Today marks the beginning of breast cancer awareness month.
My life is a miracle.
I bless every single day…
Express lovin’ to someone you know who braved it sometime this month.
It’s great to be alive!
Preparing for surgery, for me, was to run around as fast as I could and do everything possible to not have to think about the nightmare I was living and how afraid I was. From diagnoses to surgery was a 2 1/2 week span during the Christmas holidays and I was trying to forget and go on autopilot by “distractions.”
A dear friend of mine asked me if she could come over and explain how to calm down before surgery. She had been faced with a rare nonmalignant tumor and had her share of adversity. I was bitter, angry, terrified and closed hearted! But she was persistent, patient, and I am sooooo thankful she was both!
This is what she introduced to me. Prepare for Surgery, Heal Faster by Peggy Huddleston. I remember sitting on a bean-bag chair with J, in our family’s play room. I was uninterested,bored and couldn’t wait for her to leave so I could distract myself some more. I hated sitting quiet!
But I changed in those few moments. A change that I needed to experience, which pioneered the beginning of being open to many many more changes to come. As I sat and listened to a tape of how this book came to be, and why it was important, I felt this feeling that I NEEDED to hear this. Without going into too much detail, here are the steps that saved me not only through surgery, but many terrifying procedures that I needed to face that I was unaware at the time.
1. Your mind is a powerful part of healing and how you think of things will determine how you will heal. I HAD to change my rage and anger statements to positive statements that were less fearful because I was pumping those negative feelings into my body to feed my anxiety. Things like “I am so thankful for modern medicine to help me heal.” or “I will be comfortable and heal well,” were more healthy than, “I hate this experience and it is all bad for me!”
2. Emotions and attitudes lesson pain and anxiety. That is a powerful thought and I wanted to believe it.
3. The book explains that you can hear during surgery and that it is important to be in a relaxed state for your body to respond at its best. Dr. Huddleston explains to have positive statement told to you during surgery, that you bring to your anesthesiologist to read to you while you are asleep.
4. She has a 3 step process that helped me so much.
a. Anchor to peace by listening to a relaxation tape to learn how to calm yourself. This was difficult for me as I was not “in” to yoga and mediation at this time. Peace speeds recovery and allows for less medications. I liked this statement because I was not a pill taker.
b. Think of someone you love and get heart centered. This brought good feelings of comfort and warmth to your body.
c. (My favorite) Call on some special people to be your “Pink blanket of Love” and ask them to think or pray for you at the exact time you will be having surgery, a procedure, chemo or radiation. Tell them it will be at 9:30 a.m. on this date. As you are there ready to go into surgery at that very moment, think about that support group sending powerful positive messages to you or praying for you. As Peggy puts it, it will feel “utterly delicious and peaceful.” I have done this and it works! I testify of the power of prayer!
d. Tell your doctor and anesthesiologist to say positive healing statements during surgery because you can hear them! You are the consumer and you have the right to say what happens to you.
5. Patients who feel empowered by being involved in how they heal do better as they heal.
My friend J gave me a gift that day that I didn’t know I needed. I am posting it because often, in our fear we stay closed to things that may be the very thing we need. For me, it was these wellness ideas. I have passed them along to others. If you have something that helped you, don’t hesitate but pass it forward. We need each other.
You just got off the phone.
You have received the news.
News you never ever wanted to hear.
Someone you know has the “C” word.
You heard it but it could not be real!
It can’t be.
How you must feel…
I felt it too.
You are numb. In shock!
You may want to cry. You may feel nothing.
You may want to hit something or scream out loud.
You put your hands to your face and bow your head with a huge sigh.
NO! It can’t be Cancer!
“What do I do now?”
This is the question to be answered from this blog.
Come sit and let us hold on to one another.
This is not only for the newly diagnosed.
It is for the neighbor who wants to know how to help a little.
A friend who wants to know how to help a…
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BTW my boys: Being kind to animals was one of the things to look for….remember that road trip conversation…
Yesterday I walked out of this cancer center for the last time. It will be emptied out and boarded up in two weeks. There is a brand new top-of-the line modern cancer facility sparkling clean and ready on the other side of the hospital which has been in the works for years. “Good riddance.” my husband commented last night when I told him about the change. “That place was a dive.”
Yep, it really was.
But I still felt sad.
This was the place I came that dark day when I met my oncologist for the first time.
That automatic sliding door I walked through, I don’t even know how many times. I stretch my arm out and point to the door like I had magic powers and the door would open.
It opened every single time.
I lived through a plethora of emotions and ailments walking through the walls of this old place;
anger, terror, sorrow, fatigue, exhaustion, elation,…aches and pains, bandages, nausea, hair loss, strange illnesses, low white blood counts, radiated, and so many I can’t even list…
I sat behind the curved windows in those green chemo chairs wishing and pleading this was a nightmare that I would someday wake from.
I never did wake up.
It was real.
I met people who had real courage.
Some lived long.
Some lived short.
But we lived facing cancer.
Yesterday I began reminiscing to an infusion nurse as I completed my appointment. We both began to get teary eyed.
I pointed one last time at the automatic door to magically open for me. It made that whoosh sound and a blast of New England winter air filled my lungs. I stood there looking at my cancer center.
The one which held my story.
I hated it.
I loved it.
When my car was retrieved from valet I got in, turned the corner and sped away. I pretty much cried on my way home every single time I left that building.
Today I cried one last time because it grew to be my familiar cancer home with my cancer family there.
They will still be there when I come back.
But not where my story began…
Change is good.
Simple ways to live life creatively
Dear friend, sibling, spouse, or survivor asking this question...