I got my stitches out last week along with the news that the lymph node that was removed along with Melly also tested positive for melanoma cancer cells. Fuckity fucking fuck. The one-star shit parade continues. Intuitively though, I already knew. Exactly one week prior I was overcome with anxiety in my gut that came from out of nowhere and I thought “It’s the biopsy results and they’re positive”. I belly-breathed myself out of it and spent the next week in and out of dark thoughts and worry.
“There’s good news and bad news” he said, indicating that the cells in the lymph node were so small that adjunct therapies are unlikely, as they only do additional treatment on cells if they measure 1mm or more. Mine measured .4 mm and have been removed. This is of course good news. It’s great news, even. I asked approximately 7, 452 questions and he answered every one of them with intelligence, conviction and kindness. My prognosis is excellent and I will be watched closely (like a hawk) with scans and ultrasounds for the next two years.
As much as this news is not what I wanted to hear, this time around I have a different reaction. This time, I choose to surrender. Not to give up – that’s completely different – but to let go and allow this experience to be what it is. This time, I see this as an invitation from my body; an opportunity for me to go within and experience and let go of any emotions I might have missed last time because I was engulfed in the flames of debilitating fear. Is there more that I can heal within my heart? Is there more that I can feel instead of reasoning with my logical mind? This time, I recognize in this moment of receiving shitty news that nobody expected or wanted, that I am so lucky and I have no self pity. I am so lucky to have such an amazing surgical and medical team. I am so lucky that this surgery was scheduled so quickly because there was a cancellation for someone else, and that waiting for the next date could have meant a whole other reality for me. I see the opportunity for me to help others by sharing my story as it unfolds and the lessons within are revealed.
And while the next few months will likely be seen with fear and anxiety along with even more good days, I remember the many gifts that breast cancer brought me. It may feel a bit like a Trojan horse at times but I am certain there are more amazing gifts to come with this (including the naming of my scar; this hasn’t occurred yet but I have been given a few fantastic suggestions!) I surrender to the experience.
And I’m walking my dog and am back at spin classes 🙂 Pooches & workouts are very good medicine!