Goodbye 2011! I am sitting quietly enjoying the last few hours of 2011. I am thinking how arbitrary the end of a year is, but how necessary it is for humans to let one thing end and have fresh starts occasionally. I planned my time today to organize contemplate and meditate. God gifted Hickory NC with sunny skies and a mild temperature. Tonight it is still mild and starry skies. I chose the things I like to snack on and viewed some uplifting videos clips, talked to friends on the phone and read an uplifting book. This may sound dull to you young people but as one grows, we find we actually like ourselves and the thoughts of being alone are far from lonely thoughts. I used to need the commotion, the noise, the thoughts of being seen and seeing others and the distractions we associate with the New Year's Celebration. I remember them fondly and would not have wanted to miss one second of it, but now I prefer to start a new year clear headed and forward thinking.
This year has ended in a whirlwind. Early in November I went in for my annual mammogram and I was called back for a second scan. I really thought little of it because this has happened before. I am dense or something. This time it moved quickly from a second scan to an ultrasound, to a diagnosis. When two people enter the room and one of them sits next to you and gently rubs your back you can bet the news isn't good. Within the hour I was scheduled for a biopsy with a surgeon the next day, then an MRI and another ultrasound. In the middle of all of this I went up to see my oldest sister who is undergoing chemotherapy for cancer (I refuse to capitalize it). On return to my surgeon , who I chose that first day from a list placed in front of me, he suggested I do the surgery right away, probably just a lumpectomy since they found it right away. (right away means the first possible time insurance would pay for a screening,one month and one day since the last one) When I visited my sister , she had given me a great book her sister -in -law sent her called Crazy, Sexy Cancer Tips One of the main tips was to "get out of town". Go to the best cancer care hospital you can get . I am sure many of my friends think I am crazy for going to Duke Medical but it is #5. Hickory has great doctors and I was impressed by the surgeon I consulted and the team who will treat me. I received the same diagnosis from Duke, but I decided I wanted a surgical oncologist that does this all of the time rather than a great surgeon who does this along with gall bladder surgery,. Maybe one of cancer's lessons for me is to stand up for my own body. I sure haven' kept promises to my body in the past regarding food intake and exercise. So this year ends with the prospect of surgery Jan 4. It is a 3 hour drive each way so my oldest son is taking off from work for the days I must be there for pre-op and surgery and probably a day before returning. This is all done at the Ambulatory Surgery Center . If it were not for the 3 hour drive I would be home in the same day. I will miss at least a week of school teaching for now and 3-6 weeks later for radiation. I am at peace with all of this. I must admit my surprise at my reactions. At first I assumed I was in shock and I would have emotions catch up later but now I think I just have great faith. Today when I read the details from the surgeon about what Jan. 3 will be like for pre-op I had a moment of realization it is no walk in the park. I immediately had the second realization that my son will be with me in body and many others have sent prayers wrapping me in the grace of God.
I am trying to take each day as it comes and not over anticipate things. One only needs to experience something once but humans tend to anticipate, dread, fear , and the after the experience they re-live, and remember. I will endeavor the remember the power of NOW.
Here are some of my blessings regarding this matter:
I have a loving supportive family
I have decent insurance and a Cancer policy
I have accrued sick days at work
I have a great substitute who loves the subject and the children
I have wonderful loving, caring students this year
My principal and fellow teachers really care about me
I have more friends then I imagined. People who were just acquaintances show they care.
I think I am on every prayer list in town , one in Md, and one in Fl and probably some facebook friends lists.
They diagnosed it early.
It is just a lumpectomy and a sentinel node for good measure.
I can get it over early in 2012 and move forward.
I could probably keep going on that list, but I guess you see how all of these people praying have uplifted me. Marianne Williamson said the opposite emotion of fear is LOVE. I believe the fear has been replaced with all of the love bestowed on me both bodily and spiritually. KEEP it Coming! I may still hit that moment where I find it hard not to imagine anticipate and scare myself, but God willing and with continued prayers I will come forward in 2012 stronger , wiser and more firmly faith driven.
Happy New Year, we all hope we won't face challenges but we can look back and see each challenge is a blessing in disguise and a chance to be loved. Hello 2012 what wonders do you hold?