The Space In Between


“How are you feeling?”

It’s a question I’m asked a lot these days. The ironic thing is, I don’t seem to be able to answer this question fully at any one given time.  When I try to reply, the Truth seems to lodge in my throat, a gooey lump of hope and fear. Even now as I type this I feel it swelling…. an energetic chicken bone, jagged and piercing.  It makes my eyes tear up.

But I do my best to answer honestly.  I am OK.  I’m taking things one day at a time. I’m praying that the biopsy results – both from the procedure I had this past Tuesday and the one coming up on Monday – will show that these areas in my breast are benign.  For sure, I down play my feelings to make my kids feel better.  To make my husband feel better.

They all need me to be OK.

It’s been a bit of a surprise that I can be so filled with STUFF and yet I’ve been almost paralyzed when it comes to writing about this journey.  I see how superstitious I might be…as if even acknowledging the word “cancer” -whether in written form or verbally – will somehow bring it upon me.

If it isn’t already there.

It’s weird that when faced with my biggest health challenge, The words won’t come.  WTF is up with that?  Writing is my medicine!  It’s my guru and my therapist and my BFF.  Writing is a cathartic purging, that safe place where I can spew out all my demons and them sort them out.  Whether in my journal or here on the blog, writing has been extraordinarily healing to me over the years.

But not with this situation.  In fact, an odd stillness has me in its grip.  Sometimes  I wonder if it’s all the prayers being sent my way, keeping me calm. Uncharacteristically passive. Sure, I’m doing all the necessary things.  Going to work.  Doing laundry.  Fixing meals and caring for my family.  But mostly, I seem to be floating in the shallow end.  I spend any sleepless hours at night playing, not praying – playing some silly game or watching a movie or reading a bit.  I sit still A LOT.  I don’t talk much.  Hell, I haven’t even been cleaning – which is always my superpower during times of stress or uncertainty.

Someone hit my Pause button.

These past few days even my prayers have been simple.  “Thank you” and  “Please”  are almost always the first (and sometimes the only) words I think of when it occurs to me that maybe I should be praying about this. Unlike during my daughter’s recent cancer scare, when I would wake up in the middle of the night and immediately go into Battle Mode,  I wake up and grab my iPad to zone out. (although there is a meditative quality to arranging this and selecting that in the games I play.  And in all cases, I have CONTROL over what is happening….)

Maybe, as strong as I am….as powerful and Let’s Do This! as I have been, I might actually be a bit of a coward when it comes to things pertaining to my insides.  NOT spiritual things..physical things.  Things that may mean I have to yield my control over to other people.

Like doctors.  And surgeons.  And anesthesiologists.

Everyone has their own way of dealing with things, I suppose.  All I feel like doing is hiding out in my Cave until the storm passes, allowing things to unfold without much effort on my part. Taking it one step at a time seems to help. Letting go and letting God is mandatory.  Breathing, well…. sometimes I have to remind myself to do that properly.

Mostly, I’m waiting. For what, I’m not quite sure yet….

Later this morning I will get to work out for the first time since Tuesday.  I’ll go get a massage.  Maybe do a little grocery shopping and finish my laundry.  I’ll fix something healthy to eat, and hopefully won’t fall off of the Diet wagon again tonight when Comfort calls in the form of cookies or chips.

And in the spaces in between I’ll just be here now.

The Bullying Stops Here

As I sat in the examination room yesterday, I remember thinking to myself, “there is something wrong.”

It wasn’t that I had been hit with some huge premonition.  It was more like a series of smaller “hits” had finally accumulated enough girth as a whole to become undeniable.  Some of those hits went as far back as last year (maybe even earlier) and the latest ones had come just that morning.  They showed up in the subtlest of energy shifts in the two wonderful techs that had performed a follow-up mammogram and an ultrasound on me.   I noticed the slight withdrawal of presence, the merest tucking in and tensing around the mouth, and a slightly more businesslike, albeit kind, farewell.  To me, it added up to one thing: they couldn’t give me the reassurance I was looking for.  They saw something in the photos.

The longer I sat and waited, the more frightened I became.  By the time the doctor bounced in – a stunner  of an older gal with long gray hair, a generous smile and bright blue eyes – and asked me how I was doing, all I could say was “I guess I’m waiting for you to tell me that.”

And she did.

With great compassion, kindness and optimism, she explained that there were a couple of suspicious areas in my left breast that need attention and proceeded to show me on the film.

The “good” news is, the area(s) is/are small (thanks to regular mammograms), are very treatable with surgery and some radiation applied directly to the affected area(s), and I won’t have to undergo chemo or radiation.

Then, in an attempt to keep things light, I guess, she told me that she heard many women met some wonderful galpals on the journey I was about to embark on.   Sisters dealing with the same issues.

I guess there’s an upside to everything.

The “bad” news?  In her opinion, what she saw was most likely a breast cancer.  A couple of biopsies and an MRI will be done to confirm that, one way or the other.   I am, naturally, praying for a miracle call “The Other”.

Anyway, because of the hits I’ve been receiving, her news wasn’t a complete surprise, although – in all honesty – by the time I walked out of the office with paperwork in my hands and a couple of appointments on my calendar – I was in tears.  And I continued to cry on and off for most of yesterday.

One of the biggest of those little hits happened sometime last year. I had a “Aha!” moment.  At least, that’s what it felt like at the time when I realized just how much time I’d spent completely not liking my breasts – mostly since the changes they’ve undergone in the last few years.  They’re huge, for one thing (G cup), heavy and – thanks to gravity – tend to create the illusion of thickness around my mid-section that no amount of lace and underwire seems to alleviate.

I had been boob bullying, and it occurred to me that The Girls might not fare well under that sort of onslaught.  If you are familiar with Masaru Emoto’s “The Hidden Messages In Water”. you understand what I mean.  Our bodies are made up of about 60% of water, so why wouldn’t the cells in my breasts respond to energetic bullying?

So I began to apologize to them.  Sincerely apologizing for all the negative things I’ve said and thought about them.  When I remembered to, I would hold them tenderly and told them I loved them.  I blessed them.  Probably not often enough, or consistently enough…especially when I stood naked in front of the bathroom mirror.  But it was a start to the turnaround and you can bet your sweet tatas that it’s something I will be an expert at in short order.


I’m not going to lie.  This is SERIOUSLY not a journey I want to go on.  I had hoped that things would be calm for a bit after going through my daughter and brothers ‘ recent cancer scares.  But Life Happens, and this morning, after sharing a bucket of tears and two bottles of wine with my BFF last night (miraculously, without much hangover effect ….the first of MANY miracles I hope to be the recipient of), I feel calmer. More under control.   And my mantra is:  I AM HEALED, WHOLE AND HEALTHY.

I’ve also begun praying over my breasts, Ho’oponopono particularly, and have let any cancer know it cannot stay in my body.  This photo I altered for my electronic wallpapers shows the four lines of Ho’oponopono.  If you’re unfamiliar with this prayer, check it out.  It is quite powerful and healing:  OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

I don’t know all that the future holds, but I do know this.  I want to embark on this new journey with the intention of loving myself thoroughly and mindfully every step of the way, and to heal.

Forgiveness, love and gratitude.  They seem like the best place to start.