So here goes…
The topic most people would rather not talk about – biopsy… and cancer. I know a woman and she has to have a biopsy, and that means she might have cancer. Of course, she might not. But there’s reason for concern, so they’re “taking a look.” This woman is having her own unique experience and at the same time represents hundreds of thousands of women and men.
She is oddly at peace with this, trusting that this (whatever “this” is) is part of her life journey. She does not feel gripped by fear, but she does find herself wondering… “What if I do have cancer?” How does she want to show up to life if cancer does become her reality in the next few weeks? What will rise to the surface as that which matters most? Who will she choose to spend time with and how will she choose to spend her time and energy? What would change? What would stay the same?
I imagine, like having a baby, everything changes in some way – her world, as she knows it, would never be the same. But, “cancer” – such a scary word that can so easily define and consume life. She doesn’t want to have cancer, and the fear is definitely present…even in the peace.
We know of many miraculous stories where people have healed or reversed their cancer, often through natural means. What route would I take, I wonder, if it were me? I started a clean eating regimen last month – removing caffeine, alcohol, gluten, sugar, processed foods, dairy, and animal proteins from my diet. At the time I felt really ready and enthused, and I’ve felt great on this new way of eating, this new way of nourishing my body with real foods. One of the things I said before I began was, “I want to do this before I have a wakeup call.”
Right now this woman is having a mini-wakeup call – a small awakening to what could be a new reality for her body. She is so very grateful for the doctor and the people in her life who take time to listen, but don’t venture to offer the false reassurance, “You’ll be fine.” Because we don’t know. We don’t know what they’ll find. So, please, she asks, let her be in the space of uncertainty, the space of unknowing.
Right now she has a lot of questions. Does she put her life on hold? Hold her breath till she knows? How does she lovingly support herself through this time? Who can she lean on for support? Who are the people who are really able to be there for her, rather than needing her to comfort and reassure them that she will be “fine;” that it’s “nothing?”
I trust she will be fine one way or the other simply because of her peace, her trust, and her faith that she is living her life as it comes. She will be “fine” because she will face what comes to her with courage, with love, and with the same belief in possibility that she usually has. And, at times “fine” might include tears, anger, and fear.
If it is cancer (and it might be – let’s wrap our heads around that possibility), it will no doubt bring lessons and opportunities for a richer life. Witnessing this has most certainly deepened my philosophy that life is for living NOW. This woman enters these next few weeks of uncertainty wanting to be very real about it, and with as much grace, dignity, and ease as she can muster. She will welcome all of the many feelings and thoughts that may dance through her days.