Thank you for your responses to my last message. Whether your response celebrated my chemo holiday or questioned whether I was being aggressive enough, I appreciated your thoughts and concern. Each one helped me to sort through my emotions as your statements echoed all the different aspects of what I was feeling. Thank you.
These past two weeks have been amazing in ways that I couldn't have predicted. Sure, there was April Fools' Day - great fun! - and Passover and Holy Week and Easter and all their marvel.
And I started a learn-to-row class! Living just a few steps from the Charles River, this always seemed like something I should do but could never pull it together. For starters, I don't consider myself to be that athletic. Any new sport I learn has to have a social component to draw me in. Taking a class by myself is not my style.
Then one of the moms at my sons' school arranged a learn-to-row class, inviting other moms from the school. So, a sport I want to learn with a group I mostly know. Only hitch was that the class meets every week, but with no chemo, I can do it! We started this week and it was a blast.
But the biggest thing that happened during these past two weeks was a shift inside that moved me to another path, and I am going to invite you to join me on this path, if you are able and interested.
To take a step back: I had been having this fabulous experience of everything just clicking in my life. When I asked a question, it was mysteriously answered. When I thought of someone, they were also thinking of me. When I wanted to do something, the opportunity appeared. It was all so wonderfully FUN.
Then, my oncologist strongly recommended that I take a break from chemo, and I got scared. Quitting chemo felt like I wasn't doing everything possible for my health. In addition, chemo had become my crutch, and I was afraid to go without it. Fear can easily send me spinning in circles and blind me so that I don't see all my options. I was stuck in indecision and couldn't tell what I wanted, needed or felt right.
I did know that I did not want to make a decision based solely on fear. I wanted to make a decision based on joy and hope and other good and positive feelings, but I couldn't find my way out of the fear.
The day after the conversation with my oncologist, I was still in this fearful place and NOTHING was clicking in my life. For example, I would search the web for specific information but couldn't find it at all. I would email someone and they would respond that they preferred that I call them - and not leave a number. It took Herculean effort respond to emails. Anything I tried hit a dead end and I felt very out-of-sync with my life and with the universe. On top of being fearful, I was now frustrated.
"Be still and know that I am God."
Easier said than done. I promised myself two weeks to make a decision and I felt the urgency of racing against a deadline. But I read and re-read and re-read this Psalm, which took root in my little exhausted heart. After a few deep breaths, I decided to hand it all over to God and be still inside, or, as still as I get.
Slowly, things shifted. For example:
- My friend, Kerry, suddenly and joyfully shared a series of synchronicities in her life, impacting mine in a positive way. Even if I wasn't feeling the love right now, this let me know it was available.
- I was told something directly by a few people I trust, including the father of a friend and a healer with whom I work, both of whom have walked this path before. They all shared that, if I am afraid of going off chemo, then by all means, go back on chemo, but there is something bigger to work on here. That resonated deep within me.
There were a number of other fantastical experiences, culminating in an amazing, awe-inspiring day where so many things came together that my head was spinning. The happenings of that day, taken together, were so big, in so many ways, that I have trouble writing about it. I just can't seem to capture it in words. I will try to give an overview and summarize its impact on me.
I intellectually and emotionally care about healing, and I know there is more that I can contribute and enjoy in this life. At the same time, I feel like I am drawn, or maybe even being sucked, down this other path that I cannot describe. It feels light and hopeful and open in a very expansive way. It feels grounded and beautiful and very connected to others and to God. Taking this path has become my immediate priority.
It is as if I peeked into this amazing world and can't help walking in further.
I don't know exactly what this path is, or where it will lead me. I don't expect it to be easy, and I suspect there will be work to do. I do know that I need to go there. I can literally feel and sometimes see lots of light. Step by step, my decisions are different, my actions are different, and I feel like I am being led. Maybe you know this feeling already? I also know, as strongly as I know anything, that I cannot simultaneously take this path and do chemotherapy right now.
So, I am indeed going to take the recommended break from chemotherapy.
If this sounds insane to you, or unreal, I totally understand. But if you are interested, I would LOVE to have you along. Not only do I prefer to do things with friends, I also have a strong sense that, if you join, in any capacity, you will get something from this as well.
Again, I don't know where this leads or what it involves. I will be feeling my way and trying to listen carefully to the messages and strong feelings that are coming my way. But I wanted to bring you up-to-date on the movement that happened since I last wrote.
As you know, your prayers and positive thoughts have had a powerful impact on this journey and my life. My quality of life and my overall health is even better than it was four years ago when I was first diagnosed. I have experienced miracles in my life and witnessed miracles in others, in large part due to you and what we do together as a group. I appreciate all of what you do. Whether it feels big or small to you, taken together, it feels tremendous to me.
If you don't mind, please give thanks for that collective power and strength, and pray for a healthy body for me! Then live your life fully and with joy. I give thanks always for you.
Have a fantastic weekend.
Love and blessings,