I know this sounds naive, but I have never stood next to a cow in the silence of a quiet field and listened to it tear up grass and chew. My first thought was, "that sounds like a wheatgrass machine," my second thought was, "maybe we should give nature first dibs on sounds - a wheatgrass machine sounds like a cow." It is a shmooshing, squishing, crunching, tearing sound - very unique and very lovely.
I took a long walk to celebrate german red blood cells coursing new oxygen through my body. Normal counts are around 12 and I had been dancing around 7.5 for a few days and wow, I felt like I was going to pass out when I got to the top of a set of stairs (short set). I have lived around 8.5 for the past 6 weeks or so and it is not a huge bother (and neither is the feeling around 7.5) but it is better to have more oxygen for full body hyperthermia, so infuse we did.
I took a small sojourn back to the States for a scan, a family wedding, the opportunity to stock up on medicines to take back with me, an anniversary, infusions for cycle 4, and a chance to sleep in my own bed (woof).
The scan shows most activity is "resolved" except one lymph node. This one node reduced its update of the glucose about 40% - so that is going in the right direction. What is fascinating about this scan is that my reaction - yes - thrilling, thank goodness it is not going up, or staying the same. However, I have been in this position several times now - where a scan shows reduction of activity and then and then and then....
Which is what brings me to A Course in Miracles (ACIM). I don't think I could come up with a better way to describe the course than how they describe it on their website, which is, "This self-study metaphysical thought system is unique in teaching forgiveness as the road to inner peace Â and the remembrance of the unconditional love of God." (interjection of a jumping up Corinna - "Yes please, inner peace! Whopeee!")
What does that mean on a practical level?
Well, it means that there is a workbook and 365 lessons and groups that study this all over the world (for example, there is a couple that comes to the clinic studying ACIM in Florida so we created a mini group here with another gentleman studying the course in Australia). The book and the lessons remind me to feed Peace and abjure treading towards Fear (I use those terms in my book, but they work just as well for this).
The two things that I am actively working on is surrender and how to stay above the data. Surrender to the strength of God/the power of Nature (as they say in Transcendental Meditation)/the Universe and not relying on Corinna strength. As I shared with a dear friend recently:
[quote]I need to put frustration in the same bucket as bored (ie the non use bucket) because frustration only means I think I know what should happen more than the Universe - and given the last time I designed a planet, perhaps I should let the Universal intelligence drive that bus.[/quote]
Surrender is all about letting God/the Universe/the Essence/Allah, ie NOT ME drive the bus.
Staying above the data is a huge current lesson for me - because I am currently living with constant reminders of the data. Fellow patients sharing their data stories (two operations, five rounds of chemo, was told he wouldn't live beyond 3 months, 9 centimeters long, 50%/50% chance, data data data), my own blood counts dictating a different schedule for chemo than what I wanted (which leads to frustration, which circles me back to the surrendering discussion above), watching the MD measure the size of the one node on an ultrasound on Friday, and being bald - a data point for the world. Data, data, schmata, data.
Data can smother my heart and constrict my breathing if I focus on it too much.
ACIM teaches a smothered heart and constricted breathing only happen when we identify with the body and forget that we are a beloved child of God/the Universe/etc. In that lapse of memory our world shuts down to where all we can see is the data and the dire predictions of what it might mean and what might happen (note the "mights") based on our past experiences of what that data may or may not have done to others (or to ourselves). ACIM (via glorious Marianne Williamson) teaches we need to experience how the data makes us feel - crying the cry, flushing through the worry, etc. But the importance is not to coddle. There is a difference between denying you are upset and denying being affected by being upset (the upset-ness in the second scenario still exists, but you are not feeding it).
Therefore for me - I may be experiencing trepidation that the scan results have nothing to do with whether the cancer will come back or stay away or be gone or whatever (all perceptions of the data based on my past experiences) but I do not have to live in that space. I can see that feeling, touch that feeling, know what that abyss might smell like - by I am not living in that constricted smothered heart space.
Cheers to not coddling the data, cheers to Love, cheers to letting the Universe drive the bus, cheers to the birds singing outside, cheers to the yummy salad awaiting me in the clinic, cheers to the afternoon at the sauna, cheers to the cows sounding like wheatgrass machines!
And a HUGE cheers to all of you for your support, over $20,000 has been gifted to us for this adventure. Thank you!!!