Breast cancer took my morning

by Diana on October 4, 2008 · 1 comment

in Breast cancer

I tried a breast cancer support group a few months ago, at the beginning of summer, but it didn’t work for me that day.

After hearing everyone’s stories, I came home flooded with emotions and fear and couldn’t stop thinking about all I had heard.  Really, I couldn’t handle it.

So when a friend told me about an event at the local Wellness Community — an event that was scheduled at the butt-crack o’Saturday morning, no less — I was hesitant, figuring that even excellent speakers would leave me spent and overwrought like the support group had.

Besides, I love spending my Saturday mornings with my husband and kids, and I already feel like breast cancer has taken so much from us that I don’t want to give it any more space than it has already gobbled.  Literally and figuratively, if you get my meaning.

But, I do actually have breast cancer (or maybe I can now, after chemo and surgery, say that I had breast cancer; or do I have to wait until radiation is through to get to speak of breast cancer in the past tense?), and if I intend to be around a good long while, which I do, then I need to remain informed and connected with the disease and the folks it has touched.

Plus, since my diagnosis I have been trying to do some things just a little, well, differently.  Exactly why I am doing things differently is the topic of a whole nuther blog post, or two or three.  Suffice it to say that lately, when I feel pulled in different directions, I’ll say to myself, “Just do it different, Diana.  Do something different,” and then I do something different than what I would have done as my pre-cancer self.  Just for the heck of it.

This means that I had to go to the Wellness Community event this morning.  I met my friend there, and it was really nice to see her looking so good and moving through the last parts of her treatment.

It was really worth it.

There was an excellent keynote speaker.  I am not sure if I can use her name, now that I think about it, because during her presentation she said that she tried to keep her struggle with cancer private from her professional life.

She used a labyrinth as a metaphor, and this image really spoke to me.  I had never realized that labyrinths are different from mazes.  A maze has dead ends, tricks, traps.  A labyrinth has one way in, and the same way out.

Apparently, there is a resurgence of people using this mythical icon as a metaphor for life’s journey, for the healing journey.

The speaker got me thinking about so many things … where am I going?  What am I leaving behind?  Is it peaceful at the center of my own labyrinth?  Shedding, doing some things differently like I’ve been trying to do — is that a part of the journey to the center of the labyrinth, or is it a part of the coming out, since one goes out of the labyrinth the same way one goes in?  Just thinking about it is labyrinthine!

In any case, I’m glad I gave my morning to breast cancer.  I met some wonderful fellow survivors, and I have some new mysterious things to think about.  I came home feeling peaceful and enjoyed my family completely.  There was still plenty of time in the day to make gluten-free chocolate chip cookies and cocoa for my girls and their playdate friend.  A close friend brought over a great soup, and we all shared an impromptu feast of soup, salad and Trader Joe’s jalapeno blue cornbread.  And now my husband and I are happily waiting up to see if Tina Fey will appear on Saturday Night Live.

A perfect Saturday.

{ 1 comment }

1 JC October 7, 2008 at 1:03 pm

I like what you wrote about doing things differently. I’m 8 years post breast cancer diagnosis, surgery and treatment. I’ve thought the same way. After going through treatment, I told myself if I can get through that, I can get through anything. This attitude sometimes helps me do things I wouldn’t ordinarily do.

BTW, Tina Fey was great on SNL.

All the best,

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