Monday, September 28, 2009

Fall breezes

I'm sitting here in my house in Madrona and re-reading my recent blog posts. This has been something I've done from the beginning. I read, and re-read and read again. Its beginning to feel like a distant nightmare, that triggers tears and belly cries. I cannot believe it is the end of September. My last blog entry I was in Northern Cali, in St. Helena visiting my dear friend Keiko who, even though she is younger than me, and a strong Capricorn woman, she often plays the part of my bigger sis in my life. I called her today, and told her how much I needed that trip. I was literally the tasmanian devil whirling around and around. The Tasmanian Devil, while doing yoga...and listening to tango music..The good thing out of that trip, was that I had a few nights of real solid sleep. With sleeping pills, but at least I slept.
But really, I couldn't sleep, I was as manic as manic gets, and she helped ground me out. I began doing yoga again, we drank lots of yummy Rose` and I started the long process of get grounded again. I was grounded before, but there was a harnessing of my new powers that needed to take place. I think being done with cancer treatment, at least for me, and coming back to a place of good health, feeling good, a sound mind, just was a spinning tornado of energy and love. Incredibly powerful time. I came home for a short time, and had a week of doing a bazillion massages and tons of real estate, and then was the port removal. On the 18th.
The sad thing that happened before that was a phone call from my Dad telling me that my Nana is ready to die, and doesn't want to eat anymore. I rushed down to Seaside to spend a few days with her, before surgery. Then the day came, the port removal day!!
Tamara got to my house at 5:30 AM, and even though all the neighbors were sleeping, I opened the windows from the top floor and hollered out a YIPPPEEEE!!! She ssshhhhed me with laughter and I ran down to greet her again. The removal was a biggie. I was letting go of my security blanket. Very strange that it turned into that for me. I miss it. Mr. C saved it for me. I have it. I haven't looked at it yet though. As I was in the room waiting to be brought into surgery. I missed my soon to be X, and I missed his mom, my mother-in-law for life. She has been an amazing love of mine and a treasure that I will never lose. I remembered how scared of all the unknown I was a year or so ago. July 1st, 2008 my port was put in, and my cancer removed. I had no idea how big it was, or where it had gone. I had to surrender to the unknowns and be. That was hard. Surrendering got easier. But that was a sad day. I remembered how my Dad showed up, and surprised me.
I got out of surgery, and was not sick at all. Thank God! I found out this year that I have my Nana's body chemistry and am allergic to most pain meds. Last time I puked and puked and puked some more. No fun. This time I opted just to take Advil, which I didn't even need. No pain. Really. Tamara and I layed around and slept. I slept and slept and slept.
Sleep starting getting easier for me after the port removal. I can actually say, that I am now sleeping at least 9-11 hours a night, with no aids.
I made myself stay home the next day. I did nothing. I read, I played on my computer, and that was it. I drank lots of tea, and relaxed. The following day, I drove down to Seaside. I basically have spent the last couple of weeks off and on there. My Nana passed away a few days ago. I wasn't there. I didn't want to be. I said my good byes, and I just am not good, even with all the facing death stuff, I am not good with queasy icky body deteriorating stuff. I didn't want to remember my Nana, in icky ways. She was always such a lovely person. I wanted to think of her in that way. She was okay with it.
I have been hiking tons, in my hometown and surrounding areas. Playing with lots of my childhood friends that have moved back to the Coast, and driving tons. I am really not looking forward to again, tomorrow driving back down to Seaside, after my big day in court with D, getting a divorce, and waking up Wed. to my Nana's funeral. I have to drive back Wednesday, as I fly out in the wee hours Thursday for my Nana's funeral in Tennessee, wehre our entire family lives.

Life is full right now. LIfe easily gets swirled into being ungrounded, as I am re-learning how to juggle life. But really, I feel like I am doing awesome. Who else can face, ending cancer, getting a divorce, and losing their most loved person in their life within 2 weeks and not be a crumpled mess on the floor? ME!! I am well. Of coarse life is full and crazy, and I just keep reminding myself that this will pass. As I walked around Greenlake today, I welcomed in the fall as I kicked an Oak leaf that had made its way to the ground. I am looking forward to my fall relaxation and soup time. Making soup for me, for my health, and for no one else. Just me. I'll probably make less, or invite friends over to eat with me. I am excited to slow down and to start reading my blog and writing my book. September was not the month for starting something new. It was a month of letting go, with love and full surrender, all of which I was able to do with grace as cancer made that possible. Thank You, Cancer.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Ending of Summer '09

