To say that a cancer diagnosis is scary is an understatement. The fear is fucking debilitating. I honestly thought I was going to die as I waited for biopsy results and then received the initial news. After I saw my surgeon I had a break from the fear being so intense, but finding out the post surgery pathology revealed the lymph node had also tested positive, any calm I had managed to muster was gone again and replaced with fear. There were more scans to have and more results to wait for that resulted in even more scans because the initial scans revealed things that needed to be looked at closer. Good lord. Having a CT scan and being told “we need to look a little closer at your liver” is basically like hearing “well, here’s your coffin – hop on in! Let’s see how you look in there!”
This fear robbed me of sleep, peace of mind and sent me into the darkest places in my mind. I cannot imagine how difficult it must be for people who receive a terminal diagnosis.
Meeting with my medical oncologist (which is also terrifying!!) , having my 47,000 questions answered and his opinion & prognosis were an enormous help and definitely helped me bring my thought process back to something more productive. The rest of it was – and continues to be up to me. After a diagnosis like this you’re basically scared of your own shadow and it’s very easy to slip into fear for everything. Follow up appointments, funny moles that show up – whatever it is – if I find myself getting sidetracked I focus, get my head back in the game and get it done.
As I waited for appointments, results, etc. and my mind was running faster than people who freak out over the free samples at Costco, I found it hard to meditate as I normally would. Enter: guided meditation & visualizations. I cannot even explain how helpful this was as it helped take me to a place mentally where I could find peace.
Avoidance, wishing it didn’t exist and was already dealt with and denial are all normal tactics, but I chose to face that shit head on. I decided that if this was my path, I was going to walk it with grace, humour, strength and courage and do it in some kick ass shoes. Facing it is tough and I needed my village behind me but it made me stronger and more powerful than I could ever imagine.
Stay Away from Dr. Google
Seriously – just don’t go there. I was made to swear off googling things and for bloody good reason. Anything I want to research legitimately I asked my most logical, reasonable, trustworthy and smart villager to help me out. He filters all the shite that points straight to death and gives me facts. Best idea ever.
I know it sounds trite and over used but gratitude was an integral part of moving through fear for me and still is. There are so many things and experiences in my life that I am grateful for and I spend a few minutes each day just thinking about them and giving thanks (all without plastering #blessed all over social media because everyone wants to punch those people). The act of saying “thank you” for everything and everyone I have reminds me that I am surrounded by grace and love. At the end of the day, everything that is good is absolutely rooted in that very same love and grace. That shit is powerful and magical AF and it kicks crap out of fear. Put it on everything!