watching the river flow
Journal Entry: 4/26/11
I was reviewing an old journal entry from March 5, 2008. I was in the midst of chemotherapy at that time. I wrote: am getting a one hour, hands-on healing session from *Jane Doe today before chemo—FREE OF CHARGE! Wow, what a rush of memories as I read those words. I immediately picked up my current journal and began scribbling:
I do believe that session with Jane was what triggered my ultimate decision to discontinue chemotherapy after five, instead of the scheduled twelve, treatments. I remember that session so clearly: the flood of tears as she moved her hands above my supine body, clearing and cleansing my CHAKRAS. (There are seven CHAKRAS or energy centers through which Spirit or Creative Energy is said to enter the human body. Each of these seven centers is associated with one of the major endocrine glands.) I experienced a rush of realization: the chemo will kill you. Why are you destroying the body? Afterwards, I shared the experience with Jane, a hands-on energy healer practicing in the oncologist’s health center by his courtesy. It would be quite impolitic of her to support me in stopping chemo treatments. Her role, she explained, was to support the chemotherapy.
The chemo session that day was very difficult for me. I surrounded myself with my three animal totems: Bear, for healing and shamanistic energies; Turtle, for longevity and Panther, to lead me fearlessly to those dark places into which I’d rather not venture. Each of these three Spirit Guardians had come to me years ago in dreams and had been forgotten for the most part through the years. They resurfaced during this very challenging period of my life. Their presence was with me during the seven and a half hour surgery in 2007. I would also place their images, drawn on small wooden runes from The Path of the Feathers, on a nearby table in the chemo room.
I weep now as I realize how close I came to destroying this miracle of a body and its built-in-pre-programmed systems of healing and recovery. For I do not believe that I would be sitting here writing these words now if I had ignored inner warnings and gone ahead and completed modern medicine’s triple whammy treatment plan:
CUT—unhinged by the fear of death which, I was assured by everyone (doctors, therapist, friends, family, strangers on the bus—just joshing about that), would be my fate if I dared to not do exactly as the doctors said. So, after a year of trying a variety of alternative options and two lumpectomies with the cancer still stubbornly hanging on, I finally consented to a mastectomy and reconstruction of the right breast. I was offered the removal of the left one also—a “twofer”—just in case. I declined. The left breast appeared not to be “broken” so why fix it?
To the best of my understanding—which was totally muddled by a fear-drugged brain—the breast removal and replacement process went something like this: after cutting off the breast, the breast surgeon then turned my body over to the waiting plastic surgeon who proceeded to build a new breast using the fat and flesh from a “tummy tuck” (which he first performed) bringing the apron of hanging fat that was previously my belly, up and under the skin—with the aid of cadaver skin—and forming it—the belly fat—into a new breast—belly stretch marks and all. Amazing, n’cest pas?
I don’t wish to come off as a flippant ingrate. I so respect and admire these highly skilled women and men who work miracles in Operating Rooms across the nation. We all do the best with what we know and believe. I was graced with the best of the best throughout this process of awakening via cancer. And I am still a very sexy mama—belly-breast and all.
Thank God or whatever IT is with whom I commune each day as I sit at my window altar watching the river flow. Thank You for interceding before I could complete that mission of self-annihilation, the wanton destruction of the body, rather than begin looking within for causes…for answers…for true healing. Instead, I chose the cowardly route and letting fear determine my decisions and actions, I declared war upon the body…upon the breast—upon the messenger—rather than taking any responsibility at all for the creation of that cancerous growth in my right breast.
Part A: chemotherapy—stopped by me after five treatments of a twelve treatment plan. I ceased and desisted with the war against cancer—the war against my body.
My integrative oncologist educated me about the supplements and nutrients that the body needed to counteract the destruction wrought by killer chemicals that destroy friend and foe alike—you know—the same old, collateral damage story. This so-called war against cancer is no different from the wars fought to bring freedom and democracy to those unfortunate others who refuse to be like us or the invasions and occupations of sovereign nations in order to save backward and uncivilized non western peoples from themselves. It would be falling over hilarious if it weren’t so tragic. War of any kind for any reason—especially for pious, self-serving reasons—neither heals nor saves. But I do digress.
At any rate, I was stopped from the inside out from completing the approved, medically required cut, burn and poison treatment plan for all third stage breast cancers. Look it up on the internet. It’s the standard. That’s where your oncologist gets his plan for treatment.
Part B: Tamoxifen, the standard, hormonal therapy drug (later described to me by a gynecologist as a major cause of uterine cancer) to be taken for the rest of my life. I also said no gracias to that.
BURN: as in the deliberate burning by radiation of the flesh surrounding the new breast with probable damage to nearby healthy organs and tissue, with the hope of killing any rogue, cancer cells that might have managed to escape the onslaught of knife and poison—also declined by moi!
I rest my case for the day. More positively to follow.
*not real name