Yesterday there were several rainbows, and today blue skies. Martin and I cleaned the house to sound of the Car Talk Boys. I go back for my second chemo treatment in Portland on Tuesday, and so I am using my current good spirits and energy to get the house in order for having a down week or so. I really worried that I would be nauseous for the entire 18 weeks, it is a huge relief to know the more acute side effects will likely be more limited.
Another one of the things I am grateful for, is that when I was first learning about my diagnosis, and trying to understand the “cancer-ing” process within my body, I came across a particular Ted Talk . It is presented by a physicist who is working with doctors to map proteins. He presents the idea that we need to think of Cancer not as a Noun but rather as a Verb. Because It is a verb, a process that the body engages in. Not a noun, not a pathogen.
I realized that for me thinking about what my body is doing right now as a Verb, rather than as a Noun, is much less frightening to me and is much more empowering. Nouns are: The Other, Monsters, Pathogen, Concrete, Stone. Verbs are about changing states – transformation. Like water to ice, like cloud to rain. Like Cancering transformed into vibrant wholeness and health. Thinking of it as a verb changes everything for me.
Thinking of Cancer as Cancer-ing allows me to love and have compassion for myself. If I think of the tumors as some scary other- I feel a lot of fear. However, The tumors are me. A tumor is made up of my cells that have mutated- and yet are still trying ever harder to fulfill their purpose- to continue life. Breasts are a magical crucible for the life force- I fed my two babies well into toddlerhood with milk from my own breasts. It makes sense to me that the descendant of those same cells that made milk could go off on a tangent. Cancering, like any destructive habit, needs to be changed. This is why I am pursuing a wide sky full of treatments.