Almost a year later, I begin my blog again with a post of the same title as a post from this same time last year. I choose it because today is my first day back at work after having and recovering from surgery for breast cancer, and it feels like today is a day of YES.
I did not have an invasive cancer, and will not have to go through the horror of chemotherapy. I had what is called "Stage Zero" Breast Cancer or "DCIS", when the carcinoma is present in the milk duct of the breast but has not left to become invasive cancer. I will, however, begin radiation in a few weeks, as a preventative measure for recurrence in the future. At 42, I have a lot of life to live, and a lot of time for cancer to come back.
The two and a half weeks I was home, mostly by myself or with family, and my dog, were spent in a kind of floatation device of safety, care, and time. Now that I am coming back to work, it is not so much the work that is challenging, but the "coming back," the re-entering a reality that is new, a reality ridden with mortality, medical care, and a future now both more and less clear than it was before.
So I am back, looking out the same window, getting ready for the familiar rhythm of a week of seeing clients. I am different physically, and I am different emotionally. In many ways I am more grounded, almost as if this process has created a new vessel into which I can now pour myself. And that vessel feels made of both love and a deep honoring of myself, and the fragility of the body. A fine porcelain we are.
I wonder if life will continue to feel surreal from now on, and if that feeling will fade with time as the surreal feeling of a new life is replaced with what was before. I have never felt this displaced in reality. Nothing is really different. But everything is different.
During my time in recovery I found myself drawn to nature documentaries and the work of writers exploring interspecies communication, or the intuitive side of being human, and how we can work with that to connect with nature, whether animal or tree. When I feel my more intuitive side, there is a kind of thrumming, deep in my soul, a meeting of spirit in the moment. This is where I needed to meet my own body during this process, and where I hope to be able to go as I stay here, in this world, and in this life.