Archives for October 2011

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Cancer: The Dream



“The soul among all creatures is generative like God is.” Meister Eckhart.

As my first chemotherapy treatment approached, I wondered how to incorporate the recommended visualization of “blowing up” the “evil” cancer cells. This particular image was almost as ominous as the thoughts of the treatment itself. I prayed for guidance which came in the form of a dream the evening before the first treatment. I used this picture because of the colors. Never in my life had I seen such exquisitely vivid multi colors.

THE DREAM

She began her journey to the hospital as she climbed into the small car. She was startled to see hundreds of starfish-like creatures. They were friendly, cheerful and fun albeit noisy as they were all trying to communicate at once, each wanting her to know them. The woman felt overwhelming compassion for these odd, beautiful little creatures. They made her laugh. She beseeched the driver not to move the car until she could get the little ones to depart. They were everywhere. They were on the seats, under the seats, in the glove compartment, hanging on the doors both inside and outside of the car. They were even under the tires. They had not a clue of their impending danger. They would be smashed to bits if the driver moved the car. The woman felt deeply connected to these curious little creatures and intuitively knew that they meant no harm. They were simply and totally self-absorbed in the maintenance of their own life force.

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Cancer: The Mastectomy

 

“When we practice dying

We are learning to identify less with

the Ego and more with the soul.” Ram Dass

 

Holding my burning eyes while sobbing uncontrollably I beg the nurse for eye drops. Ignoring the white band on my wrist stating my allergic reaction to tape, the anesthesiologist had taped my eyes shut during the mastectomy. Unable to give me any form of eye drop relief because the doctor had not ordered them, my husband was hell bent on getting me out of that hospital immediately. He took total control of the situation, clearly distressed at my level of pain.

Precisely four hours after my mastectomy we were parked in front of a drug store. My eyes now soothed with drops, we waited in the Seattle ferry line to begin our two hour journey home. My husband assured me for the hundredth time that he could care less about the absence of one breast. He just wanted me to live.

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Portacath: What is it and will it hurt?

“And breast cancer is a dance of initiation, for no woman who dances with cancer is ever the same. She has visited the source and tasted the waters of life and death, savored the sweetness and the sharpness of her own mortality, and tasted her desire to survive.” (pg. Xiii) Breast Cancer? Breast Health! Susan S. Weed

Ten days before my scheduled mastectomy surgery I saw the doctor who had previously treated my mother. She died five years earlier from pancreatic cancer. He would become part of my cancer treatment team.

“Dawn, your veins are exactly like your mothers. They are small, they roll and then collapse. They will not support the several hours needed for your IV tubes treatment. Have your mastectomy surgeon insert a portacath

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Cancer: The angel amidst the hats.

“Some people want to recognize God only in some pleasant enlightenment-and then they get pleasure and enlightenment but not God.” Meister Eckhart

With a heavy heart I departed my favorite lingerie store. It slowly sinks in that I would never again wear those lovely Victoria’s Secret bras. Downheartedly, I walked toward Macy’s department store.

I pondered my apparent lack of emotions since my cancer diagnosis. Curious as to where my tears were hiding since so far they had remained securely hidden from me. Not a single tear had escaped since I was first diagnosed with cancer. Not during the lumpectomy procedure, nor the subsequent more serious diagnosis.