I am sharing something personal with you today…something that, through my life’s circumstances, I have been invited to revisit.
My intention is simple: To teach what I am learning.
That’s what mother’s do. As a strong maternal figure/teacher for many, my intention is that you learn and grow from my experience so that you don’t have the same one, and/or can help someone else who is.
I was recently diagnosed with two different forms of breast cancer in my right breast. In 2011 I had breast cancer, and assumed that I learned that lesson.
Evidently, I was wrong.
According to Louise Hay, right-breast cancer is all about learning to receive, because you’ve been putting everyone else first.
The psychological take (according to Michael Lincoln PhD in “Messages from the Body”) speaks to being “fed up with the way they are being used; along with the types of resources and responses that are expected from them.”
“Shame” is also included in his definition.
I hate to admit (shame) that both of these resonate with me.
I am also going to add that, with this, I have also had to recognize the importance of vulnerability, and the right to allow my needs to be met and being vulnerable enough to ask for help.
I thought I’d closed the “cancer door” in 2011, and now find myself “back in the classroom.”
During my first experience, I was in deep fear of death.
The difference in this experience is that, while “inconvenient” and “expensive”, I “KNOW” I am going to live but realize I have more to learn to “graduate”.
As a teacher, I want to share this unfoldment as I move through each phase of my learning here.
After the deaths of those closest to me in 2016, I am embracing this opportunity to uncover and release the beliefs blocking me from wholeness.
It is easy for me to be an advocate for others, but one of the hardest things for me to do, is reveal vulnerability by asking for help for myself.
That is what I am doing here, now.
The GOOD News: This cancer is not aggressive. It is HER-2 negative. And, preliminary MRI results reveal that this is not in the lymph nodes. (Another test during my surgery will confirm this assessment.)
OTHER News: At the very least, a unilateral mastectomy in required. Genetic testing (scheduled for today) will determine if I carry the BRCA gene.
My surgeon advised a double mastectomy ONLY if this test result is positive, yet I’ve received contradicting expert advice regarding the preventive measure of a double mastectomy.
I am still processing this news.
I cry in the shower.
I stay strong for my 13-year-old Sun. As a Mother, and Warrior Woman archetype, I know how to put on a brave face. Given his traumatic experience with the cancer related deaths of his biological parents, it is often hard to find the delicate balance between vulnerability, authenticity and strength.
The final piece I’ll share today is that I am moving through tremendous grief surrounding the loss of my breast/breasts.
The uncertainty of whether I carry the BRCA gene scares the shit out of me. Not only do I think about my health, but the health of my daughter, my four sisters and niece.
I’m also finding that my diagnosis is far reaching…this process I’m going through has rippled out to others, revealing so much about those around me…deepening some relationships, and drastically changing others…all meaningful confirmations and part of my learning.
My goal is to stay with myself and my process. I’ll cry when I need to cry, and trust God to carry me when I need to be carried.
I’ll remain in deep and unrelenting surrender.
I’ll drop the shame and allow myself the space to be with myself in non-judgment.
And I invite you to be with me in this process, here.