Thursday, June 14, 2012


Last night I felt like I just crashed. I slept a fevered sleep, many dreams, lots of just moving around in the bed, feeling unsettled. I still feel unsettled and I wonder, am I getting sick? Is there something going on in my body I don't know?

I fancy myself to be someone who is pretty darn knowledgeable about my body. Being a birth worker, I am realizing that 'my body' pretty much amounts to everything below my waist and above my knees. I can talk to you all day about my uterus and ovaries and all the attached bits because I've spent my life (literally) learning about them, protective of them for myself and other women, and seeing the amazing fruit they produce come into the world.

It's startling to have something come up in my body that I would never, ever have expected. Cancer for one... but in my neck? Really? It makes me wonder what else is going on which I'm sure is just a natural course of this whole situation but it's not like I need more things to be anxious about.

So when I start to feel queasy, or dizzy, or my hands shake, or my heart palpitates, I just wonder. What else is going on? It's nothing more than curiosity, I'm not dreading it or imagining terrible things- just seeing on a cellular level, those little beings talking to each other, living and dying all on their own - synapses that connect, fire, reconnect, fire again. It's fascinating. I wonder what cancer looks like- I want to see the thyroid gland after they take it out, I want to know what the cancer looks like. I am in awe that bodies can do what they do and even when things don't go the way we want, what does THAT look like, too?

Right before I found out I have cancer, I was rejected from doing henna at two events I was super excited about. I had no idea ahead of time it would happen and they both happened within 24 hours of each other.

Then I found out and I started trying to schedule my cancer treatment around my existing schedule (it seems so silly but what else am I supposed to do, drop my life for cancer? I think not.) I had been thinking about taking a leave of absence from the board of the food co-op for a little while as I've worked for 4 years straight without one- and then I found out I had cancer and it seemed obvious that it is exactly what I need to do.

I was trying to schedule my surgery around the birth of my two doula clients and then suddenly they both gave birth the same day- is the Universe trying to tell me something here? Something like... oh, I don't know... get treatment??? I can't help but think so.

While I"m bummed to lose the fun and income of those two events, everything else has shifted so nicely to accomodate what I have to do this summer. Which means I can have my surgery sooner.

Let me tell you a secret: I dont want the damn surgery. I don't want it at all. People keep saying, "At least it's just a surgery and then it's done!" You know what - it's SURGERY. Having had a few, I know what that means. I've never been intubated but I remember waking up from one surgery where I was put out and it was horrible, just horrible. How can I be excited about that?

This is the part that I'm butting up against now- it's one thing to say you have cancer, it's another to face all the crap you're going to have to do to get rid of it. Yes, I know. I dont need chemo, what am I crying about? Well - this is my body, and I don't want anyone cutting on it. I don't want to lose bits of myself. I don't want to have cancer either but at least that cancer right now is playing fairly nicely and not making too much of a fuss.

It's funny how in an intense situation, the most intense thing, even if it's not the most important thing, gets the most attention. Maybe that's a survival mechanism, otherwise I'm back to thinking about having cancer.


  1. I haven't been on facebook a much lately, so I missed this news. I'm sorry that you are having to go through this. Cancer is such a scary word. I know that you are a strong woman, but that doesn't mean that you have to like all of this. I'm glad that you are writing about your experience. It's good for you and helps the rest of us learn through your words. I am keeping you in my thoughts and prayers to be healed using whatever methods are appropriate. Love, Ann

  2. I get you on the surgery part. I 100% completely get ya.

    And I love ya! :-) Maybe we could have surgery on the same day, in the same OR and hold hands while we're out. Ok...maybe that's just a little creepy. ;-)