Two years, how has it been so long and so short all at once. Two years into this journey and I’m still here. I’m doing really good and I’m not. I’m healthy and I’m not. I guess these days I just feel like a juxtaposition.
My next scan is tomorrow September 2nd . I’ll have the scan and then go back to the hospital on the 7th for the report. I haven’t been since April. I have other appointments and treatments all the time but in the past year I have spent less time in the hospital than I did in the initial first week of the scans, tests and diagnosis. I’ve never been one for hospitals, I wasn’t even born in one and have yet to ever had to spend a night in one. I hope I can keep it that way for a longtime. Don’t get me wrong I do value hospitals and when I broke my foot it was the first place I went but emergency care is different.
How am I doing now?
I don’t think my scan will be good and that’s ok. I’m not giving up, there’s so much more I can do but this phase is hard. It’s not all hard and in many ways I’m at peace with it all. I’m at peace with how intense this journey has been, I’m at peace with it being part of my journey. I’m dancing at the edge with death, it’s been there the last two years, sometimes further back and sometimes more to the fore. I’ve made peace with that too. I guess we’re always dancing at the edge with death we just don’t usually realise or want to acknowledge it. But death is there, death is part of life and it’s inevitable for us all. I’m not running towards it but I’m also not terrified of it catching me. It’s a part of life and a part of all of our journeys so how terrifying can that be. I’ve made peace with it but I’m certainly not inviting it in just yet.
I don’t think my scan will be great because I can feel it in my body, there’s a lot going on with my chest and lungs, maybe my sternum too. Not so much my spine though, I don’t feel any pain there so maybe that will look better but we’ll just have to wait and see. None of this worries me, not in a naive it’ll all just be ok, more in a I know something is going on and I’ll have a clearer picture soon which will help clarify some next steps. A lot of my issues at the moment are from the fibrosis and scar tissue from the radiotherapy so the scan will also clear up exactly what those pieces are because that requires a different approach to any cancer cells. Whatever shows up I will deal with.
Some of this feels like steps back, my body feels completely different to the one that was travelling around Mexico at the start of the year. The challenges have brought pain, sadness and grief but it’s also invited me to slow down again, to take another step back, to marvel in the simple moments, to be fully present with where I am.
The end of last year and beginning of this year was like another season, it was a time of relief, a time of adventure and a break from this dis-ease. I made it to Jordan solo, that trip reminded me of who I am and what I am capable of. Then Mexico, another adventure, not solo but I don’t need to do it all alone, that trip opened up doors for the future. I’ll be back there someday but I’m in no rush right now. I’ve had impatient feet many times on this journey, while Ireland may be home part of me will always long for lands further afield, but I know this is where I’m meant to be. Some layers of healing are harder here, the triggers and patterns aren’t distant memories but close neighbours.This rawness adds another layer of depth and the healing is more nuanced. Healing at home, it’s not easy but it’s richer too. And healing is what I will keep doing, I’ll dive into the depths, the shadows, the valleys and I’ll rise from them all one way or another.
So I have my scan on Saturday, followed by Hyperbaric Oxygen sessions on Monday and Tuesday, and Hospital again for bloods and results Thursday. Then the week after as well as Oxygen sessions, I have craniosacral and a consultation with an Ayurvedic doctor over from India. Those are just the tip, I have daily practices too, the supplements, the food, the dog walks and the inner work. This season of healing has been intense, it’s felt like the healing or lack of has been all consuming at times but there are breaks in that too, time for family, friends, little adventures and the simple pleasures of going for coffee or more.
Most of my focus is on healing but that will pass too, the tide will turn, the pain will dissipate and more energy will surge. I trust my instincts, I trust that I know what my body needs, I trust this is the path I’m meant to be on. My journey doesn’t make sense to everyone, I’m not doing it the conventional way but I’m doing it my way and all I ask is that people respect my journey. We’ll see what the scans bring but I know in my heart that no matter what they show I won’t be starting a new hospital protocol. I don’t regret the hospital treatment I did but I won’t be doing more. I’m two years in, which means I’m still alive two years later (double the prognosis I was given by one doctor). Two years on this journey and I’ve learnt so much but there are so many more options out there and so much more I can learn. So I welcome all the healing and learning and let’s see where it takes me.