Discussing topical issues for women in cross-cultural and inter-continental relationships

Cancerous things

I recently had a ‘cancer scare’ in regards to my cervix.  After a miscarriage of twins last year and a myriad of other issues surrounding my reproductive system my body packed it in and said ‘ENOUGH’.  This was all last year.  I went to Ghana December and January and took this time to let go of 2012 and reconnect by having some downtime.  Well, some time in a different culture surrounded by family and time to sit under that tree I used to sit under when my daughter was born.

My trip was hectic but I came back to Australia renewed and settled into a new job, a new semester of my Masters at Uni and a new set of ethics that I do not bring work into my home.

I eventually had my cone biopsy and the results came back unremarkable.  I really believe it was because I took my time, did my research and did it when I was ready.  Since then I have been seeing an Ayurvedic doctor in another State.  I saw him in the last school holidays and am following his regime, almost to the ‘t’.

I realise now that whilst I am viewed and I behave as a resilient and well-focused person, I am far from it.  I overwork things, I make decisions in fear, I let go of friendships too easily and I worry too much about my relationship with my husband that for all intents and purposes is perfect and well-matched but I make it the opposite.  It’s like a cancer that silently spreads and you don’t know is there.  It retreats and then expands, always there and sometimes causing disruption but never actually harming me overtly.

Through my Ayurvedic doctor’s guidance, and my psychologist, whom I began seeing after my miscarriage, I am slowly discovering myself.  It is not a rediscovery.  I never knew myself to have this potential.  The potential to be rational and calm, to be even-tempered, clear of mind, and not delusional that I am all these things.  I have spent the past year working on myself because, as I am a Buddhist, I feel that before I can speak about others I must first work on my ‘monkey mind’ to discover whether what I am seeing is their reality that I can nurture or it is mine that needs the compassion.

So today I was at my stall at the local markets and the mother of a recent friend, whose daughter is friends with my own, told me that my friend was not there today as she’d been diagnosed with breast cancer, it is quite large.  I desperately wanted to send her to my doctor but knew that to be not the best approach.  I connected with the mother on the pain the family was going through and came home and called her to say she could bring her daughter, and her young son (they are 4 and 2)over anytime she needs some time or it’s getting too much for her mother.  It was a message on her answering machine, I hadn’t expected her to pick up. Before now I would’ve stewed over that phone call and made it all about me and my fear.  I would’ve beaten myself up that I didn’t have the courage to go around and see her and berate myself for being distant in a time of someone’s need because of my own inadequacies.  It sounds so stupid doesn’t it.

I want to tell her that her thoughts in this time are everything.  They will guide her through the next months and years of her cancer.  She should be careful of her thoughts.  She should ‘take moments’ and she should stay as calm as possible amongst the uncertainty.  This will have a massive impact on her healing.

On another note: I know another lady who keeps having chemo for her breast cancer too and I think if I ever get breast cancer (touch wood) I will not have chemo and radiation.  It is so destructive.  Most people take it for granted that is how you will be cured or treated for cancers.  There ARE other ways.

Either way, my friend is in my prayers and if you are someone who goes to church, mosque or temple, please pray for her and her young family.  If you are doing a Medicine Buddha puja please put down the name of Anne-Marie, Charlotte and little Lukie. Thank you. 🙂


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