Tag Archive 'chemo sabe'

Apr 24 2010

“You Are So Loved” – Issue #50

I’ve heard that some people sail through chemotherapy. I was hoping I would be one of those fortunate sailors. Alas, I am a seasick sailor. I started chemo last Monday and it has shivered me timbers and left me a bit woozy and bluesy.

I have felt myself shlumping like an old gray mare this week, suffering with a queasy stomach and no appetite. I’m trying to remember my chemo sabe attitude of last week, but instead I’m feeling chemo sobby — as in boo hoo, this sucks. I don’t want to get stuck in the energy of that old gray (night)mare. But I also don’t want to be “false positive”.

I went to a doctor appointment yesterday, and while in the waiting room I eavesdropped on a concerned father who was talking on his cell phone to his obviously distraught daughter:

“I want you to know I love you very much,” he said to her. “I love all of you, just the way you are, the good and the not so good, every single thing about you I love. It’s okay to cry. Tears are good. Things grow in a wet environment. Let yourself cry all that you want. It’s helping you grow. I am so proud of you. I know this is hard for you, and you’re doing wonderful. Just put one foot in front of the other, one step at time, that’s all you have to do. I love you so very much.”

Tears came to my eyes. He was like an angel father from heaven, talking to her so tenderly, showing how supremely precious she was to him, saying all the things a suffering daughter craves to hear, allowing her to be right where she was. I imagined that he was my angel father speaking to me so lovingly and tenderly. Angels are all around us.

Several years ago, during a ‘dark night of my soul’, feeling down about myself, I prayed for help. At that moment a card, that was displayed on the shelf beside me, floated to the floor. I picked it up and on it was a big rainbow heart, and the words “You are so loved.” That was such a powerful reminder to me that I am not alone, I am being watched over, I am loved. A few weeks ago I taped that card to my mirror so I can see it everyday and be reminded of that.

I am now being an angel to myself, talking to myself in a loving way, like that father talked to his precious daughter. “I love you very much. You are being so brave. You are facing your worst fears. Just take one step at a time, one foot in front of the other. It’s okay to cry. Let it out. You are doing great. I am so proud of you. Know how very loved you are.”

I opened the Pema Chodron book I’ve been reading, “The Places that Scare You”, to this angel-sent quote: “The ‘secret’ of life that we are all looking for is just this: to develop the power and the courage to return to that which we have spent a lifetime hiding from, to rest in the bodily experience of the present moment – even if it is a feeling of being humiliated, of failing, of abandonment, of unfairness.” (Charlotte Joko Beck)

And then laughing angels flipped the book open to this quote, “In the garden of gentle sanity, may you be bombarded by coconuts of wakefulness.” (Chogyan Trungpa Rinpoche). I love that! I am being bombarded by coconuts of wakefulness! “Wake up and love yourself right where you are. Breathe into this moment, allowing, accepting, embracing all that is happening, crying when you need to, and laughing too.”

The funny thing is, as I do this, I begin to breathe and relax, and the queasy feeling becomes a more easy feeling. My resistance to what is happening has created more discomfort and queasiness than the chemo itself. Resistance is a powerful force – and so is acceptance.

Is there something in your life that you’ve been resisting? Is there something that’s been rocking your boat? Be an angel, and love love love yourself just as you are, right where you are.

In Love,
Jan Jacobsen

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Apr 18 2010

Radiantly Alive! – Issue #49

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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