How we process our diagnosis effects our outcome.
My cup runneth over. The cup is half empty or is it half full. What is the lens we see ourselves through to make these judgements
I thought my cup was full enough till it wasn’t. And this was acceptable but now my life may be running out of time. How can that be. I do yoga I eat well I volunteer. Yes it’s your turn, sorry.
It was not only my turn, it was my partners turn as well. He has been living with a terminal leukemia diagnosis for five years when my heart begins to lag behind.
We have both entered this end of life arena not yet 70.
In hindsight I witness the grace of this experience I would receive the news that emergency open heart surgery was required. I had hiked thirteen miles the month prior and something broke loose. It was during Covid times. I thought me just sick.
As we all did during Covid we found ways to look for meaning in these confusing times. My partner and I were two days into a four day online meditation retreat with Mountain Cloud of Sante Fe. A woman named Virginia would tell a story about a Buddhist nun being told she was going to die of her cancer. He wanted her to be alarmed it seemed. She thought I am my cancer and was not to be rattled. I took that in. Impermanence
We sat at our table to process the meditation gathering event happy to be doing it. The call came in. You need emergency open heart surgery. We missed it on the first look
I hang up. A deer in the headlights He makes all the reservations while we sit at table still me hardly able to focus. Done. I stand. I say I’m going out to our camper to process alone and leave. In a good marriage we have processed most things together so this was different.
I lay on the bunk and hear my mind say the words open heart surgery and my body starts to panic. I have never experienced panic mode. It started at my head with thought and traveled all the way down my body picking it all up together when I remembered Virginia. I am my cancer she said. I am my heart. And the trembling stopped
I called to mind they looked again and found it after I requested it. I wasn’t getting better. They listened to me. This is good. I immediately came back to the cabin to relieve my best friend.
And the dance began
Where is my cup now. Shouldn’t it be full. I’m feeling pretty mighty. I am hiking seven miles already one month into recovery. It’s pretty full. Two months and one day after open heart surgery and the day after being given a clean bill of health, I get a call at eight pm. What a hard call that must have been being my doctors my friend and we live in a small Alaskan town. We see a blip on your last ultrasound. It could be nothing
It wasn’t nothing, I would turn down the only option in the medical profession that would insure me a long life. I said I have loved my life. I will not be tethered to the system on my way out. I will live with this cancer along with my partner He is considered an outlier being five years past his expiration date.
So we live
Isn’t that what the mighty do?
We are finding our way into an alignment not felt before as it’s just gotten real. Everything matters. Everything belongs. We are discovering new ways to approach a very dire piece of news not falling apart but thriving.
If we can learn to listen to what our bodies are saying and filter out the white noise of what you should be doing, like our doctors, family and friends trying inform , we may just be able to hear, it is my belief these diseases are messages to help us change how we live and move through the world.
Feeling mighty comes in many packages. I am delighted the real might showed up when needed so we may keep it real continuing to help others along our way.