The diagnosis and doctors’ appointments and needles and waiting and texts and phone calls and flowers and meals and pain meds and drains and stillness and no showers and no exercise and visitors and days in bed and biopsies and more needles and anesthesia and decisions and more waiting and panic and relief … all building blocks to a state that I cannot name. A gigantic, powerful wave that gained momentum and gathered force to its crest, reaching its peak with nowhere left to go except crashing down. Breaking apart, bubbling and dispersing into nothingness, retreating back to the ocean.
The kids are back in school. I’m back at work. I’m physically healing. I’m back to doing almost everything I used to do. We’ve stepped back into our routine and the dust is settling.
And there are these quiet and still moments, as this wave recedes, that I’m left to wonder: what the hell just happened? It was fight or flight mode, and of course, I fought – everyone would. But that left little time for mentally processing and absorbing what transpired. And little capacity to take on anything that would require additional emotional energy. I checked out there. My son starting middle school – just beginning to process. Our country’s state of affairs – just now feeling capable to take any of it in. Family and friends and what is going on in their lives – I have not been there for them like I normally am.
I literally crave the time and space to digest the events of the last several months. My mind knows it and my body knows it, but the deepest parts of me have not acknowledged it. I believe it is an automatic protection mechanism: “If you do not fully absorb this, then it didn’t really happen all the way.” Is that denial?
We booked a little cabin on the Florida coast for fall break next month. Not only to vacation and finally enjoy a piece of summer, but to check-out to check-in, to reflect and absorb. To feel the waves rise and fall. To gain some steady ground again. To fully acknowledge to myself that I was diagnosed with breast cancer after I found a lump in my breast that I brought to the medical world’s attention. The lump that may or may not have eventually been detected via mammogram. And that I decided to have bilateral mastectomy to remove the tiny cancerous tissue along with the rest of my normal, healthy tissue to reduce the likelihood of it returning. My body is being reconstructed, and I am on a medication for ten years to prevent breast cancer from returning.
And to fully acknowledge that each precious day ahead will have more knowns and unknowns, the yin and the yang, the good and the bad, things I understand and things I will never understand. I’ll strive to reconcile what I can and surrender to God what I cannot, making a conscious choice to stay in the Light, moment by moment.