Tag Archive 'chemo'

Jul 01 2010

I Am Willing – Issue #54

My chemo and radiation treatments ended 3 weeks ago and tomorrow my doctor will examine me to see if the tumor is gone or still remains. The radiation continues to take effect 3 weeks after the treatment stops, so that’s why the wait.

This waiting period has been a bit of a roller coaster ride. I’ve found myself fully in the Now at times, and at other times in the future where I sometimes imagine the worst and sometimes imagine the best. It’s been difficult to think positive at times when I feel uncomfortable in my body, feeling my innards scorched by the radiation, feeling queasy and fatigued from chemo.

Right now I’m in a place of willingness – I am willing to be present with whatever comes up. I am willing to feel whatever feelings are here. I am willing to experience complete healing. I am willing to experience death. I am willing. What got me to this place was the realization that a part of me was NOT willing, a part of me was resisting and resenting.

Recently a friend of mine, who is very in touch with her light, has been exploring her shadows (those disowned parts of herself). She never thought she had shadows, so this is a new exploration for her. I started looking at how I see so clearly her shadows and her resistance to them, and I wondered if she was reflecting back to me something in myself that I’ve been resisting. As I told her, I believe that if it’s in your life then it’s in you. The people in our lives that push our buttons and stir our judgments are mirroring back to us our disowned parts. How nice of them! The goal is wholeness – owning all our parts makes us whole.

I told my friend that a strong indicator that someone is reflecting back to us our disowned feelings is if we feel victimized by them (anger is often cleverly disguised as “victim”). As I explored this in myself, I was not aware of feeling victimized by anybody in my life, but I affirmed, “I am willing to see my shadows. I am willing to see every part of me. I am willing to be whole.” Just then it came to me…I don’t feel victimized by any body in my life…just my OWN body. I realized there is a part of me that feels let down by my body, disappointed, sad, mad and scared. I did everything I could to be healthy, I ate well, took supplements, felt my feelings, connected with my spirit, loved myself and others, and yet I got cancer. Now I’ve been resisting taking supplements, thinking, what good did it do me? I’m seeing my cynicism, seeing that my surly Cynny persona has been operating from the shadows.

As I connect with the feeling of being betrayed by my body, I let myself cry and feel the disappointment and sadness, I let the emotions move through me, ventilating my feelings. I welcome my cynicism and disappointment and sadness to the party, I invite them out of the shadows into the light, and I feel lighter, I feel whole.

I’ve found that the best way to anchor myself in this place of wholeness, this place of openness and willingness to feel it all and be one with it all, is to ‘TAG’ myself. I created the acronym and practice over a year ago when I first discovered I had cancer. It goes like this:

TAG – Trust, Acceptance, & Gratitude

I TRUST that I am loved, guided and watched over. I trust that things happen for a reason. I trust that my life is purposeful. I trust that everything will work out.

I ACCEPT that this is what’s happening. It is what is. I breathe and allow it to be. This moment is perfect just as it is. I surrender to it. I become one with it.

I feel GRATITUDE for the many blessings in my life: my loving friends and family, my fellow journeyers (you) and learning buddies, my wonderful husband Tom. I am grateful for this opportunity to cultivate more awareness, love, trust, and wholeness in my life. I am grateful that I remember that this is what is most important to me.

I feel scared to hear what my doctor has to say tomorrow. But I am willing to be present, to breathe, feel my fear, and face whatever life presents to me. I am willing.

P.S.
It is the next day and I just got back from my exam. The doctor said that there is still something there and it’s about the same size that the last CT scan showed. The tumor shrunk to a quarter it’s original size, but apparently did not shrink any more in the remaining weeks of treatment. He said that there’s still a possibility that it could shrink more…or not. It could also grow back…or not. He suggested we wait and see and keep an eye on it. I don’t foresee any further treatment. So here I am, willing to be here one breath at a time. I think I’ll go have a good cry, eat some chocolate, and then TAG myself.

In Trust, Acceptance and Gratitude,
Jan

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May 15 2010

Just Show Up – Issue #52

This morning I was in the waiting room of the Cottage Hospital Lab to get a blood test. In the next room I heard the frantic, pleading screams of a little girl named Emmy, “Noooo, noooo, nooooo!” The nurse was trying to draw her blood but Emmy was having none of it. She protested over and over again, screaming, crying, railing against her present reality, trying to outrun it, resist it, fight it.

