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Monday, April 22, 2013

A Message To My Body

I know that this body is the vehicle my Self has chosen for her journey through this physical lifetime. Along with my recently realized need to love myself, accepting all of me, including my quirks and imperfections, I had been thinking in terms of my personality-self.  I did not include you, Dear Body, because I have found it very difficult to love you. I was taught as a young person that the body is the "temple of the Holy Spirit", so the Holy Spirit must be my Higher Self - the part of me that is a spark of the Divine. I've already talked to the cells inside of me, now I need to make peace with my body.  That's right, make peace.


While reading, feel free to click here to listen to JOHN LENNON'S GIVE PEACE A CHANCE  on youtube.

Dear Body-of-Mine,

I know that you were under a lot of stress for many years and that you spent lots of your precious energy keeping my emotions in check. You became very skilled as I insisted that you store and repress my emotions and memories, to hide them in your tissues, far away from my awareness so that I could behave well for others, always seeking to make them happy without any concern for myself. 
I did notice that you seemed to have difficulty holding on sometimes when I was experiencing PMS. There must be something about PMS energy that made it very difficult for you to keep holding down those emotions and they sometimes burst out in the form of anger, fury or rage. I have already given you permission to release those emotions and memories and have observed them exiting in many floods of tears over the past year or so. Thank you, dear body, I am feeling much lighter now.

Honestly, I felt betrayed by you, dear body - wounded and bleeding, first a victim of life, then a victim of a dreaded disease - again and again and again and again. I demanded that you endure the pain of countless mutilations, invasions, toxic chemicals, needles, radiation treatments, and medical tests, all mixed together with embarrassment, guilt, sorrow, blame, anger and fear. Part of me felt like I/you somehow deserved to suffer. I believed that:


LIVING MEANS SUFFERING, 
LOVING MEANS SACRIFICING  and
the more you're willing to sacrifice, the more loving you are

I learned as a child that Christian martyrs were the best kind of saints because they were willing to sacrifice their lives for a cause/God they believed in. And, they died the most gruesome deaths - with torture, eaten by lions, stoned, burned, hanged, crucified, tongues and eyes cut out - like a modern day horror movie. I was taught that the willingness to sacrifice one's life was the greatest act of love possible. I sometimes wonder if I am living that belief - die a gruesome death and God will be pleased with me??? yikes!!! I am choosing to let go of any beliefs that are in alignment with that one.

I had forgotten who I really was for many years, but can-can encouraged me to come back to my spirit, come back to God, but I did not come to a place of love for you, my dear body.  I took you for granted.  I expected you to heal, to bounce back, to endure all kinds of torture, to stop causing me so much trouble, to give me a freaking break! I felt like you teased me with two long-term remissions.  I said to you, "So, you DO know how to heal.  You proved it twice already. Why don't you do it NOW? What's WRONG with you, body? Why are you f**king with me?  I hate you - you don't deserve to be loved. Why don't you function perfectly when I don't love and nurture you?" 

I needed someone/someTHING to blame, so I blamed you for my unhappiness, for my can-can. I am a good person, so YOU must be the problem. I wanted you to just go away and leave me alone. What does it mean when you say that to your body? Go away and leave me alone? Is that a death wish? Perhaps it is. Okay, cancel that.  Take it back. I want you to be with me for a very long time, body, so I promise to take better care of you, to treat you with love (gosh, can I really do that?) I don't feel like my body is beautiful or lovable. It is my SLAVE and it will do exactly what I want it to do, because I AM THE BOSS! I AM IN CONTROL! What a ruse I have played on myself! One of the great can-can lessons is that I have NO CONTROL WHATSOEVER.

I know that I asked you, Dear Body, to work overtime and wouldn't let you rest when you were crying out for it. I know you've never felt truly loved, appreciated or cherished; mostly ignored, despised or simply tolerated. I am truly sorry I didn't honor you when you made your simple needs for rest, nutrition, hydration and PEACE known to me. Instead, I filled you with sugar, adrenalin, cortisol, judgment and criticism. I worked you well beyond the state of exhaustion and then insisted that you give even more when you had no more to give.  I wanted to LOOK GOOD in the eyes of others. I just kept pushing and pushing, expecting your top performance. I know you felt like you were alone, as if you weren't part of the larger whole, the oneness of my being - body, mind and spirit. I thought I had it all figured out. I thought I could demonstrate to the world that it's possible to fully recover from this terminal diagnosis by becoming a better person, by letting go of limiting beliefs, by practicing healing techniques, specialized diets, and a whole bunch of complementary therapies.


