Monday, March 11, 2013

Done, done, done!

Healing therapy is now behind me. Six sessions - check!

I spent most of the weekend preparing for today's final session and also celebrating the fact that today would be my final healing therapy session.

I went to three supermarkets for to meet our sundry dietary needs.
* fruits and vegetables for soup-making, fresh juices and smoothies
* dog food
* chocolate almond milk for my growing boy
* bouillon cubes for the aforementioned soup
* limes and lemons to squeeze into my filtered water
* whole grain bread
* sushi
* kombucha tea
* raw and sprouted almonds and roasted, salted cashews
* am I the only one who absolutely LOVES going to the supermarket?
* we are enormously blessed to have the tremendous variety of foods available to us
* I am profoundly grateful.

My daughter and I hit the mall for some retail therapy.
* I came away with an ankle length blue and white striped skirt which I wore to healing therapy today and received a few compliments on it. As I've said before, I may have kanswer, but I don't have to look raggedy.
* I found a Jones New York wrap dress on sale.
* But the find of the day was a red Eileen Fisher dress, originally priced at  $198. It rang up at $19.99. And then the cashier added a 20% discount coupon to the entire bill. So that $198 dress ended up costing $15.

I fell in love with an absolutely beautiful little boy in the movie, Just Like the Son.
* He is a gem. The story is gentle, sweet, sad, painful, frightening, and worth every moment I spent watching it.
* I'm planning to watch it again sometime this week.

I spent time praying, journaling, painting, preparing three new journals to play in, and sitting outside on the deck with no hat on, getting vitamin D the old-fashioned way.

I cried a lot this weekend too. Because kanswer sucks.
Chemotherapy sucks. Surgery is gonna suck. This whole process SUCKS!!!
Even though I know it is meant to heal me, it breaks my body down. All the way down.
Surgery is gonna be painful and is going to usher me into a new relationship with my body.
A body without breasts. A body with new scars.
A body that offers daily reminders of this traumatic journey I am now on.
Radiation will follow surgery.
And five years of hormone therapy after that.
I plan to ask if those final two steps can be skipped, but today my oncologist told me that he wouldn't recommend that.

I've been told that I've been brave throughout this process.
Courageous. Strong. Energetic. A role model of some kind.
I haven't felt courageous or strong or like an example of anything.
I've felt flattened most of the time. Incredulous. Bewildered. Exhausted. Angry.
I've pleaded with God for a break. For a few minutes of not having kanswer.

I recently thought back to those final moments of delivering my children.
Those moments of entering transition when I was convinced that I simply could not go on.
I remember being late in labor with Kristiana and asking the doctor if I could go home for an hour or two to rest and then return to the hospital to finish giving birth. She did not grant me permission to do that.

That's how I've felt during this healing therapy process. Like I needed a few days of not having to deal with kanswer, a quick regrowth of my dreadlocs, the ability to do a 60 minute workout, and the strength to go out to dinner with friends. Then I could get back to the work of fighting kanswer with renewed joy and strength. I have not been granted a reprieve this time either. Not yet anyway.

Who doesn't love polka dotted wrapping paper?

Another reason that I cried this past weekend was this: you, my friends, my family, poured love over me and into me last week and this weekend. You have sent cards, letters, three care packages, emails, texts, phone calls, gift cards, flowers, candy, desserts, pens, journals, post cards, stickers - the list is too long. You know who you are. You know how you opened your generous hands and hearts and poured yourselves all over me. Truly I wept. I had to stop reading things, stop going through boxes, and let the tears of joy and gratitude flow freely. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

********************
I have decided to grant myself a six week break before surgery.
The oncologist said I don't have to wait that long.
He said I will probably be strong enough for surgery in four weeks.
I said: Thanks but no thanks, Doc. I'm giving myself the extra two weeks.
This is my chance to give myself a break from this fierce battle.
I'm going to the beach with a friend in April for a few days to recover.
I'm going to go out to lunch and dinner with family, with friends, and all by myself.
I'm going to work on filling the journals I'm making.
And I am going to celebrate, give thanks, honor my body for carrying me through this phase of the journey, and do my best to prepare it for all that is yet to come.

For tonight, however, I am focused on the fact that I am done, done, done!!!
Glory be to God on high!
And to all of you, to all of us, may there be peace, rest, recovery, hope joy, and lots of dancing.

6 comments:

Karmen said...

Glory Glory Hallelujah, Baby! Enjoy your time to regroup and restore.

Kate S said...

much love, Gail, so glad you are here :)

Sarah Ochoa said...

Hurray hurray hurray! My baby sister just finished her healing therapy, too, Gail!! She has radiation instead of surgery to conquer next, but healing therapy is OVER! whoop! God bless you and your amazing perspective, it lifts me up this morning!

Lucinda said...

Praying for your full healing, Gail. Enjoy your break, you have most certainly earned it.

Linda K said...

Gail, I'm celebrating with you! This white girl can't dance but if I could, I'd be shakin' it in my office in honor of you and your milestone! I'm so thankful that I found you. I don't know you but I love you. I love your spirit. Your humor. Your honesty. You're gifted girl! You have and will continue to touch many lives, most of whom you'll never know but boy they will know you! Continue on dancing girl! Love to you.

Linda K said...

Gail, I'm celebrating with you! This white girl can't dance but if I could, I'd be shakin' it in my office in honor of you and your milestone! I'm so thankful that I found you. I don't know you but I love you. I love your spirit. Your humor. Your honesty. You're gifted girl! You have and will continue to touch many lives, most of whom you'll never know but boy they will know you! Continue on dancing girl! Love to you.