Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Your Semi-Coherent Overview of Restarting Chemo

Don't say I didn't warn you:

Okay, Day 1, 3rd time on Abraxane in conjunction with the continuing biotherapies (Herceptin, Tykerb, Zometa). Cancer counts not tooooo high, but not staying put down low. So, without alarm, we restarted today. I kind of thought it was a joke, and it would just go away. Denial.

So here is the short short version:

I managed to do this with a great deal of CALM, a tinge of sad, a swig of "but I don't wanna be left out of life again dammit" and then onward to be a big girl and take my medicine.

(If anyone wants to design a "get your big girl panties on" tshirts like Soma and friends did for the Breast Cancer 3 Day, that would rock)

Not tooooo bad. Definetly got the chemo cocktail today. Went from feeling vibrant, to feeling like I took a good dose YUCK. But at the end of the day, not tooooo bad. Wondering how to traverse this time round.

I just have a general calm. Did my life stabilize after a year? Woah.

Cool. Take the "long view" as someone I know says often.


Saturday, August 7, 2010

Changing Habits

So this is a edited blog entry, originally posted on an amazing Metastatic Breast Cancer board. We were talking about "Are we doing enough?" and about making changes in our lives to support as healthy a lifestyle as possible.

There is a myth about Met. BC. That we die, quickly, and all we think about is death, and we live miserable lives because of death.

Uhm, n-o.

These women thrive WHILE going through sometimes, often times, brutual treatments. I have met many a women now who are going through this 5, 8, 10, 12, 18 years!!!!!!!!!!! Not 2. Sorry. Nope.

And the key on this board, between living in fear, and thriving is making positive changes that enhance our immune systems, and turn victim into warrior-goddesses. Someone recently said we were like sticks and twigs, all woven together, creating an unbreakable nest in which we can heal safely.


Tthere is a system in Health Psychology about the stages of change. We had to study this thing UP AND DOWN AND ALL AROUND.

Basically, it looks like a spiral staircase. Along it are:
No feelings of desiring change at the beginning all the way to an integrated "no thinking" involved new habit.

But instead of a staircase, it is like a slide. As we progress through the stages (from no desire, to "hmm, maybe I could feel better", to researching, to attempting to change, to full integration) we will ALWAYS backslide at some point down the spiral.

And this is where Pema Chodron comes in about loving kindness. I am re-reading her book "When things Fall Apart". So much more poignant this time 'round. I was just reading the section on meditation. (or in any conscious work we do)...where we can see ourselves for who we TRULY are, and when we fall out of alignment with our purpose (such as meditation and thinking) we simple observe ourselves/actions/thoughts without judgement and label them ("thinking, eating sugar, self-loathing - or whatever your break from alignment there is) and then simple choose to refocus our attentions on what we are CREATING (health digestion, healthly self image, etc).

Maitri is what it is called. The act of loving kindness. We can do it with no one else until we can do this with our own journey. AND it is the key to moving yourself back upward on the spiral to positive change.

I can't help but just send KEEKS (actual name changed) so much love for her earnestness and her honesty on her journey. For some of us the journey is about food and coming to peace with it (or into alignment with what is wellbeing for us), for some of us, it is about letting go of feelings of unworthiness that pollute our bloodstream with chemicals that cancer loves, most likely, as in ANY human journey, it is all of the above. And at different points in our lives, it is about different issues as we do become conscious beings.

And that is what this board is all about for me. A privileged to sit in a sacred circle with other women who are understanding this journey on a conscious level (even when we fall asleep to ourselves momentarily).