I'd say that this information is properly integrated. It's no longer all I'm thinking about (more like a hum in the back of my mind). I hate to say that I've 'accepted' that I have cancer, because I Do Not Accept It. However, I'm no longer in shock over it, my emotional footsteps seem familiar and less tentative. I am breathing in, and out, and it's easy again.
I do notice that I am a wee bit more prone to be anxious about little things and I know that it's just a cost of this that I have to pay, a touch of sanity. Sanity is over rated. I'm sleeping well, I'm having my life. It just catches me unawares sometimes- especially when I'm with my friends. I feel my heart break just a little bit.
I remember when another friend of mine - I unfortunately didn't know her real well, but we called each other friends - found out she had cancer. Suddenly anything we needed to talk about seemed so trivial next to that. It was always the subject that stood like a specter in the room as our group of friends laughed and joked and planned for the future. This gun-metal gray cloud that had a tainted smell to it - just hovering off to the side at all times.
I can't help but wonder if this is similar, even in a small way. I feel it when I'm with my friends, this 'Thing' that's off the side of my peripheral vision, on the tip of my tongue. Are we going to talk about cancer? Should we? Is the timing bad? Is it bad that I want to anyway? Is this how every conversation is going to be? Go away, STUPIDCANCER!
It's not a big distraction but I know it's there, waiting for its chance to be the topic, and it scratches an itch to get to talk about it.
I have to admit that I'm very scared of the surgery, even though it's very simple and done all the time- it's my neck. It's where my voice lives, my breath, and my jugular to boot. I am already holding the people who will be caring for me in the highest light and in my mind, I pray for their steady hands and bold hearts to touch anyone they're caring for, and especially me. I see them in light, giant orbs of light, in my mind, while they free my body of cancer - that they have made love to their partners, that they have eaten delicious, nurturing food, and slept hard and well. That they wake up smiling and joyfully looking ahead to their life's work- caring for other human beings. That I reap the benefits of their wholeness. That is my prayer already, and my surgery isn't scheduled yet.
I Dreamed of the preparation for my surgery and it was wonderful. In my Dream there was a 'Blessing' party with my friends, where people who couldn't be there sent in their love in writing, and in trinket gifts that I placed in a basket to come to the hospital with me. There was an electric candle that people passed around and whispered prayers into, that I could have lit in my room and waiting for me when I get out of surgery, releasing the prayers of all who were attending me in that way. I realized when I woke up that the candle is a brilliant idea, I can even henna the candle myself, so I'm going to see what I can do to at least have that much happen. The candle alone would mean the world - funny how the solid manifestation of the intentions of loving people is so anchoring.
I am grateful that I am not swimming upstream with this. I'm grateful that I know to let go and let the rapids carry me, even accepting that there will be bruises and bumps along the way.
The next hurdle is June 18th. I will have an ultrasound of my neck where they'll just look at the structures and prepare for surgery, and also look and see if any of my lymph nodes are in need of further attention. If so, I'll have fine needle aspiration (FNA) again, which I do NOT want and honestly am really scared to have. I'm all choked up just writing this. :( The biopsies are hard, stressful and really scary - it takes all of my coping mechanisms to get through them. This is the last one I will need, and if not, this is the last one I will consent to. I don't even want to consent to this one, frankly. If you see something worrisome, take the damn thing out, why are we poking it? I do understand why, but my fear justifies greater action to avoid this thing I don't want to experience. Silly fear.
After that appointment, I go up to meet the surgeon and ask her a bazillion questions. Dr. Amy Harper. She's the person who will cut open my body and remove cancer from it, and sew me back up. I've heard really wonderful, warm things about her and I know they will be true when we meet. I will also make sure to meet the anesthesiologist. No uppity jerks are touching me. Be cocky if that's what it takes for you to do your job, but if you can not warmly look me in the eye as a human being, you aren't invited to my "Kick Cancer's Ass" party. (The birth professional in me is laughing at what Dr. Amy's "raptors" would say to that- that I am caring about my experience rather than my safety! lol It isn't true, they just don't know that caring for the experience is ALSO caring for the safety!)
I told my doula clients that I have cancer and that was very nerve wracking- like telling my clients when I got pregnant with Eidie. I thought for sure they'd fire me, that I'd have 'too much going on' for their tastes but they embraced my pregnancy and were sensitive and caring, and I'm so relieved that my clients right now are as well. Gracious and lovely and caring and not dumping me. :) I'm glad to have solid back up and also that I don't have an aggressive cancer that requires me to change my whole life around to accomodate it. I will make room for it, on my time, on my terms.