It’s such a strange experience to have someone tell you that cancer is growing in your body. I made a decision not to let it wrap itself around my identity, but it didn’t really work. Or, rather, I shoved the awful fear and angst that it brought into a bag somewhere and pretended it didn’t exist. From that bag two things grew… pretty awful TMJ, and a bad case of plantar fasciitis. These were actual things that hurt and they bloomed last year.
That brought me to see a wonderful practitioner of cranial sacral therapy. It’s a hands on, fully clothed kind of healing therapy. Nancy works with many of the babies in my practice who have structural problems to great effect. When the cancer happened she offered to work with me, but I kind of blew it off. I was busy being tough. I wanted to run as far as I could from the true sorrow and pain. At that time, I preferred distraction.
But the pain in my foot and my jaw placed me on her table. She made me feel better! Some parts were physical, and sometimes, she would ask a question, very innocently and it would lead to an avalanche of emotion that I didn’t know was there. It allowed me to take a more compassionate view, as I would for a friend. That cancer was a shitty occurrence and it hurt on a lot of levels. Admitting that, rather than insisting that I was fine… I totally got cancer lite… Surgery and radiation is getting off easy compared to those who suffer chemotherapy… that this was a mere nuisance. Working with Nancy changed how I thought about the cancer and the treatment and the hormone blocking meds I now take. I allowed time to be sad about it rather that just avoiding it, and it helped me heal.
Now cancer is almost forgettable as my neighbor promised it would be. It does not enter my mind almost ever. Sometimes I see a friend that I haven’t seen in a while and they will ask in a really kind way… “How is your health?” My first thought isn’t that I have anything wrong with me! I think, well, I could lose some weight… I could exercise more. Then it dawns on me that they are kindly asking about the cancer thing. The answer is that I am totally fine. I’m grateful for that.