I really need to start blogging more often. So much going on. So much I want to share. When I wait so long in between posts it takes me forever to condense my thoughts. I think it’s time to get back to posting more frequently… Another resolution for 2014!
Well, it seems that after months of struggling to reclaim my faith and inner warrior spirit I’m finally making some progress. I’m feeling good. Getting back on track. Finding joy in life again. I realize there’s no guarantee I’ll feel this way tomorrow, next week, or next month. But for now I’m a lot happier than I’ve been in a while.
I’ve been taking steps to rediscover and honour my authentic self. I realize how choices I made over the past six years didn’t leave me with much space or energy to honour my truth. I know it’s time now. I know honouring my truth and just being unapologetically me will help me heal.
So I’m getting back to the things that I love… Taking ballroom dance lessons with hubby… Exploring the idea of becoming a dance and movement therapist… Traveling… Seeking adventures… Spending time in nature… Researching volunteer opportunities… Baking… Enjoying good food… Going to church every Sunday…
Plus I’m doing things that honour my truth and support my well being… Like ditching my therapist… Limiting my time and energy to people who are engaging and uplifting… Cutting out the unnecessary stuff from my life… Not getting caught up in other people’s dramas… And asking for help.
I’ve also been receiving messages that I’m on the right track. My tumor markers dropped. My energy levels are good. My pain still hasn’t returned. The tumors in my neck have shrunk so much that when I went for a biopsy this week the doctor could no longer feel where to biopsy. My recent vaginal ultrasound (concerns about me getting my period while in treatment) and echocardiogram (concerns about shortness of breath) both came back fine. And I may finally be ready to get off my blood thinners. Hallelujah!
Things were further confirmed this past weekend when I went to see the Long Island Medium (Theresa Caputo) live in Providence thanks to the amazing generosity of my Uncle who surprised me and my aunt with tickets for Christmas. And these weren’t just any tickets… Our seats were aisle seats mere steps from the stage. You’re the best Uncle M! Thank you from the bottom of my heart!
I love Theresa because she is so unapologetically herself… Big hair… Crazy nails… Glittery 4 inch heels… Wise-cracking sense of humour… Long Island accent… Inappropriateness. She’s just who she is. Period.
Of course I was praying my mom would come through – But not expecting it in a theater of 3,000 people. So when Theresa ended up standing in front of us, passing along messages from my dead mother, I was simultaneously shell-shocked and overcome with emotion. Naturally it was Uncle M’s ancestors that brought Theresa to us. They were caught in the deadliest nightclub fire in US history at Cocoanut Grove in Boston. Uncle M and the family have since set up a foundation to honour those who perished in the fire and help pediatric burn victims. And it was a vision of this fire that sent Theresa to us.
Theresa then acknowledged my mother’s presence and first asked if I was in remission. When I said no, and told her I was in treatment for stage 4 cancer the audience moaned and gasped. Theresa then asked if I was doing holisitic treatment. When I told her yes, she said I need to continue with that… That she saw tests and numbers confirming that what I’m doing is working… She said she saw me on the floor, at the feet of the blessed virgin Mary (which I confirmed by telling her about my recent visit to Fatima, Portugal to which the audience let out more audible gasps)… And she told me my mom was there with me on that day… And that my mom says it’s not my time to join her yet (which are the words I’ve told my mom since the day I was diagnosed, “Mom, I’m not ready to join you yet!)… And she also said my mom was sending assurances that I’ll be around for years to come and be able to celebrate the major milestones in my daughter’s life… She used the word “remission” a few times… And before she moved on to the next person she wished me luck and gave me a big hug (I was the only person that night who got a hug!) It was magical. I left with a renewed sense of hope and faith. And confirmation that my mother and the angels are truly watching over me.
I will try to carry this hope and faith with me even when the days aren’t so easy… When my left hand is barely functioning and I can’t clip my nails, type, or fish something from my pocket… When my skin is cracked, red, and raw from the endless tearing of my eyes and dripping of my nose that is a side effect of the treatment… When I don’t have the energy to parent the way I want to – letting Miss M watch too much TV or giving in to her whiny demands instead of offering consistency and discipline. I have to say that this continues to be one of the biggest struggles for me – Parenting through treatment. Being a full-time mom is a lot of work. A lot of energy. I find myself feeling jealous sometimes of those who have the luxury of sleeping all day or lounging on the couch after doing chemo. Those who don’t have to think about anyone else but themselves and getting through treatment. But alas, I know they too, have their difficulties. No one is immune.
That is something I continually realize as I chart my path through cancer… We all have our battles to face. Our demons. Our tragedies and difficult situations to contend with. Whether it’s cancer, homelessness, bankruptcy, divorce, unemployment, infertility… At some point we all reach a crossroads in our life. These challenges shake you to your core. Humble you. Jolt you awake. Then we have the choice to either keep trying to return to what was or to embrace the change and redefine yourself and your reality. Each of these moments presents us with the opportunity to make our lives even better than they were before.
Why not seek to live a better life? What have you got to lose?
Love to all. - T