Thursday, February 4, 2010

Cancer--catching a wave and having no option except to ride it!

One way I deal with cancer is to retreat to my "Happy Place" when things get rough. My "Happy Place" is Pacific Beach in San Diego. I can see it so clearly, even feeling the warmth of the sun and hearing the ocean waves. I've caught a wave and I'm trying to "ride it out", remaining atop my board. The combined energy and support of everyone helps me ride this wave I have caught. In the beginning I remember considering ways of handling my situation and deciding that I was just going to go with the flow, sort of like Pooh in Benjamin Hoff’s The Tao of Pooh. I do not look back; I do not anticipate; I try to live almost completely in the moment, because I believe that this is the only way I can deal with everything that comes my way. If I think too much about it, it becomes overwhelming and unbearable. I also knew that the only way I could handle the whole process was to let people know what was going on. Consequently, I seem to tell everyone, even complete strangers! Sometimes I just can't help myself. I'm sure it is because of the trauma of the situation. In order to heal from trauma, you have to retell the story, acknowledge the experience and integrate it into your being.
I often say "Cancer sucks" to anybody who will listen as if I have to convince them of that fact. I believe it is important to give free-rein to all of my thoughts and feelings, no matter how crazy or morbid. And it's important to say it out loud! How does cancer suck? It sucks your energy, your memory, your appetite and your ability to stay focused. It compromises your digestive and immune systems, which really sucks!
I have always believed that humor is an essential part of living; and cancer is no exception. If you have a sense of humor, you can find "The Benefits of Chemotherapy". Benefits include:

1. You don’t have to bikini wax.
2. You never have a "bad hair" day though you sometimes have a "no hair" day.
3. You have a good excuse for being a bitch.
4. You save money on hair cuts and shampoo.

I especially enjoy #3! I have always believed that humor makes life easier; and it proves to be the same with cancer. So, the way I understand it is:

If I’m alive and cancer-free in 5 years, they will declare me cured.

If I’m dead in 5 years, they will tell my family I was not cured.

Just some more of my sick humor; however in essence it is true. My odds are supposedly good; but what difference do odds make if you die. In the meantime, I consider it my obligation ride this wave by enjoying life, providing support to my family and friends as they need it, remaining open to my spiritual connection, and living in the moment as much as I can.

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