My daughter resting with me after my second chemo session. Love is medicine.
As life has slowed down and we have been forced to be further apart from family and friends, and unable to gather and give in the ways we used to. Not only can we not band together in person, but we can’t visit, touch, and love in the ways we’d like. We have had to find other ways to support those that are faced with this diagnosis.
One of the healing shrines I kept during treatment, love and divine energy to keep my courage and strength up.
I remember going through chemo and feeling so isolated, so far removed from “life as I knew it.” Turns out that post-cancer, I, and my life, would never be the same. The “normal” would be gone. This is the truth for most survivors. And now here we are, in some different yet relevant way, all of us, saying goodbye to the life we knew. It, and we, will never be the same as the result of the social distancing and crises we are living through.
Breast cancer, and the pandemic has shown us that we are made of more, meant to matter. How much we need each other, how we are meant to share love, and to share ourselves, and our gifts. How only we can do the healing. How powerful it is actively participate in getting out of the woods.
As a pilgrim-survivor still on the road to healing, and in honor of those who are on their own difficult breast cancer healing journeys (and for all of us), a thought/wish/idea: to quiet the impulse to “do something.” Not to be inactive, but to tune into your internal intelligence. Not to control, but to let your own peace-finding instincts be heard, so that you can recognize and heal imbalances, traumas, and self-oppression from that inward place, as only you can.
Breast cancer stripped me of both an identity that wasn’t working, complete with “armor” of all sorts, and as a result, my naked heart was able to really feel, and to be profoundly and forever lit by, Love. Being stripped down and cut back, like a pruned rosebush, awakened my life force. It looked pretty ugly, and there are scars, but there was new growth to come, even more beautiful than I could have imagined.
When talking to my friend Maren recently about the COVID-19 crisis and how it has affected us all, she shared, “There is no going back. We will never return to ‘normal.’ Life will be different, because it should be different.”
We often don’t know that changes in our life are needed, and don’t usually welcome change. But when we accept responsibility for our lives and health, we can embrace it. No matter how hard, we can come through. If you are in the midst of breast cancer treatment, you most likely know this. And you most likely know that in sharing of your journey, you are not alone.
Port placement. Heading into the unknown, but never alone.
But just remember to feel this as well as know it: your strength, life energy, wholeness. Love. Your body that wants to be healthy, your spirit that wants to be connected. Picture and bow to your own miraculous-ness. Then, see it all around you, and in the eyes and hearts of others. Let this reverence guide you out of the darkness.
I HOPE YOU WILL DISCOVER, AS I HAVE,
THAT IT IS NOT WHAT LANDS YOU
IN THE DEEP DARK WOODS THAT DEFINES YOU,
BUT WHAT YOU DO TO MAKE IT OUT.
Joseph Luzzi, In a Dark Wood
You are a miracle. With you in spirit, in complete healing and in building a new healthy narrative for all of us.
Here are some pieces I hope will inspire connection and healing. Surround yourself always with things you love that hold the energy of completeness, compassion, wonder, love and miracles.
Even when we feel hopeless, or we are told that a situation is impossible, healing can still occur. Shed what has been shrouding you, and let your heart reside here, in the miraculous.