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April 10, 2021

Dear Breast Cancer: I’m not Afraid.

Read the early part of Nikki’s journey here: One Mammogram, Two Lumps & a Grateful Woman.

 

My MRI, step five, is completed.

It was easy and not painful. It did require an IV but, as usual, the staff were kind and gentle. The technician assured me that she didn’t have to touch my breasts. I laughed and thanked her. At that point, so soon after the biopsy, I wouldn’t have allowed anyone to touch them anyway.

I walked out of the doctor’s office with a disk and an envelope full of test results. And a referral for step six, the breast cancer surgeon.

Both my boob doctor and my primary doctor recommended the same surgeon. I did some research and immediately knew this was the surgeon I wanted to work with. Again, I feel like my cancerous boob is in the right hands.

I called the surgeon’s office and made an appointment for next week. I’m not sure when step six, surgery, will happen, but at least the initial visit is scheduled.

I now walk around, going about my day, knowing that I have cancer. It’s so f*cking weird. Occasionally, something inside me says, “I have cancer, and I’m okay for now.”

Some Truth

Another thought that comes into my head lately is, if this had happened to me a few years ago, I would have reacted differently. Prior to my spiritual, consciousness awakening, I was miserable. I didn’t have the capacity to see a future for myself beyond the anxiety, fear, and misery.

At that time, I probably would not have sought treatment. I would have given up on my life and allowed myself to be eaten alive by cancer. I didn’t have the energy, or will, or hope to face it.

I don’t feel that way now. I don’t feel this is the end of my life. My awakening has allowed me to be a whole, healthy person. I want to live as that whole, healthy person. I didn’t do all that inner work just to give up now.

The Pain

I’m writing this with healing, heart chakra meditation music on. I sometimes have healing crystals in my bra. I’m calm and meditate often. Sometimes mini-meditations, and sometimes longer sits. I am intentional with my breath when pain arrives.

To be honest, I do have occasional pain. I’m still recovering from my biopsy. The bandages are off and the bruising is intense. Because of my prior surgeries and resulting nerve damage, the tape and Steri-Strips used to close my wound are uncomfortable for me.

I fold my arm around my breast and carry it around when I don’t have a bra on. I look at it and check for changes. This helps me stay in touch with my breast so that it doesn’t become foreign to me. My breast, even with the cancer, is part of me. It’s important for me to stay connected with my body. Grounded.

I breathe and relax into the pain. It passes, and then I rest. I give my body what it needs most right now: care, nurturing, and deep relaxation.

Emotions

My emotions are…I’m not sure how to describe them. They aren’t swirling, or all over the place. My emotions are showing up, I feel them, and release them.

Sometimes, I feel a little fear, but I’m not fearful. I’m able to witness and feel the emotions without them settling in and hanging around. So, for most of the time, I’m okay for now.

“I have cancer” is a phrase that pops into my head several times a day. It’s true, and I’m not dying or inhibited in my day-to-day activities. I know and feel grateful that I’m okay.

I know that there will be more steps—step seven may be additional treatments. Maybe I will need radiation or chemo. I’m not going to worry about something that hasn’t happened yet. That said, I’m mentally preparing myself for all options. I am open to whatever comes. I breathe into that too.

Progression

The wounds of the biopsy are healing, so I can no longer blame the pain on that. I think it’s time for me to admit that I am having pain related to the cancer. Ugh.

It’s not terrible or debilitating pain, but it tells me that the disease is progressing. My tolerance for pain seems to be nonexistent. It always has been. I pause and allow, take a breath, and breathe through pain.

The fatigue is getting real. I remembered today that I have been talking about taking time off and feeling tired for a couple of months. Probably longer, to be really honest with myself.

This pause in between tests and surgeon visit is allowing me to rest, and for that, I am grateful.

With the Pause Comes Clarity

I was able to gain clarity about how I wanted to move forward. My thoughts had been going back and forth about whether I would announce my diagnosis to my social media community or keep it private.

The resistance I was feeling around this was related to my familiar, old behavior of shrinking away and playing small. The idea of repeating that behavior was unbearable.

So I announced in hopes that my experience will be of service. It made me feel brave. I was brave. And I was also supported and loved. The reaction was overwhelming and so beautiful. For that, I am grateful.

I will gladly take that energy into the surgeon’s office. And I’m saying, “F*ck it!” to fear.

A gentle reminder: get your annual exams. I know we’re still in a pandemic, but our bodies don’t know that.

~

 

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