Several of us who were in the waiting room witnessing this human drama gave each other knowing smiles. How many of us have had, or still have, a child inside of us screaming the same thing, “Noooooo! I don’t want this! Get me out of here!”

Her mother and the nurse were wrangling with her, telling her, “Emmy, just sit still, don’t be scared, it will be over soon.” I wanted to tell them, “Move toward the fear. Tell her you know how scared she is. Tell her it’s okay to be scared. Meet her where she is.”

I had a wonderful private phone counseling session yesterday with Mary-Margaret Moore, who channeled the Bartholomew books in the 80’s and 90’s, books that bring me more comfort and feelings of expansiveness than any other books I’ve ever read. With heartfelt compassion she counseled me to move toward my fears and pain and not resist them, to simply rest in them for a while, to just show up with whatever is happening, to stop efforting, stop trying to be elsewhere, even in a “higher” place, because, to paraphrase Bartholomew, “You are already there, and once you effort you have lost that place.”

In the session I got in touch with a painful belief that I have done something wrong; I’ve screwed up; I wasn’t relaxed enough to keep the cancer monster away. As much as I have felt empowered by the belief that my thoughts and feelings create my reality, there is a downside to that belief, a blaming and shaming of what I have manifested, what I have created. Mary-Margaret asked me to question that belief, is that true? Did I create it? Can I know that for sure?

The only thing I can know for sure is that cancer is here. Chemo and radiation are here. Nausea is here. I am here. When I stop questioning, resisting, and wanting it to be different, then I land on it — I show up, I come into harmony with this reality. Breathing and resting in what’s happening, no matter what it is, is the portal to the spacious NOW. Kicking and screaming and resisting, like little Emmy, is what creates most of the suffering, just as arguing with and resisting Emmy’s fear only compounded it.

When I come to that place of accepting my worst fears, when I stop resisting them and, instead, rest in them, I experience that it is not as bad as my mind had imagined. I used to think I would rather die than have persistent nausea. But when I rest in it and breathe with it, it’s not so bad. I am showing up with the throwing up. It’s not fun, but it’s not horrendous either. It just is. I feel a stillness as I surrender to it.

I am actually doing this cancer, chemo, radiation, nausea thing. I am doing it (and if I can do it, anyone can, though I hope you never have to). There is a beautiful song by Joan Jacobs that repeats two words melodically over and over again throughout the song, “I surrender, I surrender, I surrender.” I am singing that song.

When tear-streaked little Emmy finally came out of her torture chamber and walked by all of us compassionate witnesses in the waiting room, I wanted to reach out and hug her. Instead, I am hugging my own inner child who wants to resist reality, and I’m telling her, “I know this is scary. It’s okay to feel scared. I’m sorry this is happening. I love you.” She feels heard, she breathes, she starts to relax a bit, and to surrender. She shows up. And, to her surprise, she finds that it’s not as bad as her fear had made it up to be.

Is there a part of you that is in pain, a part of you that is kicking and screaming and resisting reality? I invite you to move towards what you’re feeling, meet yourself right where you are, and then give yourself a big hug. How brave we all are to be on this journey!

In Love,
Jan Jacobsen

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Mar 20 2010

Hand in Hand with my Big Soul Self – Issue #46

On Thursday I consulted with alternative Dr. Issel in Santa Barbara about my recurring uterine cancer. I told him that 3 months ago my gynecologist didn’t feel any mass inside me, and now I have a tumor bigger than a golf ball. He was alarmed that it had grown so large in such a short time and said I needed to do something immediately. Even though he favors an alternative approach, he said this is like a train and it needs to be stopped. He suggested that chemo and radiation might stop the train, at least temporarily. And then do the alternative. PANIC!

I’d been straddling the fence between alternative and conventional, but this pushed me over. Toxic poisoning be damned, I’ve got a train roaring up my butt! Tom got me an appointment the next day to get a PET CT scan (he found a relatively low-priced one in Ventura). That is the first step that needs to happen before we can proceed.

