What is a woman without her breasts? Without her fertility? Without her hair… eyelashes, eyebrows? What is a woman too sick and sore to hold her baby, to cook for her husband? What is a woman who can’t drive a car and doesn’t feel well enough to contribute at work? Underneath, what will be there looking back from the mirror?
Perhaps I have been too vain and prideful of my looks, too proud of my abilities to “do it all”, multitask and be a solid rock for my family, friends and co-workers. I understand the underpinnings all too well. Like many of you reading this, I have become caught up in this idea that my value as a human being and my worthiness of love is dependent upon what I am able to contribute. Who am I without all this Doing-ness?
Things are moving fast now. Last Friday, I successfully had some of my eggs retrieved and stored away for possible use in the future. They will forever remain 36 years old, untouched by the ravages of chemotherapy. Two days ago I had my last surgical drain removed, and did the hugest happy dance inside! That same day, I met with my new oncologist. It was night and day different from my last experience. I found out that my pathology report suggests a stronger classification of treatment, which will last a total of 5 months. Tomorrow I will have a port installed, and next week it’s GO time. The first half will encompass two drugs together, Adriamycin and Cytoxin, every two weeks, followed by an injection the next day to boost my immune system. Then I will switch to another drug, Taxol, which will be administered once a week until the end of treatment.
Like with the surgery, I feel anxious and nervous and part of my psyche is screaming, RUN! On the other hand, I feel like, “Let’s get on with it already”. I want to move through this and come out the other side of the tunnel, and get on with my life. I have known so long that this was coming and just want to skip over all this yuckiness and forget that 2014 happened. (Except if I did that, I might not ever realize how much I mean to so many people, and have been graced by all the love and support that has flooded in. Ahhh…. ok, surrender.)
It is eerily quiet in this place, waiting for the chemical tsunami to hit my shores. When the fear starts to grip at my chest, I try and remember what a friend recently said to me….”chemo is pure nectar from the gods in your case. “Amrita”, is the word in Hindu. Let it wash all over and into your cells, gods nectar bathing you in purity and light.”
(this was me a few days before surgery)