Bracing for Impact – Just a Few More Daze to Go

Fate had the grace to grant me the privilege of reconnecting with those people I did not choose to connect with in the first place. If there is a lesson in this Thanksgiving holiday, it’s that you have to unburn those bridges at some point or it is not even worthwhile. It will make you compound the ills and mistakes made not by you, oh, no, but by the others.

And that was what they were to me. They have flitted in and out of my life, one flitting taking her daughter with her to end that line of thought with utter hatred, and others making up time when they can, and being very honest about that.

I was once a person who had no truck with the elders. But time has taught me the value of cherishing the nearness, the corporal experience, of one who will not be here forever. And I have the best of motives to be aware of that –

my thyroid surgery is in just a few days. I am quite ready; having read all the materials, incentive spirometer in one hand, advance directive in the other, TV remote in arm’s reach, and pets underfoot. It’s my understanding that the operation itself is quite routine. What is not routine, is the identification and staging of the cancer, and the fact that there will be many repercussions afterwards. I’m just biding my time to handle the complications that may occur – the appointments, the specialist advice, the treatments. All done before with my breast cancer. The goal is complete healing, and my goal is not looking like I just had a head transplant.

Of course, this all comes to a head! The excitement, the confusion, the endless talking and explanations, the overeating and excessive drinking, this will all end tonight, and serious thought begins to go into making my one-night stay in a hospital bed as bearable as possible.

So, looking forward to the landing. Bracing for impact – may it be a soft one, surprisingly easy and one that will allow liftoff once again.


Staying Close to Aum – a Humdinger of a Sport

Yoga has saved me. The ancient sages and mystics. Also ancient physical therapists and chiropractors, have saved me. I have felt the benefits, survived the aches and pains, and have come out stronger and more centered.

Yoga is an ancient art, sure. The universal sound of many practices, not just Yoga, is “aum.” This sound creates a vibration in the air, and also inside of me, that is magnified when done in company with other aumers.


AUM contains the original noise. Spoken aloud, it invokes the contradiction of emptiness and stillness along with fullness and the ripeness of the universe. When we aum, we partake of the sound of all.

So, the vibrations of aum, the oneness and singularity of my one existence, has contributed to healing.

On the other hand, I’ve seen many teachers and many types of yoga performed. Ideally, you will have a Yogi or instructor, who is aware of your limitations and can offer alternatives to some of the more intricate (a nice word for pretzel) poses.

Sure, I would have considered trying my hand at yogi school, but that ship has sailed, laden with yoginis in various states of pigeon pose.

Now, I’m just a student. And will remain one, as that is how this thing goes. It’s different than lifting weights or using gym machines. Really different. You use your own body’s weight and balance to fine-tune and hone your well-being.

What it’s done for me is immeasurable. Stretching and loosening a spine that has met with difficulty, i.e., gravity; building core muscles by isolating and defining those pesky spasm-prone areas; massaging the knee tendons which don’t swell up any more, but still stiffen with the weather (see #patellavane); restoring balance; and just looking cool.

Much more can be said, I could have even researched some definitions here. But I’ll leave it to you.

As in all things, the right teacher will appear when you need them. But the most important teacher in Yoga or anything else, is you yourself. And I.



I’m Not All That

I’m in my oncologist’s office. I don’t belong here. But here I am nonetheless by virtue of having had my bout with breast cancer all those many years ago

No, not so long ago at all. Harken back back and look up my entries and you’ll see a person determined to achieve full recovery. But I’m not there quite yet.
I hate coming here and I hate being poked and prodded when i feel fine. But most of all I hate being a “cancer patient.” Don’t ever call me that! It may excite the medics but is no less than an annoying interruptiom to my day.

Now Cancer is no joke and with all due respect to my fellow unfortunates, but there is no way I plan to. Concede, accept, or acquiescence to this reality in my life.

For I truly believe hope and pray this too will pass.

My Medical Dilemma

Once you have cancer, albeit a “curable” one, they say you live with the fear all your life. The way you cope with the fear has a lot to do with the quality of your life, whether “cured” or “not.” Either way, a survivor can’t define themselves, and I certainly don’t, on the events of the cancer diagnosis, treatment and ongoing recovery.

Reminds me a lot of what I hear about addiction. An alcoholic is “recovering.” A drug user is “recovering.” Hey, even a Catholic is “recovering.” It is ongoing, and lifelong, and I can finally understand this.

Each time my mammogram rolls around, which is now, my throat closes up, my heart beats, and even my blood sugar rises a degree. I am not good at anticipation; not for the bad things, anyway. So I need all the help from the core of my being, from my strength both physical and spiritual, to get me through the days ahead. Again, it is akin to a prisoner awaiting sentencing. Any change in my condition, new cancer, metastasis, infection, bump lump etc., throws my entire life awry.

There is no planning for this. A cut requires recovery. A burn requires therapy. A break or sprain requires time to heal. But the mind goes on hurting, way past when the physical scars close up.

I know there’s nothing wrong with me. Aside from over-exercise at the gym causing aches in the morning. There is nothing wrong.

I will cope by living in the moment. There is nothing I can do about what is to come, except be.

And that is the most difficult thing of all.

A Good Idea Whose Crime has Come

Recently, I came up with the idea to look into plastic surgery to repair what I consider an over-the-top scar from my lumpectomy, now almost a year old. While I healed up fast and furious, the tissue underneath the skin had sort of hardened and become less pliable over time, and I was not happy with the result of all of this.

So, I mustered up my courage and took myself  to  a surgeon who confirmed that, while I did indeed save the breast, the result was up for opinion.

Having faced this, I felt so brave and sophisticated. But now I’m just anxious to have it over with.

So, someone wrote to me to blog my way back to good health. Wow, what an idea! How easy it is to put my thoughts down, and ultimately to help someone else with the same dilemma.

Another problem I’m having is the fact that I’m not sick, per se. I’m cancer-free thanks to all the care and work of my health team, and this is simply to come full circle in my quest to take away any evidence that I did once have cancer.

The lasting scars will ultimately be inside not on the outside. What will be is a whole person, perceived by only me and presented by only me to the outside world. What is seen is a person who may have completely abandoned the idea of ever having this life-changing condition. Something like what was before.

I don’t ever expect to deal with any more cancer. Who does? But I feel lucky to have made it this far.

If any of this ever helps someone contemplating breast cancer surgery, I will have served the purpose of this blogging.