Two Things I Knew Right Away

There were two things I knew right away after the diagnosis.

I was done with the Christmas cookies. And I wouldn’t be googling “Uterine cancer”.

Neither would be helpful and both were potentially harmful.

I knew all things sugary were food for cancer cells. And too much information would take me away from listening to and knowing my own body. I didn’t want to be influenced by the words of the amateur and professional experts out there. What was/ is happening is deeply personal. Statistics are not useful at this level.

For now I am preparing for surgery. The  decision to go with a full hysterectomy was not one I felt compelled to research and debate. There had been symptoms for some months, I was in discomfort, and this particular cancer can be aggressive, I am past menopause, and I trust what I call my trifecta of doctors – primary care, OB/Gyn and the OB/Gyn oncologist surgeon. All women, all well respected, all personal, compassionate and kind. And all of a western medical mindset for sure – but in this case I believe my acupuncturist would agree on the choosen course of action.  (not necessarily the case with the Reiki practitioners I have been working with but more on that later….)

Nonetheless the  decision was made, surgery was scheduled for 3 weeks out and I went home to take a bath. And I have taken a bath every night since – using one of the last hours of each day to lay my hands on my pelvic  area with all the self kindness I can . For years now in my Tai Chi and Qi Gong classes I have talked about when pain arises a common reaction is to turn away – to move as far away as possible from the source of the discomfort. Now here was my challenge to literally practice what I was preaching.

The first couple nights in the tub  I massaged my abdomen in slow, slow circles. I prayed the word containment and asked friends to pray and imagine the same. What could potentially be a stage one cancer could easily jump boundaries and head for the surrounding lymph nodes.

I brought to mind visions of circles of friends and family surrounding me. I breathed and filled the cavity of my abdomen with full, relaxed breaths. Breathing in and out slowly 20 – 30 minutes each night. I have tried not to allow fearful scenarios to be a part of these nightly rituals. It has been my meditation to return over and over again to just sending love to this wounded place.

Just as in choosing how I approach the art of Tai Chi – so I am careful of the language I use and will continue to use regardless of the outcome and discoveries of the surgery. Tai Chi can be a taught as a fighting art  – its martial aspects highlighted in the instruction or as an inner art of healing and self knowledge. I learned it as the latter.

Similarly I won’t choose to fight this cancer – but I will respect the power it has to take my life and do all I can to slow down and listen, make change to my lifestyle, my eating habits, carefully discerning the information my doctors and healing friends offer, and count my blessings everyday – bowing down in gratitude to the love and angels moving in to help in so many ways.