Wednesday, October 5, 2011

Live more, not less.

I spoke to my surgeon again this morning and got a few more pieces of information - at least one mastectomy, probably (but not definitely) followed by chemo. I have oncologist and plastic surgeon appointments next week, then a follow up with the surgeon to put all the pieces together and create a timeline.

I'm finding this whole process kind of interesting, in that you get tiny slivers of information with every phone call or appointment, but the full picture doesn't emerge until later.  I can only guess what I'll be going through, though I've prepared myself mentally for as many possibilities as I can think of. It's far less scary that way.

Honestly, the waiting between appointments is the hardest part right now. I'm very good at patience in some parts of my life, but I really suck at it in others.  Waiting sucks and I am not a fan. The anxiety is a lot to handle and the scared part of me just wants to curl up and hide to wait for the next bit of information to come. But, I'm aware that there are a multitude of life lessons I could learn here, and this is one of them. So instead of running away (since my body follows me anyway, damn thing), I'm taking a lesson from meditation and just sitting with my anxiety. Most of the time just taking a deep breath, then acknowledging it and saying something like, "I'm anxious and that's ok," makes me feel better. Sometimes I have to say that a LOT for it to sink in.

I also know that for me, taking a position in fear is damaging psychologically. It causes this vicious feedback loop that looks something like this: I'm scared and I hide > I think of more reasons to be scared and stay hidden > Some tiny thing happens to refuel that fear > The fear deepens and I hide even more.  A sneaky fear spiral where every tiny thing feeds on the next and before I know it I'm curled up in the fetal position and in tears.

But that's not who I really am, nor is it who I want to be.  I'm pretty determined not to let any of this break my spirit.  Yes, I have my freaked-the-fuck-out moments, but they don't dominate.  So I make sure to say yes when someone asks me to do something, even if it's just hanging out watching silly TV shows, because that one act tells the fear to STFU, that there's no home for it here. This is not going to keep me from saying yes to life. It will not keep me from living. If anything, it makes me want to sing from the mountain tops!  We only get this one life.  And we should live MORE, not less.

 So I say this to you whether you're going through a diagnosis like this or not: Live more, not less! Embrace every moment as often as you can. Say yes to life. Yes to experiences. Yes to fun and happiness. Yes to laughter.

You have a choice. Say yes.

(One of my favorite blogs is Tiny Buddha, and this is one of my favorite posts.)


  1. <3 and ((hugs))
    You are amazing, I totally admire your attitude and perspective.

    Fuck cancer.

  2. You are wise beyond your years grasshopper. Keep your focus to inspire yourself and others. Take care :)

  3. you don't know me, but i started following you through a college friend. i've been reading every post. there are so many points in this post that apply to life in general. thank you for making me stop and think. you're in my prayers.. andie

  4. So much love to all of you! And thanks, Andie! :)