This week I also saw Pam Oslie, a trusted Santa Barbara psychic, and she told me she saw the little girl in me who was scared and unhappy with life and didn’t want to be here and wanted to go Home. I’m well aware of her, I have always had one foot out the door. As a child the world seemed an unfriendly place with a cold, critical mother and a distant father. Even though I am so happy now in my life with Tom, and despite all the work I’ve done on this, that part of me still exists.

Pam said I needed to convince little Janny that life is good now and we want to be here…or else little Janny is going to go Home and take me with her. She’s a powerful little thing! On my wall I put a picture of myself when I was two years old with my round baby face and wispy blonde hair. Next to it I put a picture of Tom when he was two. Little Tommy is looking over at little Janny with a twinkle in his eyes and a sweet smile on his face. Janny looks like she’s been crying, she looks mad, sad, and scared. I look at her and say, “Look who’s next to you. He’s really nice and fun. He really loves you a lot. He’s taking good care of you. He wants you to stay and be with him.”

Yesterday while driving with Tom to get the PET CT scan, Janny was nervous, terrified of clinics and hospitals, she would rather die than go to those scary, pain inflicting places. My big soul self takes little Janny by the hand — we are going through this together. In the waiting room I held her in my lap and kept talking to her. “I’m here with you, I’m taking good care of you. I won’t let anyone hurt you. You can trust me. It’s okay to let yourself feel scared, or mad, or sad. I’m not afraid of your feelings. You can feel anything you want.”

The nurse who was performing the scan was nice, her name was Janet like mine, and her middle name was Lee also like mine. (Turns out that our fathers had a thing for actress Janet Leigh). As she was about to inject the material into a vein in my hand, Janny clenched in fear. I talked to her, “This is a nice lady, she’s here to help us.” Feeling a slight prick, “There, that wasn’t too bad, was it? We can do this.”

I imagine that the solution that is coursing through my body is friendly, is here to help me. I know that how I think and feel about something affects me more than the thing itself. If I imagine it as toxic and fear it, then that thought will make it more toxic. If I imagine it as healing and helpful, it will be received by my body in that way.

I was then led into a warm, small, dimly lit room and laid down on a comfortable cushy chair and told to relax for 45 minutes not moving as the potion moved through my body. I held little Janny in my lap, imagining that healing light was filling us and surrounding us. “This is nice, isn’t it? Peaceful.” This was a time to really talk to her. Thinking of sweet Tom in the waiting room I said, “Look who we’re with, a wonderful man. And we’re having so much fun with him and he loves us just the way we are. We’re learning so much together. We have fabulous friends, and live in a beautiful place. Life is really good now. We’ve found our way to a safe and happy place.”

As I’m lying there a fart escapes me, and little Janny clenches in a fear and shame reflex. What if the nurse comes in and smells it!? Hearing my mother say “Ish.” I learned to feel embarrassed and ashamed about this part of my body and have always been downtight (maybe the lack of chi and life force in that area has contributed to the problems I am now having). I say to Janny, “That was so good that you let that out! Good girl.” I smiled, imagining angels applauding. Little Janny started to relax on my lap, breathing softly, then farted again. The angels cheered and applauded wildly.

Janet Lee comes in and leads me to the CT scan where I lay down and with arms over my head I surrender and am slowly rolled into this box. I close my eyes, afraid of tight spaces, I’m in a bit of panic. I open my eyes and see the top is just inches away. It feels like a coffin. (Note to self: Cremation). Breathing slowly, I become my big soul self, holding this scared child, loving her, talking to her gently and sprinkling us with healing, shimmering white light. We actually relax and almost nod off in this enveloping box.

After a half hour, Janet Lee rolls me out and sends me on my way, telling me, “Don’t go near little children for the rest of the day, since you’re radioactive.” I smile to myself, walking out hand in hand with my little girl, glowing as I reconnect with my beloved Tom in the waiting room. This was a healing experience for me.

I meet with my oncologist on Wednesday and he will tell me the results of the scan. Has this spread to other parts of my body? I am scared. I don’t know if I’m going to do chemo or radiation or alternative treatment. I do know that I will be immersed in my big soul self, embracing and loving little Janny, loving my fear, loving this life, and letting in all the love that is coming my way. Thank you all for your love and support.

Is there a part of you that could use a hug right now? Breathe into your big soul self and embrace all your wounded little ones, as we love, hug, and heal ourselves into wholeness.

