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“Sitting in the waiting rooms of doctor’s offices, reading articles on the effects of soy on tumors. The importance of filling your plate with a rainbow. The usual wishful lies, tragic in their insufficiency. Did anyone really believe in them? As if a bright flash of your efforts could distract death from coming for you, keep the bull snorting harmlessly after the scarlet flag.”                               – From “The Girls”- Emma Cline-

There is nothing remotely special about having cancer. All the kids are doing it. Seriously.

It’s no longer a long shot like being struck by lightning, it is more a given, like paying taxes., unless you are the President because he doesn’t pay taxes, or at least we are not sure if he does or not, which is unfortunate for oh so many reasons. All of the parts of that sentence are unfortunate.

Cancer is Kevin Bacon, only with two degrees of separation. It. Is. Every. Where.

My grandmother, my father, my mother in law. Five friends, six acquaintances (in the last three years) and not a day goes by that I don’t hear a story of someone else.

Not one day.

Most of them my age or younger.

Half a dozen more friends of mine are living with or are in treatment for it or just got diagnosed.

In the time that I started to write this post and the day I actually posted it, I learned of two more friends of mine who are dealing with this and three more people who have died.

Sometimes people go quickly, sometimes they get many years, sometimes it goes into remission never to return. Sometimes people in dire Stage Four territory beat the odds, and sometimes a seemingly easily treatable case goes south at breakneck speed. Anything can happen.

Deep steadying inhalation and a big fucking exhale.

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Life is not a bitch. It is amazing and breathtaking and hard as shit some times. Challenges that will take you to your knees can happen, and how they affect us depends on our ability to allow them to help us evolve. I do not believe that I brought this on myself, this is not some “Secret” bullshit run amok (“if only I had more positive thoughts and manifested harder!”) I am not being punished, it is not karmic, it is not part of God’s plan. It doesn’t really matter what I ate or what I eat, (within reason) It is a perfect storm of multiple ingredients, but I do believe that stress and over giving of oneself emotionally is the finger flick that can tip the dominos of cancer into action, except when it doesn’t.

This is the life landscape through which we navigate. Acknowledge that we have no control and yet be proactively involved in our lives. Live attentively not recklessly.

One driven by grace the other by fear.

As I put the brakes on, sit still and reorganize where and how I put my energy out into the world, the people I choose to bring into my field, paying close attention to the factors that may have tipped my dominoes, I imagine that sheer awareness and understanding of how I got here will grant me a deferment. My life visa will be stamped and extended and Death will smile and say, “Nice work. Way to pay attention and make changes.” This is the reality I choose until proven otherwise.

I continue to relish my quiet time, (even as it is tinged with Chernobyl), and my attempts to put words to the chemo ride. I feel like we got this, my prognosis not dire at all, I am dealing with the ravages of chemo not cancer, I’ve got a long life a head of me, unless, of course, I don’t. It could just as easily be me as someone else, and I am not in control of that at all. So I continue to dance and spin and leap and dodge waving my scarlet flag and singing “not today.”

Until it is.

My heartfelt love to the loved ones and families of those who have shifted dimensions.

The adventures continue…

 

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