spirit, and my friends and family, are helping me.