I just got off the phone with my BFF Auntie ‘Cole… The last thing she mentioned was the change she’s noticed in me lately… How different (and how much better) I’m looking… How I’m rocking the new ‘do (I stopped wearing head scarves and hats when I was in NYC and never looked back)… And I had to admit – yes, I’m feeling good.
It sucks that it took being diagnosed with breast cancer to get me to a good place. Given the option, I would never have chosen to get breast cancer – EVER! But now that I have it I am doing everything in my power to make this life the best life possible.
So thanks to a referral from a friend of a friend on Bowen I now have an appointment to meet with therapist # 3. They say third time is a charm, right? Her bio makes her sound like a perfect fit for me. She’s trained in gestalt work (an experiential therapy focused on the present moment and tapping into the wisdom of your body) – which I love! When I called today I was told there was a waiting list to see this particular therapist… But oddly enough, a few hours later I got a call back saying there was an opening on Tuesday next week. Go figure. (I’m betting the fact that I have stage 4 cancer had something to do with immediate opening). Fingers crossed this is the one.
In other news, I received a copy of my MRI from January (the one I took after the notorious PET scan that changed my diagnosis from Stage II to Stage IV), and it confirmed the existence of two suspicious areas in the bone marrow of my left femur bone that they (the people in Ohio) concluded to be cancer. Of course because we never biopsied those suspicious spots in my leg we’ll never truly know if it was cancer or not… And I am still waiting for the NY folks to get back to me with their interpretation of the scans. But for now I’m still convinced I
have had metastatic disease.
Next week I’m off to the Block Center for Integrative Cancer Treatment just outside Chicago for a third opinion… Or is that a fourth opinion? I finished reading Dr. Block’s book “Life Over Cancer” while I was in Massachusetts and absolutely LOVED it. So much of what he described I’m already doing (diet, exercise, meditation, supplements) but I’m eager to hear their thoughts about possible next steps. Should I get surgery? Do more chemo? Or maybe something else entirely?
Of course when I told my NY doctor about the visit she said, “The Block Center? Never heard of it. Just be cautious. Some of these places drain people of their last pennies and offer nothing more than you would get at a reputable hospital.” A typical cynical New Yorker response… And interestingly enough when I told my local Ohio oncologist Dr. K about the visit his response was something along the lines of, “Interesting… Let me know if you find out anything new that is helpful. I’d love hear about different approaches and maybe learn something new.” This is why I love Dr. K.
Of course I’m also psyched about the trip to Chicago because it means a full day & half of “me time”! Including a 5 hour road trip each way, a hotel stay, and possibly a quick toodle around Chi-town. Miss M is staying home with daddy. It’ll just be me, myself, and I. Glorious.
And this is why, despite it all, I’m feeling good these days. Because I’m finally making myself a priority again. Having fun. Living life. After 3+ years of taking care of everyone else but me, it’s now time to help myself. Rediscover who I am and what I want from life. It’s almost like cancer gave me permission to put myself back on the list.
I know putting yourself back on the list is especially hard for us moms. Having kids is ALL CONSUMING! Everything changes. It’s so easy to lose yourself amidst the craziness of juggling mommyhood, work, family obligations, a household, life. Being a mom is by far the most difficult and important thing I’ve had to do in my life. But I know it’s not everything.
Balance is the key. Only juggle as many things as you can handle. And try not to put too much on your plate. Remember what’s important. And don’t lose yourself in the shuffle.
If you get lost along the way, make sure to try and find yourself again.
Peace. – T