Lately thoughts of cancer have floated through my mind. The word is still with a lowercase ‘c’, but it’s there, in my daily life.
I’ve learned to not stuff disturbing thoughts down into my body or heart. They always pop up somewhere, like an evil jack in the box.
When I try to stuff the thoughts, the feelings associated with the word ‘cancer,’ morph into capital letters until the word is entirely in CAPS like it’s screaming out.
I remember a phrase I read from a book whose author I can’t remember:
Feelings are energies that can be moved and transformed.
When I first read that sentence I thought “Wow, that’s empowering.” I get to direct my feelings, move them around, and create something else.
I can stop the stories in my head and create a new story.
So I grab a piece of paper and write out my thoughts, examine them, and try to figure out if I’m feeling anger, grief, fear, or all three.
Many times it’s not necessary to find ‘the answer,’ only to feel the feelings and examine the threads that make the word stand up in my mind.
Sometimes I thread those words together until they become something else, something not scary or ominous.
I remember when
cancer had me by the breast
the slash, poison, burn
a bald toxic dump.
Nurtured by family
powered by faith
seeds of hope planted
until a garden grew
a wasteland no more.
Dare you to try again
been there and back
you will meet defeat
because now I’m not afraid
to die, after I’ve lived
If poetry isn’t your thing, you can also examine or deal with negative feelings by practicing meditation, deep breathing, journaling, listening to your favorite music, drawing, or reading something inspirational.
The point is you can stop the negative feelings in your head and create a new story in your heart.
Spring has sprung and flung the blanket of gloom from my shoulders. I’m excited!
If you’ve followed my posts, you know that I’ve been in the valley with some serious family problems, relationship issues, and missing my two YA kids who live in Colorado. I was in sad poetry mode.
The great news is that my brother came out of the hospital, on his own two feet, after three weeks. He needs almost around the clock care, but that’s okay, the family is there for him and he gets a little better every day.
I just returned from visiting my YA’s and they are getting along like a grouchy married couple, much to my son’s chagrin. I had to do some counseling with the both kids.
The recurring snow, distance from family, jobs and college is getting to them-they are banking on a vibrant spring to ease their frustration.
My relationship issue is now a moot point-it ended. I’m doing my best to let this go.
We all go through tough times. It’s a given in life.
Through this past episode I tried to remember to be grateful. After listening to meditation music on Pandora, to help me sleep, I’d list five things I was grateful for that day.
During my first rough week, a good cup of coffee was the best thing on the grateful list.
On the third week I had a very pleasant surprise.
My Young Adult novel made it to the second round of the Amazon contest. Out of 10,000 entries, two thousand were selected for second round.
Yes, I did the silly big grin for a few minutes while my mind said, “WHOOP-WHOOP!”
On April 14, 2014, the Third Round announces the top 500 entries selected for the Quarterfinals.
There is much to look forward to in April, besides the third round of Amazon’s contest. I’ll travel to Albuquerque, New Mexico for the Gathering of Nations Pow Wow and then on to Taos and Santa Fe, N.M.
Spring is blossoming, health is restored, there will be new beginnings, maybe opportunities for my novel, and exhilarating places to visit.
If I could choose 10 days to give back to time, I’d choose the last ten.
Between my usual six month cancer checkup (to see if I’m still in remission or not), a relationship ending, and my brother in critical care and suffering from ICU Delirium, the stresses of my life cut through any desire to do much, including writing more than a few words.
What do you do when life rides so heavy on you that you don’t want to get out of bed?
I jotted down bits and pieces of words in my bedside journal. Sometimes it was a curse word, other days I don’t remember what I wrote until I looked back.
This is what my journal said one day:
I think we’re on the brink of change, like a jeep tottering over a cliff in an action movie. Will it fall or won’t it. Will we be saved or crash and burn? I pray and pray. I show up in life. I try to write, read, concentrate, but all I want to do is cry.
On that day I prayed continuously for my brother to progress. And then I rested and cried.
Another day my journal reminded me to take time out, be grateful, meditate, pray, take it easy. And I tried to do that.
I’m well acquainted with the valleys of life, but for the last few days it’s been particularly hard. Perhaps, it’s because I feel I’ve been hit on three sides; too many whammies at once.
It’s getting the gumption, the ganas as we say in Spanish, to move forward that eluded me.
But, I know things will get better, and I thank God I am still in remission and my brother is slowing progressing. It really is one hour at a time, then one day at a time, for a while.
Today, while returning home from the hospital, I opened my Bible scriptures app (yes, there’s an app for that):
Come to me all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest…-Matthew 11:28
I smiled at that. And then I put in my earbuds and listened to meditation music on my cell phone, while my sister drove us home. Among the soothing music a gentle voice said:
Put away the ghosts of the past, the worry about the future, and stay in the here and now. Stay in the present moment. Surrender.
Again, I felt comforted. I am encouraged.
These small acts have made a big difference. In my heart, I feel the ganas returning.