This summer is shortly coming to an end, in just a few weeks. Its been a summer of change. Most importantly reconnecting the “old” Heather, pre-marriage-pre-cancer, to the “new” Heather.
Last night, my dear brother friend David, had a sweat lodge at his house for me. In the sweat, I thanked Spirit for giving me the lessons that I learned from Cancer. How I learned to open my heart to a depth that I did not know existed, to those that love me. I prayed that I may stay in the present moment, which enables me to feel this love from my friends, and allows to me to give my love authentically. I truly am a blessed woman, with so many friends all around me. Raising me up, and supporting me on my life’s journey. I have a lot to be thankful for.
This trip to California was pure love, pure vanity ( as I went shopping and went out lots, which enabled me to feel vanity rise inside me once again). It’s a wonderful thing to be a woman, and to again walk with confidence that is held and supported with pride. Before cancer, I would have noshed this, possibly thinking, in the back of my mind, how shallow it is of me to feel that way. But now, I just love it and embrace it and am so thankful for it.
Then again, I can do that and the very next night, sit up in a sweat lodge and pray and sit on the earths soil in reverence.
I got three pimples on this trip. I laugh and point them out to my girl friends, because its my body trying so hard to start work again. I even started sweating, only in my left underarm, not on the right yet. The right side is where the surgery was, where the cancer was, and where they took the lymph nodes out. I think that side of my body is still in shock. I feel my ovaries get warm off and on, but nothing yet.
In a few short weeks, I’ll be divorced. I’ll be Heather MacLean, again, instead of Heather Bakstad. I can’t wait to have my maiden name back. A sad change. A change. A grateful change.
I’ve been noticing how the “new Heather” processes change. Change on any level really. Its way different. I don’t get as sad as before (not that I ever was a sad person) but I just don’t get caught up in the “resistance” to change. Change occurs more rapidly now. I see that something isn’t working, and wham..done. Make the change, instead of sitting in front of the change for a long while. Starring it in the eye, and dragging it out.
Now, its over. Now, Its time to move on. Now, its time to live the life I want, right now. I don’t hold back how I am feeling with anyone. I tell everyone how much I care about them, how much I love them, how much I like to hang out , ect.. I am not going to miss an opportunity to be in the present moment and to share how I am in this world, because of social barriers or social walls. Or peoples unavailability, due to their vulnerability issues.
I find the dearest of friends, are able to accept the love and give it back. And that is really the defining experience in my life this summer. I no longer will hold myself back, and miss out. My choice is to love. My choice is to live. I will let people around me choose how present they want to be, and how open they want to be, and how vulnerable they want to live their lives. That’s about it. Pretty simple. Pretty real.

Saturday, September 5, 2009

My Surgeon

I honestly, was totally annoyed that I had to go see Dr. C, my surgeon before he took my port out. I just wanted to make the removal date, and just go get it out. But no, no procedure without the preliminary appointment.

As I sat in the lobby, I realized that I had not been there since the beginning. For an entire year really. This time I was alone, and I quickly became attuned to the fact that the two women in the lobby were alone as well. A business woman in her attire, down to the leather briefcase, making phone call after phone call. Literally cancelling everything in her life, to make her surgery "fit" into her life. I grabbed a tissue as I could not help but cry streams of tears. For her, for me, for every single woman. That hears the words, Yes. You do have cancer. And your life is now DONE. You must stop EVERYTHING, and go to surgery, NOW. The shadow of a woman, whose life was shattered, and making phone calls crucified me today.
Then, the other woman trying to make sense of directions for what lot she needed to park in the day of her surgery, and me remembering how confused and overwhelmed I was with those same darn instructions.

Luckily, they called me into a room right then. As I was quickly deterorating (fuck! I still can't spell...damn chemo)!!! I told them how sad I was getting, and the nurse replied that this morning was very hard for her too!

Then entered one of my favorite people of this whole year, Dr. Clarfeld my surgeon. We gave each other a hug, and I was reminded of what a sweet and caring professional he is. He asked me how this years been, and I simply just broke down. I started crying, and crying, and crying. Those tears have not been on the surface lately. He told me as I grabbed the tissue, we have lots where those came from. I couldn’t believe I was crying. Well, I could. What am I saying. I just didn’t think I’d cry in there.
I thanked him for setting the stage for this year for me. And reminded him that when he walked into surgery, before I was zonked out, he announced and asked,” Ready to be cured?” This past year, I was able to go back to this “cured” mind frame, and find a small piece of belief and comfort in the idea, that I was indeed “cured” already. And that the hell I was enduring with chemo, was strictly a preventative measure. He told me, “well, I can’t say that to everyone.” I love him. I truly do.
I quickly understood the importance of the pre-port removal visit. It’s a huge deal to get it removed and we talked a lot about my feelings with it. This type of medicine is so profound. Doctors who actually take the time to ask important questions, who have the time to listen, and to take time to really care for their patients. I am so lucky I found my Rock Star Team!
Before he I left, I had another breast exam, he said I was great. He also told me that I needed to get a Mammogram before the removal. Defiantly I responded, “It didn’t show my cancer in the first place, the only thing that saved my life was getting the ultrasound. I want one of those.” He explained, that he understood where I was coming from but finally helped me to understand why its important for a young woman to get one. He said that I should also get a Breast MRI, but that the Mammo will show any calcifications that wouldn’t show up in the MRI, so that they know what’s what.
He told me I had to get this done before my removal. Just in case. Yes, of coarse there is always the just in case. Does one allow the just in case to reside on the shoulders? Keeping constant check? Hell no.
As I pondered this decision, I looked up, in the room of a breast cancer surgeon, was a picture of a woman breast feeding her child. I thought that shouldn’t be up on the fucking wall. Most woman with breast cancer, get it later in life. After they’ve been blessed with this experience. But there are young woman like me, who possibly are having this life time dream of mine, ripped from my grasp and so..I started to cry more.
Enough said with that. There have been times as of late, that my moon comes for a minute. Seriously just a minute. Am I ovulating? Who knows? My doc’s have no clue. My fingers are still crossed.