Apr 18 2010

Radiantly Alive! – Issue #49

Posted at 4:57 pm under Enlightenink Newsletters

Recently I began my first radiation treatment. The next morning I awoke all aglow, abuzz, bright-eyed, bushy-tailed and radiantly alive! I have committed to a course of treatment that involves about six weeks of radiation, 5 days a week, 20 minutes each session. I will also be receiving chemo once a week, a low dose to help the radiation work better. I may even get to keep my hair, though I bought a really cool wig just in case. I have leapt fully into this adventure, 100% committed to it, finally. Even though I am not given great odds by the doctors, I am an odd person, so that adds to my odds, right?

The last few weeks I have been on Mr. Toad’s Wild Ride emotionally, bouncing around between decisions like, should I do alternative treatment, conventional, some of both? At times, when facing these life and death decisions, I have felt crushed by anxiety, and in that state I’ve wished that this life was all over, finished, caput. I have careened from a desolate sense of being abandoned, to being in an exhilarated state of wild abandon, letting go, letting it all hang out. Facing and accepting death can be very liberating.

In that spirit of wild abandon, Tom and I have freed our housebound, indoor kitties, Zeena and Bo, into the world. Watching them tentatively put first one paw, then the other in slow motion over the threshold to a whole new world was like watching my children take their first steps. They are freed from a mother’s fear to explore the wild and wonderful world outside. My sweet kitties are now carnivorous hunters, hunting prey (instead of each other) and proudly bringing their terrified prizes home to their terrified mama. There is a lizard hiding under the refrigerator as I speak. (I wear slippers all the time now.)

As part of this journey, Tom and I have unclenched around our money issues. At first, when this all began, there was the question for me, “Your money or your life?” Hmm, I’m thinking, I’m thinking. And for Tom, “Your money or your wife?” But, like Zeena and Bo, we have been freed, sprung from the tight confines of our money fears. We are now willing to completely let go of our money — opening our hands and our hearts like parachutes, we leap, trusting we will land securely in our ‘trust’ fund. Geronimo!

During these last few weeks I have been confronted with an old filter of mine, a cynical voice that keeps piping in. A nurse asked for a list of the supplements and herbs I take, which are numerous. She said, “Wow, you take a lot.” “Yeah, a lot of good it did me,” I said bitterly. I hear my 80-year-old neighbor hacking next door from years of smoking cigarettes, and my cynical one sneers, “That cig-sucking old lady is probably going to outlive me.”

Cynny (my cynical one) feels like a victim. The world is against her. She is doomed and damned pissed off about it. Through this cynical filter, chemo and radiation are just a further assault. “Yeah, I go through all that agony and torture and I probably die anyway.” The chemo doctor told me that my cancer is in a bad place (pelvic area) and will be very painful as it grows, and even if the treatment gets it to move to another place, that would be a good thing because any place else is better than where it is. Cynny thought, “Oh great — can this nightmare get any worse!?”

I used to live in that negative attitude — now I just visit it. It is a good yardstick for how far I have come. When Cynny pipes in, I play with her, exaggerate her. She likes to wallow in the moan and groan zone. I make the moaning and groaning even moanier and groanier. Just how bitter can I let myself be? I play with bitter til I feel better.

I see so clearly…that is one of the big healings that needs to happen…that bitter tude, and the fear and sadness that lie beneath it. This is an opportunity for me to heal that old wound, to befriend this experience by reframing the chemo as ‘chemo sabe’, seeing it as a friend instead of a fiend, imagining it as a healing elixir intent upon helping me.

While receiving my first radiation treatment yesterday, I visualized shimmering angels directing the beam of light right to the tumor, and protecting the surrounding tissue. When the treatment was done I was told that the machine they are using is the best in the world, the state of the art Novalis, designed to do minimal damage to healthy tissue, and maximal targeting of the tumor. The radiation therapist said, “Somebody likes you.”

Then there is Tom, whose presence in my life reminds me that miracles are possible. He also reminds me, “This is all about soul growth. It’s all good. We’re right where we’re supposed to be.” He is the perfect partner for me on this journey, helping me to remember that this is happening for my higher good, it is about learning, healing my soul, and my emotions. This is the big healing — the big show — this is it! In this awareness, I feel excited about the opportunity for some big-time soul growth.

I recently read about someone who referred to himself as ‘cancer enlightened’ instead of ‘cancer survivor.’ I like that. I am becoming cancer enlightened, radiating from this experience, shining the healing light on all that is ready to be healed.

Is there something in your life that is ready to be healed, to be radiated, to be played with, to be loved? Heal-elujah!

In Love,
Jan Jacobsen

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