Dear Body, I never thought to fill you with the energy of Divine Healing Love and I did not appreciate all you have done for me. I have judged you and found you to be weak, ugly and a betrayer.  Because of you, body, I have had to walk around with a mostly-bald head, no eyelashes or eyebrows (but a few chin-whiskers), only one breast, an extremely weak upper-body, no estrogen, poor memory, watery eyes, bad teeth, difficult veins, and difficulty walking in a straight line.

IT'S TIME FOR A CHANGE.....BIG TIME...click this for an appropopriate song on youtube.........TIME FOR A COOL CHANGE




Now I  know that LOVE HEALS.  Love is ALL THAT IS.  LOVE is the answer to every question.  LOVE is the solution to every problem.  And, as the Beatles liked to say, "ALL YOU NEED IS LOVE".  That is one of the great truths of the Universe. The primary "stuff" of the Universe is LOVE, sweet LOVE.

 
Click here to play that Beatles Song on Youtube.

I now promise to love you, Dear Body, with all of my heart, with all of my being, with appreciation and gratitude, with gentleness and grace.  With great love for you....and me.


Sunday, April 21, 2013

I NEED A BREAK!!!~!

After a period of nearly 2 years of steady chemo treatments, I was starting to feel rather lethargic, where EVERYthing seemed to require way more effort than I wanted to give. I thought that my body was needing a break from chemo, so here's that story... For your entertainment while reading this, click here.  This song reflects how I FEEL while taking a break (of undetermined length) from chemo...

Last month, it was "re-staging" time, which means CT scan (trunk of body) and MRI (brain) to check for "progression".  I sometimes wonder if I could be re-staged to a smaller number, like Zero, but I've been at Stage IV since 2001. I was scheduled for CT on Monday, MRI on Friday, then doctor visit the following Thursday.  Feeling a little test anxiety the morning of my MRI, I called the doctor's office and asked that they tell him that I said, "Please don't make me wait another week to find out the results of my CT scan," so he agreed to see me in between other patients and we had a quick visit that day.  He said that the CT results were good, "which means the chemo is working." I asked, "How do you know it's the chemo and not what I've been doing?"  He replied that there was only one way to do that - to go off of chemo.  I let him know that I was thinking about that, so he had time to think about it before my appointment the following Thursday.

I didn't feel much anxiety about the MRI because, if they find a new brain tumor, the doc calls me the same day...no phone call meant good results. So, at my appointment the following Thursday, I learned that the pelvic tumor had disappeared and all others were stable (no growth), and the bone is showing signs of 'growing back' around the radiated tumor in my spine...best report I've heard in a very long time. This time, the doc said "so the chemo is working ... AND, whatever you're doing".  I then gave my argument for a break and he agreed that I need a break - a hug-deserving moment.  Since we agreed that we probably couldn't agree on the length of the break, we're leaving it as 'undetermined' and I'll go to see him again next week.

So, as Ross screamed to Rachel in a Friends Episode...

WE WERE ON A BREAK!!!!!

If you're wondering what I've been doing, I've been loving my body...another challenge accepted...and another post to explain that....with greatest love for you.....I love you and thank you for loving me.

Monday, April 15, 2013

My Father Died and I Cried


Flashback to Florida in January.  I decided to have a new port (they call it a "Life Port" there) installed because the nurses were having a hard time with my veins, sticking me in the back of my hand several times for each treatment. My veins have a reputation among chemo nurses for being very good at getting out of the way when a needle is pointed at them.  I tried caressing them, massaging them, warming them and even talking to them, but they seem to have a mind of their own.

It was a stressful week.  On Monday, we drove to the surgeon's office only to find out that my appointment had been cancelled and they had called our home phone (in MI) to notify me, then I cried when they said the surgeon would not be available again until the following week (oh no - not ANOTHER treatment with multiple needle-sticks!).  This body has had more than its share of needle-sticks, but an IV needle in the back of the hand tends to evoke a very unpleasant sensation - pain!  One of the ladies there took pity on me and said I could see the OTHER surgeon the following day, so I jumped at the opportunity.

