Saturday, October 9, 2010

Multiple Truths

Yesterday I spoke to my surgeon and got the results of the pathology report from my surgery on Monday. It took longer for me to get the results this go around than in 12/09 ... I come to learn from my surgeon it's because 5 pathologists reviewed by slides and there wasn't complete agreement. My surgeon tells me that 4 pathologists say that it is borderline DCIS/atypical ductal hyperplasia and one says it's definitely DCIS. Every slide she said showed abnormal cells and that I have every form/type of atypia with the exception of lobular. We discussed the report in-depth and also what the options were as far as next steps. Her opinion and also the opinion of the pathologists was that it's no longer okay to simply go with close surveillance.... so for me, as I reflect on what my options are and what western medicine tells me are my options, I realize my gut doesn't feel right about any of them, at least not at this moment. There is no doubt I have the best western medicine team of doctors and support ... I also have the best support from an alternative healing perspective, and believe there is even more I have not considered or explored ... I am also learning that I know my body and to trust my gut. A month ago, when my doctor was telling me I could wait a few months on this growing lump I felt in my breast and that it didn't feel concerning, I knew there was something going in my body and it needed to removed. I chose to listen to my gut and for that I am grateful.

My surgeon tells me that the atypical cells and cancer cells aren't forming lumps. They are spread throughout my breasts. My gut tells me there's something happening at a cellular level in my body ... some changes and transformation ... not just in my breast and in my pancreas but throughout my body. I don't know what it is and it's not good or bad ... I can just 'feel' something. For now, I know that I am not ready to make any major decisions and I need to sit with all of this and allow time and space for the wisdom of my body and my spirit to guide me.

There is this great story (and there are many versions out there) ... the following is the Jainism version of the story "Elephant and the Blind Men" ... a beautiful reminder to me that there are many Truths. I need to open my mind and my heart to the many possibilities and paths that are before me.


Once upon a time, there lived six blind men in a village. One day the villagers told them, "Hey, there is an elephant in the village today."

They had no idea what an elephant is. They decided, "Even though we would not be able to see it, let us go and feel it anyway." All of them went where the elephant was. Everyone of them touched the elephant.

"Hey, the elephant is a pillar," said the first man who touched his leg.

"Oh, no! it is like a rope," said the second man who touched the tail.

"Oh, no! it is like a thick branch of a tree," said the third man who touched the trunk of the elephant.

"It is like a big hand fan" said the fourth man who touched the ear of the elephant.

"It is like a huge wall," said the fifth man who touched the belly of the elephant.

"It is like a solid pipe," Said the sixth man who touched the tusk of the elephant.

They began to argue about the elephant and everyone of them insisted that he was right. It looked like they were getting agitated. A wise man was passing by and he saw this. He stopped and asked them, "What is the matter?" They said, "We cannot agree to what the elephant is like." Each one of them told what he thought the elephant was like. The wise man calmly explained to them, "All of you are right. The reason every one of you is telling it differently because each one of you touched the different part of the elephant. So, actually the elephant has all those features what you all said."

"Oh!" everyone said. There was no more fight. They felt happy that they were all right.


  1. :*( My heart hurts for you having to make such a difficult decision. I know that it can be very difficult to decide what the "right" path is. To be honest, there really is no "right" and "wrong." You simply have to decide what is important for you, and make your decision based on that.

    My aunt is currently undergoing treatment for breast cancer that returned after a long remission, and I have a few friends who are in varying stages of treatment--some are at the beginning of their journey, some partway through, and others have completed their journey and are now able to move on with other things. I've seen what they have had to endure, and while it's definitely not been easy for them they have pride and love in every decision they make. So, it is what it is...and I think that if you are willing, and ready, the answer will come to you. Until it does, take in all the information you can find. Not only will it be useful as you make your decision, but it's a great way to make sure the "beast" doesn't control you.


  2. Nicole,

    thank you so much for your comment. It means more to me than you can imagine. There really is no 'right' or 'wrong' and I have have to trust my gut and listen to what is true for me. I'm not there yet .. I will know when I am :) And you are so right ... it is what it is!