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“One Day My Soul Opened Up”

“One day my soul just opened up
and things started happenin’
things I can’t quite explain
I mean
I cried and cried like never before
I cried tears of ten thousand mothers
I couldn’t even feel anything because
I cried ‘til I was numb.

One day my soul just opened up
I felt this overwhelming pride
What I was proud of
only God knows!
Like the pride of a hundred thousand fathers
basking in the glory of their newborn sons
I was ginnin’ from ear to ear!

One day my soul just opened up
I started laughing
and I laughed for what seemed like forever
wasn’t nothin’ particularly funny goin’ on
but I laughed anyhow
I laughed the joy of a million children playin’
in the mud
I laughed ‘til my sides ached
Oh God!  It felt so good!

One day, my soul just opened up
There were revelations, annihilations, and resolutions
feelings of doubt and betrayal, vengeance and
forgiveness
memories of things I’d seen and done before
of places I’d been, although I didn’t know when
there were lives I’d lived
people I’d loved
battles I’d fought
victories I’d won
and wars I’d lost.

One day, my soul just opened up
and out poured all of the things
I’d been hiding
and denying
and living through
that had just happened moments before.

One day, my soul just opened up
and I decided
I was good and ready!
I was good and ready
to surrender
my life
to God.

So, with my soul wide open,
I sat down
and wrote Her a note
and told her so.”

Gemmia L. Vanzant

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Entering The Rest

My days meander now.
Sure, there’s the occasional appointment to attend to,
or some “chore” that needs to be done.
But in this new found freedom of
unstructured hours that are quickly
turning into weeks
which will, eventually, I suppose,
turn into months,
I find a softness I didn’t know I had
or forgot I had.

It shows up in my mid day nap
or when I suddenly look at the clock
and realize
it’s 1:00 p.m. and I’m still in my jammies.

Juxtapositioned against this softness
is the fact that I’m physically busier now
than I ever was while sitting at a desk
I move, on and off all day long

My movements ebb and flow like the tides.
And my body has found
relaxation in this movement
In the bending and lifting and plucking and walking about
of an ordinary day at home
filled with things that heal
Cooking
Gardening
Walks outside
Home making
Showering and oiling my body with herbal medicines

How gentle my weekdays have become
when I’m home alone
away from the stress and
dysfunction of my workplace

How beautiful the quiet…
How gorgeous the day spent without another sound
except the chirping of birds
or the tea kettle’s whistle
or some distant neighbors lawn mower

I have so much to be grateful for!

It is said that God gives Joy in the Present Moment.
I believe that.
When I don’t think about “what was”
And I stay away from “what might be”
I find a river of Joy
Flowing through  my soul.
And where there is Joy
there is peace
And where there is peace
there is rest.

I’ve come to realize that I don’t have to
be sick or to die
in order to rest.
The heavy labor is over
The burden has been lifted
My job is to make sure
I don’t pick it up again

It is well with my soul.

Broken Open

3 weeks.

It’s hard to believe that’s how long it’s been since my last post.

Here, at the end of Week 3, I am beginning to feel really good.  Any discomfort is manageable (although I miss being able to lay on my tummy).  The bruising is subsiding.  And the incision is closing nicely.

I’m spending my days taking care of myself.  Been getting out for my daily walks again this week, and I spend a lot of time cooking as I experiment with healthy, cancerass-kicking recipes.  My garden is thriving under my now-more-consistent-care, my home is getting mini organizational makeovers, and – if you take the whole “C” word out of the equations – I feel very peaceful and in love with this new softer paced life.

Here I am in that Grace Period between What Was and What Will Be – which, at least initially, involves another surgery one week from today.

This isn’t a bad thing.  I was amazingly relieved to learn that the sentinel nodes that were removed did not contain any cancer cells.  And while the tissue my doc removed was larger than expected, (one tumor was 2mm, the other area 6mm) she was able to get a “clear margin” of 1mm around it all and keep my breast looking very “normal”.  Perky, even.

It’s just that 1.5mm to 2mm is the gold standard where margins are concerned, so Friday she’ll reexcise through the original incision and remove a little more tissue.  Widen the DMZ, so to speak.

And hey – I’m good with that.  For one thing, she’s not looking for something new, praisethebabyJesus.

But more importantly is that this second surgery delayed the chemo timeline and gives me more time to figure out what the HELL I want to do.

This is where my heart is broken open before God.  See, I can face anything if I know that it’s The Divine Plan.  But I gotta KNOW.  I mean, that kind of knowing that gives you peace, even if it means facing the fires of hell.

And in this case, that’s a pretty accurate description.

Once I learned that women were dying in large numbers from what I have without the current treatments available, I’ve not been so quick to throw those treatments out with the Side Effect Ladened bathwater.  Breast Cancer isn’t a one-size-all deal.  It’s not just about “Stages”.  There are a half dozen types of actual cancer pathologies with another handful of characteristics that make up the full diagnosis.  These cover everything from indicators on what the tumors are sensitive to, to genetic risks to aggression numbers.

But.  Right now?  The tumors I had are GONE.  They were successfully removed and when the nodes are clear, there is a very low possibility the cancer has metastasized somewhere else.   So, anything I do from this point is to try to keep it from coming back, and to kill any little floaters that escaped that may….MAY….be somewhere in my body.

Basically, it’s all a fucking crap shoot.

So what is “easier”?  Where are my intentions and prayers and visionings best placed?  To believe for my complete healing and remission by just accepting the surgery and taking my chances?  (Well, along with dietary/lifestyle changes and supplements and whatever else I can think of…)

OR, would my faith be better placed in the recommended treatment plan – a plan that has proven to be very successful –  and just pray to God that I can jump over all the potential issues caused by the 4 treatments themselves?  Each of them – chemotherapy, Herceptin, radiation, and some sort of aromatose inhibitor – is reported to have some pretty icky side effects,  although not everyone experiences them and some are temporary (hair loss, for example).

I’ve learned that many of the potential side effects have to do with the HEART….which is kind of interesting.   I come to feel that with this being in my left breast and all, the cancer metaphysically morphed as a result of heart related issues.  The SOUL kinda heart, not the organ.  Things like betrayals, self sacrificing, over nurturing of others, stress and a deep soul tiredness.

Do I have what it takes to believe that I will be one of  lucky/blessed/graced/fortunate/protected ones 4 times over? Or, will the surgery and my own efforts – with God’s blessing – be enough to keep the wolves at bay?

That is the question that I must answer, and that I carry around me with me every moment of every day.  My hope is that when the time comes when I MUST decide, I will know.

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