In Love,
Jan Jacobsen

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May 21 2009

Gardening the Energy Field of Love #13

What if you thought that you might only have a short time to live? What would you be doing with your life? Where would your focus be?  Ever since my cancer diagnosis, I’ve been asking myself these questions. I saw my doctor a few weeks ago for a post hysterectomy check up and he told me that because there was a medium risk for my uterine cancer to recur somewhere else in my body, he recommended doing both chemo and radiation.

I am choosing to do neither of them. It doesn’t make sense to me at this time to do something so debilitating to my immune system when we don’t even know if there is any cancer left. What I am choosing to do instead is to continue with my strict diet, AND…to radiate myself on a daily basis with the healing energy of love! My soul lights up at the thought, saying, “Yes!” Cultivating the energy of love in my life is the work I have been doing for years. It is what laid the groundwork for a wonderful, incredibly loving man to show up who matched that vibration (that would be my husband, the wondrous Tom). It is a law: if you build the energy of love, love will come. Now I have the motivation to turn up the volume on that.

Love has healing power. I’m not referring to romantic love; it is more powerful and permanent than that. Love is a state of connectedness, wholeness, union, and harmony with all that is.  In the book “Healing with Love”, Dr. Leonard Laskow writes, “Love stimulates healing by relating us to the natural order and harmony inherent in our cells, in our selves, and in universal consciousness. Healing through love is a process of becoming whole.”

Even though I feel a strong intention to focus throughout my day on love, I know that inspiration wanes and, like weeds, fears can take over; I tend to be a worrier. Fortunately, I am also a warrior. My spiritual warrior is very practical and has prompted me to implement daily practices that help plant me securely in the energy field of love. I want to share with you some of these practices.

1. LOVING SELF-TALK. I come into union with myself by loving my feelings as if they are my children, treating them like a mother would treat a beloved child. I bring loving attention to them, call them “honey” and “sweetheart”, talk to them in an accepting way, and allow them to express themselves. Once our feelings are fully seen, allowed and experienced, we expand into our full flowing aliveness.

2. THE WORD ‘LOVE’.  I lace my day with the word ‘love’. Just saying or writing the word ‘love’ effects our cells. In Masaru Emoto’s book, The Hidden Messages in Water, he tells about how the effect of words on water molecules revealed that positive words like ‘love’ created harmonious patterns in water molecules, and negative words created disharmonious patterns. Since we are largely made up of water, it makes sense that the words we say to ourselves and each other have a powerful effect on us.

3. VISUAL REMINDERS OF LOVE.  I put a picture of myself as a child where I can see it everyday. I look into that child’s eyes, I see her beautiful soul, and say, “Hello sweet girl. I love you.” My teenage niece told me recently that she had been making some decisions that were emotionally hurtful to herself. Then she saw a picture of herself as a little girl and she realized, “I’m hurting that little girl.” That helped her to feel compassion for herself and make more loving decisions.

4. ACTIVATE YOUR HEART CHAKRA.  HeartMath Institute has created a simple 3-step formula that stimulates the energy of love in your body: First, focus on your heart. Next, breathe through your heart. Finally, generate the feeling of love in your heart by imagining someone or something you love; or imagine bathing your heart in warm pink light, the color of the heart chakra. I have an Emwave device from HeartMath that gives bio-feedback and helps me know when I am in that state (the light turns green when I’m in ‘love’, and red when I am not).

5. NATURE LOVER. I take daily love-generating walks communing and harmonizing with nature. On a recent walk I was inspired to write this poem, celebrating our ‘love affair’:

NATURE IS MY LOVER

The sun warmly kisses my face.

The ground holds me in earthy embrace.

The wind playfully tussles my hair.

The gift of flowers scents the air.

My lover gives me lots of space.

And let’s me move at my own pace.

Though some would say there’s no one there,

I deeply feel this love affair.

Abraham Lincoln said, “It’s not the years in our life that counts, it’s the life in our years.” Ultimately, it’s the love in our moments that truly counts. I think that is what we take with us when we die, how much we have opened our heart, our cells, and our being to love. Even if I were to die a year from now, if I am filled with love, I will have accomplished a huge thing, I would have done what my soul came to do. It’s all about love!

If you thought you might have a short time to live, what would you be focusing on? What generates the energy of love in you?

In Love,

Jan Jacobsen

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