When I understood the challenge ahead in my personal battle with a cancer still to find a cure, and a projected two year longevity prediction, it was time to dig in for answers—all while avoiding the world of quackery and misinformation.
There’s often news of such patients overcoming the incurable and substantially extending projected survival times. Admittedly, those patients hold infinite amounts of discipline that I’ve yet to achieve.
A week ago, the chemo curls were long enough to where I pulled out my hair product and accessories. I felt like a girl again. Less than a week ago, knowing the nightmare of watching my hair fall out and me too vain to have it shaved, I went in for the hip-grandma look of what is essential a female’s butch cut. This halted some of my joy. It halted some of my fantasy that I was a normal person again—like one who doesn’t live her life around cancer every day.
I knew little to nothing about shamanism. Actually, I held onto my Navajo friend’s perspective: what’s with the white people trying to be like the indigenous people? Come to find out, indigenous white folk in ancient Europe had their shamans. Really, it’s not unlike ritual prayer of today.
An update on my mystical journey through Cancer World. When I transformed from human into a pale white unicorn, a strange, […]
Yes, cancer changes everything. Things I did two years ago are not even possible now. Is this a worse-case scenario? Yes and no. Yes because I love to cook, hike, and explore the world around me. I can’t do that right now. No because I’ve an opportunity to learn new ways and new perspectives.
But by this June, the bad boy tumor grew back from its reduced 6 cm to 8 cm. In other words, my continued digestive discomfort was not from a stuck camera capsule. Actually, the CT scan showed that the capsule had left my system.
I’m coming closer to grasping that Zen concept of the temporary. It’s liberating both my mind and heart. Nearly 50 years later, I’m actually understanding the words of the late philosopher, Alan Watts. This is a good thing. And it is not such a good thing.
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).
“Sometimes I give up hope until I come back to this casita and see five miracles living right here.”