It amazes me how pain takes on a new significance since I’ve been diagnosed with cancer, especially since it’s metastatic cancer. I just don’t trust my body anymore. And it sucks.
Tuesday afternoon I started noticing pain and tenderness in my abdominal area. I know by my scans I have lesions on my omentum. So what do you think the first thing I think? What frustrates me is how getting a pain can rock my world and turn it upside down. I do Google searches and try to self-diagnose the problem. It makes me more afraid. I know worrying does no good. I know stress is bad. The more I stoke fear, the more it grows.
There are lots of acronyms for FEAR — F*&^# Everything and Run, False Evidence Appearing Real … I’ve also heard the saying, Fear is the opposite of faith.
So it’s back to faith. I can stay in this hell or I can let go and let God. There is peace in that — when I can ask God for help and have faith it will come. Perhaps this treatment isn’t working. I called my oncologist; they will run tests if it continues. I can have faith there are other options that will work. I can find comfort in knowing that solutions/treatments have come along the way in the past when I needed them most. I can talk myself down from this place. I can go there, but I don’t have to stay there.
Perhaps it takes pain to peel back to our inner core. It takes off the layers of bravado and exposes our vulnerability. It forces us to ask for help from a power greater than ourselves, and yes from others, too.
At our spiritual center, we do a practice every year in which we write a letter to ourselves about our intentions for the coming year. We just received our letters today from this time last year. One of my intentions was to have a breakthrough that would bring my book to national prominence. Well that happened when a twist of fate connected me with a literary agent who is going to sell it to a publisher. I believe God brought me that opportunity, and trust that God will bring me another opportunity to achieve another intention: to be free of cancer. If it doesn’t happen in 2012, there’s always 2013. I’m not giving up, and I know God is not giving up on me.
I wish you all the brightest blessings of the holiday and pray that all your dreams and intentions come true.