Monday, 24 June 2013

Message in a bottle

"The Rising"

Can't see nothin' in front of me
Can't see nothin' coming up behind
I make my way through this darkness
I can't feel nothing but this chain that binds me
Lost track of how far I've gone
How far I've gone, how high I've climbed
On my back's a sixty pound stone
On my shoulder a half mile line

Bruce Springsteen

So just over a year ago, after an idea to start writing this blog came to me, I looked for inspiration. In the grief of my diagnosis where would I find it? As I sat in my car in a parking lot of a grocery store taking a Facebook break there it was. It was a link to Stings performance of " The Rising" at the Kennedy Centre Honours for Bruce Springsteen. It was a powerful moment as the words being sung and how they were sang resonated with me. Thanks to who ever posted that. Over a year later I am still writing, and words go through my head constantly with stories and moments in life that happen and that I want to share. Helping me to heal and move on.

For many getting cancer leads to life transformations. You are never quite the same person and it seems your soul longs for newness. I would not say I have a bucket list but more a living list. Taking chances where I normally would not, doing things that are outside my comfort zone. Some would think oh god she is going to bungee jump but that is not the type of change I am talking about. Its more about not having any regrets how about how I lived my life. Looking to remain in the moment and not in the fear that I am missing out on something somewhere else. A tedious task at times.

I have the privilege of having people say to me in the last year that they read my blog and they get it, or I help to tell their story with the words telling mine. While on retreat this year, a woman in a hallway heard my name and came up and introduced herself. She said she read the article about my blog and that she kept it. Shared it with others when they came over to her house and now she keeps a copy of that article in a drawer. She said she takes it out every now and then and reads it, then she puts it away again until the next time she feels she needs to read it . I would assume the words meant something to her, spoke to her, told her story. I never take those moments in a hallway for granted, they are a gift.

So in my living list, got nothing to lose type attitude, I figured what if I tried to get a message to Sting about how he impacted my life by something he did. Now it just so happens that Sting is performing here in Newfoundland this week. I bought my tickets thinking there might be a meet and greet like in other cities but no such luck. The goal was not so much as to meet him but for him just to get the message of how he impacted someone in the audiences life with a moment in time in his. We often go along in our lives not realising good or bad how we affect those around us. How a word, a touch a song can change the direction of someones thinking for the better. So since I don't have Mr. Sumner's cell phone I opted to send his long time manager a message on Facebook. I know that this may go nowhere and probably will but I won't be disappointed as the only thing that would of disappointed me is if I didn't do it. Why is it important, I don't really know. Just seemed like the thing to do. Pass on the good to others, even if its Sting. Gratitude is universal.

" Message in a Bottle"

Walked out this morning 
Don't believe what I saw 
A hundred billion bottles 
Washed up on the shore 
Seems I'm not alone at being alone 
A hundred billion casatways 
Looking for a home

The Police

Out of the fog

You don't tug on Superman's cape 
You don't spit into the wind 
You don't pull the mask off that old Lone Ranger 
And you don't mess around with Jim 
Jim Croce

So I think that someone stepped on my cape, grounded my invisible plane. The Yo Yo effect of the hormone therapy draining me of my super powers. I am human again. I would rather be a superhero, even though I was only trying to be one for myself. I wasn't looking to save mankind just me. I question whether Wonder woman ever just wanted to roll over and pull the blankets over her head? Did she ever feel like not saving the world or herself for just one day? I don't want life to be the same anymore. Time is moving at a rapid speed and sometimes its hard to keep up. " Run Forest Run".
I have realised  that recovery is a slow moving boat not the jet ski ride I hoped it would be. The realities of work, home and self a delicate combination. How do you find balance? A tree pose? Quick recoveries from surgeries,  the stopping and starting of medications playing havoc with my resilience. My life in the meantime is at its fullest. So what is my problem? As always I am trying to find perspective or opportunities that provide it and as usual I find it in the moments of simply living.

After a weekend of not feeling the best I had to drag my sorry ass out of bed on an early Sunday Morning. I was to go with Malin and one of the women who had agreed to work with us on our photo project. We were going to take her pictures in Ferryland, which sits on our stunning coast . We began our drive on a  beautiful sunshiny day that provided much needed energy and felt healing as we drove along to our destination. The car alive with chatter and anticipation as we headed towards our outdoor  photo studio. As we winded down the road our beautiful skies were replaced with thick fog that ebbed and flowed with each community we drove through.  When we finally arrived we quickly  realised that the fog was here to stay and that it would make our shoot a little more interesting seeing our back drop was now shrouded in secrecy. We decided to drive up a road towards a lighthouse, the ocean close below us as we made our way. We stopped,  parked the car  and looked ahead to see the rest of the road hidden from our view. We would start here. The women always being the focus of the pictures maybe having natures beauty hidden this time would be good. Or was it? As Malin began to take pictures it felt like the three of us were exactly where we should be at that moment. A deserted road in a remote location with fog draped around us like a blanket, protecting us as our  brave woman showed not only her scars but her soul. A healing moment not just for her but for all of us blessed to be part of this.  Being a part of something so pure and real helps me put things in perspective. I was grateful in that moment on a road in the fog with two amazing women. I  can see in the women as they get their pictures taken, what I felt that day a year ago when Malin took mine. Vulnerability, courage, gratefulness, and as always a little pain just to balance out the moment.

So I am all buoyed up from a great excursion around the bay and decide that its time to go buy some bra's for my new chest. I was so pumped that it was a little like Xmas morning. Off to La Senza I go. The girl takes me in, measures me up, a 32D really? She brings me the bra's. Oh they were so pretty. I put one of them on and the moment I look in the mirror, I am shocked and instantly sad. The whole year came rushing through my mind like a overflowing river. The reality of never looking the same, the need for acceptance of my new body, the scar there forever. A friend had come with me, and I called to her as if the sky was falling. I could feel the tears welling as my  illusion of how things were going to look came crashing down, at least in my eyes. Was it me? Was it the bra she gave me to try on? I think it was a little of both. In any case I definitely had a dent in my armour. I am fortunate to have friends that are strong and help me reframe the situation so that moving on is a little easier. Sadness would not kill my determination reaching my goal that day. My mastectomy bra's had served me well but it was time to move on from that for me. So we continued our way through the Avalon mall of possibilities until I found what I was looking for, until I could stand there and feel whole.The image in the mirror would not change just my perception needed to. Of course I found what I needed. Patience and a helpful salesperson the answer.

I think I will go for a spin in my invisible plane.