My own pain in life has taught me that the first step to healing is not a step away from the pain, but a step toward it… I am convinced that healing is often so difficult because we don’t want to know the pain… It is especially true of the pain that comes from a broken heart. The anguish and agony that result from rejection, separation, neglect, abuse, and emotional manipulation serve only to paralyze us when we can’t face them and keep running away from them – Henri Nouwen’s Life of the Beloved
These days seem to be getting harder but I can say I am handling them a bit easier. At this time I still remain in menopause. I am now six months out from chemotherapy. Last week I had a blood test and learned that my estrogen level is very high (indicating that my ovaries are coming back). Can I get a amen to that??! My oncologist expects that I will have a menstrual cycle again before Christmas. This is tremendous news. My doctors hope that as my ovaries start waking up, that my body will start to normalize again. Unfortunately as a result of the both the medicine and menopause my weight continues to climb as these symptoms remain. (close to 12 lbs. in eight weeks). Clothes that I wore just four weeks ago are no longer fitting. To say this is easy or I am handling this well would be a lie. Every day I have to take a deep breath, remind myself that my body is still healing and allow myself the grace to see through the end of the day, or get through the dreaded “what should I wear today” saga. Most days I fail at this miserably.
At this time I will remain off of Tamoxifen until things start to balance out, i.e. my emotional health, my ovarian suppression, menopause symptoms etc.
As I read the above quote I kept thinking about how in life we are so quick to run from things. But yet something in me tells me that I have gotten this all wrong. That instead of running, in order to find healing I must face the pain, confront the hard, be honest with myself, lay things out there that I struggle with…. and work through it. I am working to take apart the parts of who I am that are ugly and shed light on those places. I think that by shedding light on these things I can begin to make changes and move to a place of healing.
What things have you been running from in fear? What could you move towards, or approach head on to bring healing?
As time approaches my anniversary I have experienced nightmares over memories. I noticed just yesterday in talking with a friend “chemopause” is a very real thing. So many things this friend reminded me of that I have no recollection of. While the last year was good and hard there is also a lot I recognize that is a blur. Memories that are merely just faded moments in time. Conversations that got lost in my mind. This again is another hard reality.
Last weekend I was up in Vancouver, BC all by myself. One of the best parts of traveling alone is you get to delight and indulge in whatever YOU want. (If you have never done this before I highly recommend it). This past weekend I spent exploring, walking, biking, running, eating and drinking all that Vancouver, BC had to offer. I rented a place on AirBnB in the West End and thoroughly enjoyed the modern flat with an ocean view porch. It has been a while since I traveled alone, and I forgot how much I enjoy it. A lot of thinking, reflecting, resting and just enjoying the city.
The summer is drawing to a close, the nights are cooler, the mornings darker. I am beginning to pray over the words I will share in a few weeks at the 2015 Karens for the Cure Fundraiser. I am honored to have been chosen as the Keynote Speaker. If you are in Colorado and would like to join I would be honored to have you there. You may register here. Next weekend I will run in the Susan G Komen Breast Cancer Race wearing my Survivor Shirt proudly. I must admit it is sort of surreal to be participating in this way.
Thank you for thinking of me. Praying for me and never leaving my side.
Happy Friday to you.