So, friends, the journey continues. I found a super tiny bit’ o tumor at the site where I had my first one removed last year. It turned out to be the real deal, though it is not as advanced or severe as my first. Since I declined radiation, I accepted the risk that local cancer cells might continue to grow and so here we are.
I have been processing what this means by doing a lot of yoga and getting my Illustrated Rumi off the shelf, and let’s face it, occasionally losing my shit. A lot has bubbled up, and I am feeling it and releasing it and repeat and repeat. A dear yogi quoting Pema said, we’re the sky and everything else is the weather. Yup. Of course I’m also dealing with an impressive natural disaster here so there’s that.
Anyway I think I’m going to be ok. It takes time to heal and change patterns that were years and generations in the making. But I know we have tremendous power to heal ourselves, and to transform even on down to the DNA. Damage was inflicted on my grandma or my mom’s endocrine system that provided a path for cancer to walk through my body. But just as their DNA may have changed in one generation, so can mine. Just as we have inherited a lot of toxic crap that leaves virtually no body or mind unsullied, so can we flip that and give the next generation true healing. That shit we were taught in high school bio – that we are helpless victims before mysterious genetics that control our destiny and all of evolution… turns out epigenetics says it’s not so true.
So I’m headed back to Seattle in an odd anniversary of my trip there last fall, to have more surgery and get some big scans and see what else we are dealing with. I will be given the same ugly binary: whether I want to nuke my breast, heart, and lung with radiation, or whether I want to cut the boob off (the old Trump v. Clinton!). They will also again push the only drug Western medicine has for my estrogen-driven cancer – one that will stop my hormones all together, sending me into false menopause at age 38. I will have to get real with myself and my god (nature yo!), be humble before the storm, and choose wisely.
After a Bernie Sanders infused hiatus from my holistic cancer care regimen of research and multifaceted healing, I am jumping back in full force. For me, the prospect of a national political revolution was worth more than what often feels like a self-obsessed cancer battle. But I do want to be around to be a part of Our Revolution so it’s time for me to gaze inward again and do the work of establishing new patterns, researching all I need to know, and finding the guides out there who can help me. I have made some real accomplishments this year with reducing stress, finding community, and simplifying my life, but it’s time to take it to the next level and heal this.
I ask with my full heart that you avoid feeling bad for me and that you make your prayers or thoughts or love real by joining Breast Cancer Action or finding the group in your area that is taking real action on pesticides, chemicals, fracking, or any of the other ways we are still inflicting cancer on vulnerable new humans. Please #ThinkBeforeYouPink and don’t donate or participate in breast cancer crap that often turns out to be marketing spin – they actually do make giant pink fracking bits and put pink ribbons on make-up that causes cancer. Remember that medical science is confounded by young women getting breast cancer – it ruins their hypothesis of how cancer works. I have stood in the exam room and asked why they are explaining a cancer hypothesis to me that does not account for my age or health and been met with silence. It’s time to end that silence friends, and it won’t happen by itself, and I can’t do it by myself, so please join me.
And thanks to all who’ve been with me and love me and are patient with my craziness, and also to my new community of Petersburg for caring for me and doing yoga with me! And, of course, shout out to the ocean and mountains and the traditions of yoga and Thai massage that welcome me into something bigger than me and last but not least to the salmon that give me sustenance and our family’s livelihood.