Making Peace With the Unknown

Nature walk at Harmony Farm

Nature walk at Harmony Farm

“When you are in tune with the unknown, the known is peaceful.”  – quote from my Yogi chai tea this morning

This has been one of the bigger lessons on my cancer journey – Accepting the unknown and releasing the urge to control.  In doing so, I have come to a greater sense of peace.  Both with the unknown and the known.

I know I have surgery in 9 days.  The plane tickets are booked.  The housing arranged (thanks to the Hope Lodge in Manhattan and my Aunt & Uncle on Long Island).  My support team is lined up – Hubby is taking off from work to be by my side, my Massachusetts team is taking over on “mom” duty with Miss M, and Grandpa is flying from Bowen Island to help out post-surgery.  I know my surgeon plans to use LMA sedation and remove my chemo port while he’s in there.  I know today is the first day I’ve been without blood thinners since October (which is thrilling & terrifying at the same time).  And tonight is my last round of vitamins & supplements until after the surgery.

I also recognize that all of these seemingly “known” pieces of my life can change in a flash.  So I keep taking it as it comes.  Preparing for the immediate task at hand.  Thinking about the future – but not carving it out in stone.

Instead of stressing or worrying about the surgery I’m just staying focused on today.  Focused on this week.  Focused on the joyous weekend we have ahead of us in Massachusetts with our favorite people…  Visiting, going to shows, having sleepovers.  Miss M is beyond excited.  Our daily countdown to Friday’s departure elicits a loud “yippee” and a megawatt smile from her each time we talk about it.

Lately, Miss M is talking more and more about her feelings.  Her concerns about the surgery.  Her hatred of the cancer.  Her fear about me dying.  I’m just so happy she’s sharing this stuff with me now.  I know it helps that I’m talking to her about everything much more openly now too.

Our new morning ritual is to answer a question from the fantastic 3-year journal of Q&A for kids that cousin J from Astoria sent us – (thanks again J!).   Each day Miss M and I eat breakfast and ponder our answers to that day’s question.

Yesterday’s question was:  What do you try to forget about but can’t?

Miss M’s Answer:  “I don’t want to remember your cancer.”

Then a few days ago, during one of our kitchen dance parties Miss M started singing her own tune…  And I quote:

Go away cancer…   We don’t like you cancer…  We fight you cancer”  Belting it out at the top of her lungs to some make-believe tune that she made up while we shook our booties all around the kitchen.  It was priceless.

Yes, she’s still clingy.  Yes, she still has tantrums.  Yes, she still drives me crazy.  And yes, I still worry about her.  But less and less so lately.  I am putting into practice a lot of the parenting advice everyone’s offered.  I am sticking to my guns.  Not letting guilt fuel me.  Trying not to baby Miss M or solve all her problems.  Talking openly about what’s going on.  Taking her to therapy.  Taking her to more of my medical appointments (I even brought her in for a reiki session with me at Harmony Farm because she was so curious).  So far, it seems to be working.  So thanks to each and everyone one of you for your suggestions.  I am listening.  And it is working.

I finally feel that life is heading in a positive direction.  For the first time in a really, really long time.

At Friday’s appointment with my Oncologist he actually used the word REMISSION!  And called me his ‘miracle patient’.  Damn that feels good!

And while i know there are no guarantees, I am much more in tune with the unknown these days, and it makes dealing with the every day dramas and “knowns” of life (like surgery) so much easier.

Peace.  – T

photo 3

Checking out the animals after the Easter egg hunt at a nearby church.

Checking out the animals after the Easter egg hunt at a nearby church.