When I think of owning something I think of taking responsibility or accepting my behavior or actions. For whatever reason I NEVER took ownership of breast cancer. I never felt comfortable using the term MY cancer when referring to the diagnosis I was given. I would always say THE cancer. I felt like it was separate from me, not who I was or what I wanted to own. I didn’t want to accept it as a condition of mine rather something that was there and distant from who I really was or wanted to be. I wanted to see myself as healthy, vibrant and healing and not as a sick person with a horrible disease.
If not owning the cancer meant I may not get the support or sympathy from others, I was willing to go that route. I have learned that I am most effective when I search internally to solve my problems rather than look outside myself when faced with difficult decisions. The sole reason for this is that I have come to know that the best answers for myself come only from me and no one else. I can’t solely do what someone else wants me to do or even solely what a professional (like a doctor) wants me to do. I listen. I absorb. I process and then I decide what is right for me. For me talking about cancer as a THE rather than a MY felt most appropriate to me. It wasn’t mine. I didn’t want it around very long. I wanted to understand why it was in my life, fix the problems it was telling me I had and they say goodbye and then possibly, thank you. Done. Not mine.
I remember a life changing moment many years ago when I was listening to Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing by Carolyn Myss on tape. She spoke of the seven chakras and while explaining the first chakra (I believe) she said that when we follow the crowd we can only advance as quickly as the slowest person in the group. That time in my life I felt stagnant, stuck. Her words rang true for me. After I released the need to be part of a crowd or be responsible for pleasing other people with my decisions, my life started to move quickly. Her words metaphorically unclogged my slow moving life. Things started happening so rapidly when I began to tune into myself and follow my personal compass that there was no turning back. I knew that that was the way to live my life. Cancer, the cancer, was my ultimate test. Was I going to please others, the doctors, my family, or follow the route that I felt was best for me? I had to forge my own path no matter how scary or lonely it felt at the time.
Anatomy of the Spirit: The Seven Stages of Power and Healing
For me, cancer has been a journey about letting go, identifying my true-self, accepting and embracing it. and then following it. It has been about releasing my grip-hold on fear and control and letting my inner wisdom take the wheel. (Inner wisdom is our link to our God-self, our true-self.) It is here that all of the answers are found. It is not from the brain or from any part of us that thinks it has control. It has nothing to do with statistics or specific diagnosis. It is a place where things happen quickly and healing can happen miraculously. It is about listening and not necessarily praying. It is about asking for guidance and knowing that the guidance will come. It is about faith in the unknown, the unseen and finding your power in a place that no one ever taught us about.
Cancer wasn’t a long journey for me. It could have been, I believe, had I embraced it in my life. I had an advanced stage breast cancer. Beyond that I turned a deaf ear. I didn’t need to know the grim details. I didn’t like the pressure from the doctors telling me what I had to do to save my life. I didn’t like what they had to offer. I didn’t like how they shaded over all of the side-effects. It didn’t feel right to me. My body felt sick thinking about the options they gave me. It wasn’t the place I would find my healing. I had to find my own.
That is what I did. I forged my own path. Developed a strong relationship with the core of my being and honored it. Cancer wasn’t MINE. Today, 6 years later, I have no relationship with cancer. I still have issues from the “harmless” surgeries but in no way relate to that C word.