Tag Archives: questions

Soul touching

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courtesy of www.dreamstime.com

dreamstime.com

I introduced you to my young survivor friend earlier this year in Healing Waters and I can’t seem to let go of her. I vowed back in June that I would be here for her, not at all clear what that might look like.  She finishes her 12th course of chemotherapy on Monday (good news – it is working and has significantly shrunk the tumors). She has many difficult decisions ahead – so much information, so many uncertainties, such incredibly difficult choices. She’s a brilliant biologist and relies on data and logic to guide her decisions. The ground is so slippery for her now, given the overwhelming emotions and strong medication swimming in her system.

We met again yesterday, in a quiet lounge at our hospital. Her sister sat beside her, an anchor in the storm. (She came from their home country a couple of months ago on a 6-month visa.) My friend’s heart poured out as she shared her questions, her confusion, fears, and hopes. I shared my truths with her, still leaving so many questions unanswered. Through moments of tears, laughter, silence, sharing and opening, we became as one. Our souls danced together. I could almost grab the healing energy inside our circle of light. I barely know them and I know everything about them.

We are in a private room in the plastic surgery department. I sat in the patient chair. Last time I sat here I was confused and afraid, carrying so many questions. But, today is different. I feel strong and clear.

My friend and her sister sit in chairs across from me. I look deeply into their eyes. I smile gently, holding on to trust, trust that what I am about to do will be comforting and helpful, not scary and add to the confusion and feelings of overwhelm.

Slowly, still looking into my friend’s eyes, I begin to unbutton my sweater. I am completely focused on her as I uncover my right breast for her to see. I breathe again when I see a soft sweet smile rise to her tender face. I sense she finds comfort in what she sees. I move the other side of my sweater so she can see how the reconstructed side compares. We acknowledge the imperfection together. I invite her to touch my reconstructed breast, to see how the silicone feels when it’s been implanted. She gently compares my breasts. 

We continue to sit together for several minutes, me looking into their eyes, searching for the hope I want to give them. They appreciatively looking into mine, their hearts overflowing with gratitude for this tender moment together. Our circle of light radiates as I button my sweater.

This room will never be the same. We will never be the same.

Relief

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labs

Two years ago, the phone rang here at my house. It was Jean, my surgeon’s nurse, calling to give me the results of the biopsy of the removed breast tissues and lymph nodes taken during my mastectomy.

No cancer. “The report is very, very, very good!” she had said, leaving the details for my surgeon to share with me. It’s impossible to put into words the sense of relief I felt. In a moment it was like I could breath again. No chemo.

After the relief came gratitude. I had been so fortunate along this road called cancer. No radiation. No chemo. Only a few lymph nodes removed – low risk of developing lympedema in my right arm.

I relished the calm that washed over me and the moments of celebration…

Chugging Train
By Vicki L. Flaherty

Finally, the train has stopped.
I’m clean — no cancer.
Nothing suspicious
That can be seen or detected.
At least for now…
It’s OK to celebrate this moment.

But, the engine was meant to move —
and so it begins again, chugging slowly forward.
At this juncture, there are questions
About prevention, recurrence.
What to do? How to live with the odds?
No conclusive answers.
The engine was meant to move —
and so it begins again, chugging slowly forward.

Navigating the course ahead
It’s up to me to decide:
Do I take the medication?
What tradeoff s, given the benefits and risks?
Choices, decisions — the signals along the journey.
The engine was meant to move —
and so it begins again, chugging slowly forward.

A related post is Waiting Game.