Cancer Blogging Raincoat Flasher

Posted: October 26th, 2010 | Author: | Filed under: Uncategorized | 2 Comments »

Cancer Girl steps out onto the aft deck of the houseboat, The MonChérie.
She then unencumbers her body of all clothing, for they have microscopic bits of stress, anger & fear clinging to them.
With a relaxed smile she lays down on a plush towel spun from fibers of village love and support.
After a deep inhale & exhale she commences to bask in the warmth from the love emanating from her village.
Like the warmth of the sun, the love relaxes her to her very bones.

    In a conversation a while back with a Facebook friend and blog follower, I once shared how naked I often end up feeling after writing and posting a blog piece. Almost akin to stripping down in public and freely shouting, “Look at me! Look at me!” I’ve gotten to the point of sometimes mentally seeing myself as a blogging version of the classic neighborhood raincoat flasher.
    Seriously though, it often takes quite a leap of faith on my part to click the “Publish Post” button and expose my inner-self to the public as I share my journey through cancer.
    I had a weeks worth last week of pinpointing some new fears, processing through various logistical details and getting prepared to physically reorganize my apartment for my bi-lateral mastectomy on this coming Thursday, October 28th.
    Several times last week I tried to sit down and write, I got as far as looking at the blog log on page. I guess I just wasn’t ready to expose myself in public yet — wasn’t ready to be a cancer blogging raincoat flasher.
    But, after a productive, relaxing and loving weekend with Keith I finally feel re-grounded enough to write. The two cups of Chai tea while listening to some East Indian bamboo flute music this morning has helped too.
    In a quiet afternoon moment together this past Saturday, I asked Keith if he would think less of me if I admitted aloud to being afraid. He looked at me with a puzzled look and matter-of-factly stated, “No, not at all. But, what are you afraid of?”
    I told him, “Everyone keeps telling me how brave I am. I don’t feel brave, I’m just being pragmatic. You’d think I’d be scared to death of the cancer. But I’m not. I feel like I’m just being as pro-active as possible.”
    Keith gave me an ‘and?’ look. I remember looking out the window, watching the wind toss the trees around before I stripped my soul naked by stating my fear out loud. I looked back at him as he patiently waited for my admission.
    “I’m afraid of what comes after the surgery, for my arms. I already carrying so much pain in them and have already lost some mobility and strength in them due to the Fibro. After the mastectomy I’m going to always and forever have to do arm exercises to keep them from seizing up — exercises that right now would send my arms smack into a bad Fibro flare-up. I’m afraid if I can’t do the exercises I’ll lose a huge chunk of my self-sufficiency and that in turn would mean a massive loss of my independence. That’s what I’m afraid of.”
    His lake blue eyes smiled at me as he said, “I’m not afraid of that.” I asked as to why he wasn’t afraid. He took my hand and said,”Because I have faith in you. You’re a fighter. You don’t give up.”

Just try and take my Frisbee. Go ahead, make my day!

    In that moment of stating his steadfast faith in me, I felt a calmness envelope me. Then he chuckled and sardonically added, “You’re going to bite into it like a bulldog and not let go, like you usually do with stuff.” His eyes laughed and flickered with an annoyed smile of knowing. I knew he was right. And, I knew I couldn’t bear to disappoint him or the girls.
    Then I began to feel warm tears roll down my cheeks. I hung my head and said, “I’m sorry. I’m sorry that cancer is making us all go through this. And, I’m sorry I’ll never look the same for you again either. I’m sorry.”
    Keith wiped away some of my tears, smiled at me and said, “It’s okay, Honey. It is, what it is. You’ll be alive, right? That’s all I care about. You’ll be alive.”
    We had a good long talk that afternoon. He went on to remind me that even the doctors have stated they don’t know how much my Fibro will affect my reconstruction recovery process. They can’t even state as to how much mobility I may or may not have to fight back to regain after the surgery. Every woman is different.
    Come Sunday afternoon, Keith freely took care of the tasks that I had asked him earlier on Saturday morning to do. Our opposite coping skills had clashed. At that time he had seen little sense in doing these tasks almost a week before my surgery date. I think that he finally realized that my seeing things organized before the surgery would help me feel like I had some type of control with something in my life.
    Mr. Spontaneous must have seen that moving the microwave off of the top of the fridge onto the kitchen counter so I wouldn’t have to lift my arms to use it, and rearranging a few other things like that to accommodate my post-surgery arm mobility issues, before my surgery (instead of while I was in the hospital) would help me, Ms. Organized, relax a bit more before the surgery.

    Fear is primal. It’s a key component as to what allowed us as a species, along with our intellect and ingenuity, to survive. It’s always been there to alert us to heed something that seems out of the norm. Granted, cancer isn’t a Woolly Mammoth charging towards me, but it might as well be — for all that it’s forced me to take a look at, deal with and go through.
    I privately shared a fear with Keith and now I’ve publicly shared it with you. See? It’s okay to admit to fear. It is, however, in my chunk of the Universe, unacceptable to let it impede my growth as a cognizant being — let alone let it emotionally paralyze me. I took my fear and turn into empowered courage, to roar back into the face of cancer.
    So, once again I’ve stood before you, naked. Once again, I guess I’m a cancer blogging raincoat flasher. I hope doing so has empowered you to face and re-orientate the energy of a fear you may have dwelling within your own consciousness. Liberate yourself, turn it into empowered courage to face it down.

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2 Comments on “Cancer Blogging Raincoat Flasher”

  1. 1 Stefan R. Burnham said at 12:27 pm on October 26th, 2010:

    SB

  2. 2 Stefan R. Burnham said at 12:37 pm on October 26th, 2010:

    Oops! pushed publish too early. I meant to say, I appreciate you. Thanks for publishing this blog. Well done.

    SB