If you didn't read part one, you might want to start here.
Then, in March 2006 I was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was in for six months of treatments. A lumpectomy, followed a month later by surgery to insert a port. Then four months of chemotherapy and two months of radiation. I was both afraid and conflicted. Although I knew these treatments were needed to staff off the chance of the cancer metastasizing, I was also aware of the devastating effects the treatments would have on my healthy body. I needed some proactive tools of my own. I needed to DO SOMETHING. Help the doctors out while they shot poison into my body.
I read everything everybody gave me and stuff I found on my own. I read an article on Melissa Etheridge and another on Sheryl Crow; on how they had both dealt with their breast cancer treatments. Both of them said that mediation practices got them through cancer treatments. One of my closest and dearest friends sent me a book on healing and meditation. It was all about using meditative practices for helping the mind in healing the body. Huh. I could put my busy mind to work for a good cause. Except that it meant meditating.
MUST FIND HAPPY PLACE. MUST FIND WAY TO STAY IN HAPPY PLACE.
So, I read the book and it was very helpful and inspirational. I sat cross-legged everyday and “meditated.” I used the mantras, which also were in English, but very practical and geared towards healing from a devastating or terminal illness. Some of the mantras were too long and I figured it did not help my meditation attempts to stop and read from the book every time I took a breath. I settled on one that I could manage.
Deep Breath. White light in. Visualize the light of heaven streaming towards you and entering with your breath. Focus on this light moving through your body. Let it reach each and every cell. Picture it surrounding any cancer cells.
Exhale. Black smoke out. Visualize the diseased cells being carried by your exhaled breath, through your bloodstream and out through your lungs, being expelled from your body.
I was able to stay in this mode for fifteen minutes, sometimes twenty. I still never got to what I imagined was “transcendence,” but I did manage to keep out other thoughts.
Then I got well. OK. I realize I need to make it to the 5 year mark to truly say that, but once you are fully back in the swing of things at work, once you can physically do everything you did pre-chemo etc, and once your hair is grown back… It’s difficult to remember you are officially still in recovery. I let things slip a little. I stopped meditating. I went back to having a cup of coffee and reading news and whatever on the internet in the early morning instead of meditating. Each day I’d say TOMORROW. I MUST STRETCH AND BE SILENT BEFORE I START MY DAY.
This is about where I was at the beginning of last summer. After a very busy year at work and my new personal project (yep, if you are here you are reading it), my mind was busier than ever. Now, while I tried to meditate, blog ideas clogged my brain, developed in my brain, transformed and morphed and got better or funnier or more poignant until, before I realized what I was doing, I not only did not attempt to shut my mind the fuck up, the next thing I knew I was at the computer. And I’m not even talking about other mindful pursuits. Lesson plans. Research. Assessment. There are a lot of ideas that can float one’s cognitive boat.
What?!? Still no guitar Hero! Shame on me. Tommorrow will be the final chapter.
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