“Pain is the breaking of the shell that encloses your understanding.” This is a quote that I read recently and it spoke to me in a pretty profound way. The things we think we know, or the things we believe to be the truth are the very things that are the most painful when we realize they are just a tender shell that could be shattered at any moment with another “truth” lying right around the corner.
Nothing is permanent.
How many times have I told people that nothing is permanent? I am not sure but I will say countless. The only thing that never changes is that everything changes and so I should have expected that I would move toward a deeper sense of health or shift back into imbalance once again. Since my surgery last November, I have been waiting on baited breath to turn a corner. I thought I knew that my cancer was gone and so I waited to feel better, to lose this unwanted and unwelcome weight and to just simply move forward. However, no matter how hard I tried, I spun my wheels. I reached out to my health care provider several times and got dismissed rather rudely and bumped to the waiting list. But…nothing is permanent. I accepted what I could not changed and then got my shit together and changed what I could.
There were so many, many reasons for me to shift out of studio ownership and into a new career. My boys are getting older and providing for them means supporting them more financially and less with snuggles, huggies and kisses (although I still get in plenty of those). I also wanted to think about my own future. I want the freedom to take care of myself and my family. Yoga filled my heart and soul and still does, but it never filled my pocketbook. It wasn’t something I could afford to continue no matter how much I loved it, so I went back into real estate and finance. Something I had done for 15 years prior to owning my own business and it felt good. I waited until I got my new insurance and immediately asked for a referral up to the OHSU Thyroid Clinic because I needed help to figure out why I still didn’t feel right. It was a huge step forward and the fact that my first appointment was on my birthday felt like a good sign. On my way…onward and upward.
Lighten the Load?
Finally, someone to listen to what I have to say! I got my journal ready to go, making notes of questions that I had and arming myself with the last two weeks of my food journal to share. I knew this would be a great move because my Thyroid Cancer Support Group had recommended this clinic and doctor. I had faith that this would be the shift toward wellness I was waiting for, and when the doctor came in, I was ready. I started to plead my case and she stopped me. She asked me if I felt well and I said no. Then she told me that was all she needed to hear and she would help me feel better and we would work together to get my life and health back in order. I felt a weight lifted and there was so much relief I started to cry. This journey has been so hard and I have felt so alone, I finally had hope that things would change. However, all of the news wasn’t good. The ultrasound showed signs of cancer in my lymph nodes. I told her that my other doctor was watching my lymph nodes and her response was, “I wonder how long they were going to watch them before they did something about them.”
You Know Nothing Angie Cherry.
The next week they scheduled a biopsy for my lymph nodes and in I went, armed with a furry sleep mask, a gift from my thoughtful sister, so I didn’t have to watch as the needles moved toward my neck. I could just go to my happy place and know that this too shall pass. I knew the answer but I waited for the call to be sure. Yes, they are malignant. What a dumb word, malignant. All it means is that the cancer is back and I am in for round two. Everything I thought I knew to be true had been shattered and I felt like I took a million steps back instead of moving forward. At first I was so disheartened, expecting to feel relief only to be told that the cancer was either back or had never left in the first place. But…I did not spend years of self development and inner work to simply roll over and be a victim. I might not know a damn thing about why I have to go through this again, but I know I will make it and somehow be better for it. Even though it makes no sense to me now.
As much faith as I have in the process and God himself, I have had moments of “F&%$ You”, crying, anger, more “F&%$ You” and more crying. However, there is something different this time. I feel stronger. I have moments where I feel like I am in it to win it, which I didn’t have before. I think part of that has to do with more balanced hormones, so I am free of the crippling depression I went through last time. I also think part of it is my desire to be better, to move forward and to be well. I know I can do this and I guess when it comes down to it, that is all I need to know right now.