Tuesday, May 15, 2012

The Journey

I'm taking today off to rest. Yesterday I had surgery to remove a tumor in my left breast. A couple weeks ago I went in for my routine breast MRI (I go in every 6 months now that i'm considered 'high risk') ... this time my surgeon tells me there is an area on the MRI (a 2.5 cm area) that looks like cancer. Compared to an MRI done a couple years ago, that same area which had a speck or two is now a cluster ... so yesterday they drop a wire into the tumor so that my surgeon can easily locate the tumor and remove it. I wake up in surgery to the calm voice of my surgeon .. the last thing I remember was being wheeled into the operating room and saying, "i'm still awake" and noticing the bright lights and all the medical equipment and doctors and nurses in their scrubs.

I am blessed to be surrounded by such a wonderful support system and incredible community. As my sweet girl Ahnung continues to heal from her surgery, we will walk this health journey together, wherever it takes us, as we continue to be supported and held up by such a loving community.

I will hopefully hear from my surgeon tomorrow with the results of the pathology report. At times I wonder if the anxiety of waiting for the results to come in can be worse than whatever the news is ... I remember waiting and waiting for the results of Ahnung's pathology report to come in, and when the call finally came and the somber voice of my vet quietly said, "I'm sorry, I don't have good news for you ..." and as he went on to say a million things, the only words that kept echoing in my head were "she has an aggressive cancer ... invasive adenosquamous carcinoma ..." I remember thinking and wishing I was still waiting for that call, because at least during the wait, there was a part of me that could continue to hope the report would come back benign or at least a treatable cancer. So here I am again, waiting. Somehow, at this very moment I am simply grateful. No matter what my surgeon tells me tomorrow, no matter what the outcome is, I will be okay. I was reading one of my favorite Mary Oliver poems this morning, "The Journey" .... I am so blessed to be living my life's passion; i am so blessed to be serving my community in a way that makes my heart full and so alive; i am so blessed to be surrounded by such a loving and caring community; and i am blessed to be walking this health journey alongside my beloved Ahnung. My prayer and my wish is that I am given the courage and strength to be able to deal, with love, grace and acceptance, whatever direction our journey takes us.

The Journey
By Mary Oliver

One day you finally knew
what you had to do, and began,
though the voices around you
kept shouting
their bad advice—
though the whole house
began to tremble
and you felt the old tug
at your ankles.
“Mend my life!”
each voice cried.
But you didn’t stop.
You knew what you had to do,
though the wind pried
with its stiff fingers
at the very foundations,
though their melancholy
was terrible.
It was already late
enough, and a wild night,
and the road full of fallen
branches and stones.
But little by little,
as you left their voices behind,
the stars began to burn
through the sheets of clouds,
and there was a new voice
which you slowly
recognized as your own,
that kept you company
as you strode deeper and deeper
into the world,
determined to do
the only thing you could do—
determined to save
the only life you could save.

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