Then, on Tuesday, I saw the surgeon in the morning, then we (George and I) spent the remainder of the day at the hospital, filling out paperwork, being interviewed, recalling my medical history (again), and having a couple of tests, blah, blah, blah.

Exhausted already, on Wednesday, we spent the morning at the hospital, having port-installation surgery - and I joyfully had my LAST needle-stick in the back of my hand (yay!).  I slept in the car on our way back to our FL condo (about 45 minutes), had something to eat, and went to bed.  Later, I got up, sat down, fell asleep, and went back to bed.  I had "the Michael Jackson" drug 
(propiphol?) for my surgery and heard that they had to give me a second dose cuz I just wouldn't hold still.  I asked if I could take some home with me, but I guess they don't do that.  Then, I couldn't seem to stay awake, so I made up for 16 years of insomnia in one day/night!



Then, on Thursday, I had a chemo treatment and they used my new port.  I apparently have a little neuropathy in my upper chest as I never felt any pain from this surgery or from any needle-sticks in the port itself (yay!).  While driving home from the chemo treatment, George and I were looking forward to resting from our stressful week, and then the phone rang.

It was my dear brother and mother calling to say that Dad had just died.  It was not a surprise.  It was a blessing because I'm sure it was a GREAT relief to him to be out of that body that had imprisoned him for so long.  They say grief comes in waves...I just rode one of those waves.

In my imagination, I immediately saw my Dad as a young man turning cartwheels and jumping for joy because he was feeling so happy to free of that body.  



On Friday, we started our 2-day journey from FL to MI for the funeral.  I talked to Erin, our daughter, who was about to start nursing school.  She decided that she (and her dear husband Jeremy) attending her grandfather's funeral was more important than her first two days of nursing school.  We are very proud of her and grateful for that.  She and Jeremy are, indeed, a blessing to us.  They were there with me when my Dad was in the hospital last August when all I could do was cry when I was with him.

Life in recent years has taught me that it's okay to cry. Crying is a very human thing and I usually feel better afterward.  As a child, I was taught NOT to cry or express emotion of any kind.  I recently read something about how we lost more soldiers in Afghanistan (in a particular time period) to suicide than to enemy fire.  This did not include things like drug overdoses and local violence.  The article also said that emotional detachment is part of the military training.  Think about it - what must you say to our children (young men and women) to get them to believe that killing other people is okay?  I cried for all of the soldiers on our planet who have been "convinced" to believe that their cause is worth killing for and worth dying for.  

And, I cried for my Dad who was only 17 years old (a child) when he went into the army in WWII. He was wounded and earned a Purple Heart when the man who was walking in front of him stepped on a land mine and died. He walked across Germany in the snow and fought in the Battle of the Bulge. 

Much of that training stuck with him for the rest of his life - it helped to form who he was in relation to the world.  Two things I realized about him... He ALWAYS followed the rules without question...I think when he was a young soldier, that is one of the things that kept him alive.  His very life depended on him following orders without question. I spoke to him about this in the last year of his life and he agreed with me. He also learned that emotional detachment "thing". Emotional detachment seemed to be a way of life for many people of that generation - and, consequently, my generation.  

At the funeral, in my imagination, I could see my Dad sitting on the edge of the coffin, a young man, joking around and saying, "What's the big deal?  I'm doing fine!" So, for a moment, I smiled while others were crying.

After the funeral, we returned to Florida and I thought of Dad often when walking on the beach and I would talk to him.  I remembered him telling me to check the direction of the wind before you start walking so you can end your walk with the "wind at your back".  I knew that he was with me when the wind was at my back.  After a couple of weeks, I found myself feeling angry with him for not teaching me about emotional expression. I told him he owed me something for that...he had to walk on the beach with me and talk to me. At the time, I was reading the book THE JOURNEY HOME by Lee Carroll and it helped me to see, very clearly, that Spirit sees things very differently than we humans do.  The day after I finished reading it, I found myself thanking my father for being the perfect father for me...it was exactly what my spirit had signed up for to learn  in this lifetime. Some things I was destined to learn for myself - from my own experience.

This is not at all what I started to write.  I guess I have some catching up to do.  More coming very soon....