Saturday, June 18, 2011

A blue star, cancer news & the ten of cups

OK, so I know it's been a while since I last wrote. I've been incredibly busy with Community Green, getting a tattoo with my teammates (that's my blue star on my left wrist), looking for a "real" job, roller derby activities, etc...
On a quiet Thursday evening in May, myself and 5 teammates went for blue star tattoos. You see, in 'Paign-land, a "blue" star is the equivalent of a "gold" star. We award each other blue stars for a job well done. We had decided to go for the tattoos after our first win. I wanted mine to be where I could always see it and be reminded that I am a derby girl. When I'm ancient and tottering around the nursing home (which Hannah likes to remind me that she will be choosing) I will be regaling them all with stories of my roller derby days! Something to look forward to, huh?!
The cancer news is not my news, rather it is a status update on a couple of friends. They recently learned that their cancer has metastasized. Such is the double-edged sword of a breast cancer support group. Those that you've gotten to know and grown to love don't always get better, sometimes there is a downturn. That's why I originally avoided attending a support group. I had lost some "Chemo Comrades" in my year of treatment and was afraid to have that happen again. The pain and heartache of such loss was almost too much for me to handle and it just kept happening. Every time you lose a "comrade" you realize that it can happen to you while knowing that because it happened to them, your odds are better. [This is where that old catholic guilt really kicks in!] Before cancer, I never cried in public (exception: funeral/memorial services). Since cancer, I cried many times in the elevator at Christie Clinic on my way out of treatment. Unfortunately, most people didn't know how to react to the "crazy, almost bald-headed lady" crying in the elevator (oh, to have had a video camera!). But it's always good to be with people who understand exactly what you are going through, so much so that sometimes you don't even have to say it. What I wouldn't give to leave the emotional roller coaster of cancer behind. Actually, these days the cancer is no longer that monkey on my back and I sometimes even "forget" that I have it! It used to be that I only forgot about it when I was sleeping.
What is most interesting is how people deal with such news. Some are galvanized into action to fight for a cure while others retreat to spend time with those most important to them. I am most surprised at my own reaction, as I would have thought that I would've rushed headlong into the fight and devoted all my time and energy to the cause. But I chose to focus on me and mine instead. Sometimes I feel guilty for not doing more in the fight against breast cancer. It has been 21 months since my diagnosis; I have come to the conclusion that the subject still hits too close to home and the uncertainty of recurrence too much to bear.
The lesson I have learned from this journey is reflected in today's tarot card, the Ten of Cups. The Ten of Cups refers to cycles completed, journeys finished and lives well lived in the company of others. Serenity and peace are in the air, and for a moment you can simply forget about all of the material troubles of the world around you. Nothing material matters here, just the eternal happiness that has been earned through trials and obstacles. This success is not a fleeting or temporary one, but a lasting peace and harmony that can truly be enjoyed. There are no regrets over the past, no concerns for the future, so you can live in the moment and seize the day. The only caution of the Ten of Cups is to not squander these precious times that have been given to you. Don't take your happiness for granted because it can slip away. Don't let this time stagnate, rather keep it in a constant state of growth and rejuvenation. Don't go looking for problems, just sit back and enjoy what you have. The greatest power in the world is that of love, and through love we can get a glimpse of what is truly great.

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