Admittedly, I’ve been lost as to where I’m going to go next and what is ahead and how do I deal with the many changes in my life. As I’ve written before, I’ll be in cancer treatment for the rest of my life, and most likely at the Phoenix Mayo Clinic. So it made sense to move there. Yet, a level uncertainty brewed inside of me.
Photographers like this hillside. It’s juxtaposition. It’s unique. It’s a challenge to photograph because one must be mindful of traffic, mud, holes and lord knows what else to get that perfect photo.
For me this moment paralleled how I feel these days: Like a poppy seeking the sun and holding my delicate bloom together against a hard and rocky environment.
This was a call to war. And the war ignited into full regalia when my guardian angels pulled the plug on my body on Halloween 2018 while I was in a second-opinion consult with a Mayo Clinic gynecologic oncologist. As pale as white paper, and barely able to breath, and worse — unable to control myself, I hurled and splattered volumes of gastrointestinal debris all over her office. Rushed to the ER, the final report read: severe anemia, hemorrhage gostrointestinal upper, malignant neoplasm of endocervix (HCC), and dyspnea — NOS (labored breathing).
I challenge anyone to show me how this moment of snarky memes, negativity, and divisiveness benefits one’s self, others, the planet.
“Sometimes I give up hope until I come back to this casita and see five miracles living right here.”
Now imagine yourself listening to a specialist in this field of cancer treatment basically telling you that father time, cloaked in his black garments and clutching a sharpened scythe, has established his death-dealing self within your body. You have choices to make. Here’s 10 incites that will probably happen with that diagnosis:
Finally, we stood face to face (as it were), You reminded me of a Star Wars character, the kind I might meet in a faraway bar — not purposefully harmful, just looking for somewhere to blow your wad. Well, aren’t all penetrators following the same mission?
“What island am I on?” I asked myself. Outside is a leader belittling countries of dark-skinned humans. Outside is a legion of angry white men at war with themselves and a changing world. Outside is a living contradiction of faith. Outside we’re told that it is us versus them. But I was on an island where ethnicity and social station did not matter. This island’s mission was human kindness.
Through these 12 months, a medical cancer did strike my friends and colleagues. It was as if a deluge of rogue cells from what I call cancer-world rained on many people I know. And at the same time it never dawned on me that, I, a breast cancer survivor, should have kept my umbrella at hand.