In thinking about writing this blog or posting anything on the e/u social media or Patreon, I kept coming up blank. Where do I start? What do I say?
So we’ll start from the beginning.
In August, I was diagnosed with very early stage cervical cancer. As you might imagine, this threw my world for quite the loop. My boyfriend and I were getting ready to move, I had had some other medical things going on, I still hadn’t taken my acupuncture licensing board exams, etc. Because we caught it early, we anticipated from the beginning two surgeries: one that would hopefully find the margins of the cancer and another, a hysterectomy.
Cancer was never something that I thought I’d face personally, but with something like 1 in 2.5 people being diagnosed with some form of cancer, it shouldn’t be surprising. Cervical cancer itself is a pretty rare these days with the regular use of Pap smears, but it still happens and (like many gynecological cancers) it often doesn’t have a lot of remarkable symptoms. After finding out more about it myself, I had a lot of “ohhhhh….” moments.
Having the word “cancer” thrown around a lot in your general direction kind of gets your brain working on different cylinders. As someone who planned to live for as long as humanly possible, what on earth would it mean for that? What does the rest of my life look like after this? I don’t want children, but it’s still weird to have to have the choice taken away from me because… cancer. What are the lifestyle changes I need to make? What sort of plans or “affairs” need to be put in order?
I remember that there was a very specific time when I decided that I didn’t want to die. My prognosis from the beginning has been good, but regardless of that cancer is scary. It gets you to face mortality in a different way. For the most part, I try to be at peace with the idea that we inevitably all must leave our bodies, but I had a very specific moment of “No, not yet.”
On October 5th, I had my first surgery. Leading up to it, I worked very hard on staying close to my breath, being prepared for post-surgery, and so on. The surgery went well! We found out last week that there were clear margins and everything looks good for my next surgery in another month or so. I’ve had some unexpected hiccups along the healing path, but no major complications. I’ll meet with my doctor in another week to go over the next step thoroughly.
Since diagnosis and all the whirlwind of other things going on (who knew moving was stressful?), I have stepped away from e/u to focus on life. What’s happened has been a bit of a deconstructing process. I’ve had to look at lots of areas of life and see what’s helping or hurting. I’ve had to find my willingness to accept and ask for help (from my boyfriend running an errand to friends bringing food or setting up a gofundme), which is not an easy thing for me. I’ve had to look at my own expectations of what a day looks like or what my timeline of life looks like. It is sort of as if every area has had to take a little piece from here or there to cobble together what life is for the time being.
In the deconstruction, my practice looks a little different now too. I’m meeting the moment as it is in a new way and bringing a different awareness to each day. I don’t sit as formally, though this is something I am steering back toward. It’s been an interesting ride and experience to find the places in the day where the breath fits, where the awareness catches. I watched my heart rate change with my own breathing while waiting in pre-op. My chanting practices have been with me throughout this experience so far, but I am also interested in getting them back to a more formal setting. I’m starting to further experiment working with pain, the breath, and visualization. I’ve had to re-assess what yoga looks like for now.
I’m honestly quite grateful for this taking apart and rebuilding. It isn’t the process I’d have asked for, if I’d had a say. I had expected life to look a lot different around now. But this is it for the time being and we do what we can with it.
So what does all this have to do with e/u? I am happy to start offering a little something.
I’m hoping to be a little more present and engaged on social media, the blog, and so on. But more importantly, I’m starting to offer individual meditation sessions. For now, these will be available via phone or FaceTime and run 30-45 minutes. I’m not setting a sliding scale for these, but rest assured that no one will be turned away if it’s outside of your budget (just contact me to schedule). Hit the button below to book a spot.
I hope to see your name on my schedule and to spend some time in meditation and mindfulness with you. As life continues to change, I’m hoping to offer a little more as I am able.
Take good care of yourself and we’ll talk soon. <3