The musings expressed here are strictly those of a woman making her way through breast cancer and are based solely on her personal beliefs and experience. They are not intended to sway or convince anyone of anything other than to honor-with-action what is right for them.
I’m following through on a decision for surgery this week with full knowledge that I will, no doubt, disappoint some folks before all this is over.
I gain no pleasure from being in this position to disappoint. As a matter of fact, I have spent the greater portion of my life working to resolve differences so as not to disappoint. There is an irony that I find myself exercising my option to displease with a life and death decision.
Who will be disappointed if I live – my way? Who, if I die – my way? I suppose that depends on how tightly the need to be right is clung to – your way.
If you are someone who loves me, I know you’ll get around to understanding what doing this “my way” allows me to reach for – no matter how this goes. The angels gave me matches to play with in this life, death, cancer thing and I am learning so much while blazing this trail. And not just for me. (“Whoa. We gave that child matches and a blog?” I hear them chuckling.)
If you are a distant-someone in my cancer circle and find yourself disappointed, perhaps you missed it back there somewhere. The invitation. What your path crossing mine was to give you. You may want to retrace your steps.
My decision is not one of surviving or dying; it is one of not diminishing myself while surviving or dying.
And so, I am going in for reconstructive surgery this week, against the advisement of some and to the dismay and breath holding of others.
Am I getting a rebellious kick out of saying that? No, I am not.
Am I trying to prove a point in choosing the road less traveled on the map of current medical models for breast cancer? No, I am not.
Am I pointing to the many shades of gray that I wish would be included in the medical model presented to me? Yes, I am.
Can I afford to go against the medical model with my life? Well, that depends on whom you ask.
Had I decided to follow the white coats and not the white wings, I would be somewhere around week 17 in a 20-week regimen of chemotherapy after which I would receive a 6-week course of 33 radiation treatments. Landing me somewhere in April to get my immune system back up before considering if I had enough skin left – after radiation – to start the many weeks of skin expansion necessary for an implant. Maybe, by late summer, I would be looking at a reconstructive date for surgery as I am now – with another 6-week recovery period after that. And on and on…
But my decisions in this breast cancer journey are not based on guidance from out there. As a matter of fact, few of my decisions ever are.
My job is to know myself and take every decision to God first. Then I listen.
Sometimes, Divine Guidance comes as a direct hit – right up front. (Don’t you love that clear YES or NO?) Other times, I gather information and ask, then ask again until I get a LEANING that lets me know wills are merging in this team effort between God and Bernadette. And that is when my two cents starts to miraculously multiply.
Do I hope I live through this? Yes. Am I afraid to die? No. Am I more concerned with thriving every moment between here and there? Absolutely.
You were led to read this blog for a reason. This may not be about cancer for you. It may be about something else in your life. A decision you’ve made that you don’t have peace with. (Did you follow the tribe of opinions while dismissing yourself?) Or a decision you are about to make – and may be postponing. (Did you forget that white wings are ready and waiting to give you a lift?)
Wherever you are with decisions, I am encouraging you to spend your first two cents on the God Sense within each of us that guides us on our way – and gives us peace with the road behind us.
As a matter of fact, I have some extra change here. How much do you need? My pockets are heavy.
It’s not about how it ends, DEar HEaRTs. It’s about how we get there. XO Bernadette
To be continued…
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