Thursday, March 29, 2012

Got Fear?

I remember things that people tell me long after I hear them.  It sometimes takes time to digest everything that's said and in some cases, so much is said that it's almost impossible to remember everything.  But a couple of nights ago, I had a conversation with a young lady and frankly, I couldn't tell you exactly the topic at this moment, but the thing that stuck in my mind and is glaring at this moment is this statement she made: 

"Fear is a weakness".

I kind of stumbled on the sentence and maybe tilted my head to the side not certain how I felt about that.  It was such a final statement and I just couldn't jump to that conclusion.  I have wrestled with fear from time to time but fear is personal, therefore personally defined.  What you fear, I may not and vice versa.  Of course, there are the more everyday fears that we probably share, but life is a process of overcoming, so perhaps we overcome and really are quite different and unique. 

Well, of course we are.

And, of course we all have fears.  Most of them do not paralyze the more stable human.  Some humans are not so stable though, needing medication and, or medical staff to stabilize them.  That's certainly the extreme and that's probably more about a psychological problem then something to war against.

All of that being said, when I heard that statement a few days ago, it had a lesser impact on me then when I played it over in my head today.

Today is a pretty important day as it pertains to personal fear.  Today I went to Holy Name Hospital for routine Mammography and a follow up Sonogram for a cyst that was carefully documented last year as probably nothing.  I don't know about you, but if you've ever had your breasts examined, it's a pretty amazing and awful experience all at the same time.

Of course the pressure on the breasts and the awkwardness of having to be bare breasted to begin with is well, cold and painful.  The embarrassment or shame quickly diminishes when the pain and pressure kick in from two cold, plastic hmmmm how can I put it...take out your plastic vegetable drawers from the refrigerator and press your breast in between them - nooo, much harder and you must stand like a crooked fence, bending over, hand up, head up, butt out, chest down - no up, in a little, pressing harder, harder, hahhaa no harder - you don't realize how flat a breast can be until you apply just a little more pressure... and now - DON'T MOVE!  DON'T BREATHE!


....psssshhhhhh and then release the plastic vegetable drawers from your breasts and you will know how that feels.  We're going to do that a few more times on the same breast, in a few more awkward positions and then we'll do the left.

After that, if the pictures are not clear, we will repeat the above until the images are clear enough.  In my case, it was THREE sets of pictures for each breast.  You do the math and by the way, no, I do not want vegetables for dinner.

Oh, and don't forget the sonogram.  Dark room, bare breasted, at least I got to recline and then squirrrrrrrrrt - hot k y jelly or a substance similar to that - they actually warm it to make you more comfortable 0_o and then the imaging with what looks like a four inch wide, one inch thick tool that's rolled over and over and over with occasional clicking noises, which clearly indicate - something is there.

Hopefully for you, nothing is ever there.  For me, the scare I had last year was put out of my mind like trash from a second ago.  Once the Dr. told me it was probably nothing and just come back in a short while and we'll look at it again, I really didn't even think of it.

I'm happy to say that the cyst is exactly the same as last mammogram and the Dr. has no concerns about it,  however. . .



And then "Fear is weakness" popped into my head, but it was too late.

I became fearful and tried to stay in the moment and retain every single word the Dr. was saying to me, but it was like the conversation I had with my friend the other night, the words were coming out faster than I could absorb them.  Even as I type this to you now, the Dr. spoke to me only less than two hours ago.  I was compelled to write since I have to process this and this is really the only way I now how.  BTW, I do apologize for being so distant.

I have so much to share with you.

But, today, it's about fear.  My fear as it relates to illness, I guess.

Not to bore you with my medical history, but I have one.  I guess we all do.

I was born breach (keep your silly comments to yourself, I've heard them all) with one leg shorter than the other.  My Mother (whom I adore xoxo <3) was determined that I would not be handicapped and she exercised my little legs continuously stimulating them until viola! I was perfectly fine.  Those braces I had to wear helped although she tells me I was inconsolable for the first year of my life.  I cried until I took my first steps.  I don't remember any of that.

Then I had ear problems "going deaf" as my Mom put it, Dr.'s put tubes and tonsils taken out.  I had asthma with no real relief as a child, still do, but I take Symbicort every day and that has helped me tremendously, and then things were quiet.

It was quiet up until recently, and when I say recently, I mean in the past ten years or so.  Really, since I became a Reiki Master.  So much has come to the surface, this is just the physical we're speaking of now, the Spiritual and the mental have also had many changes and purifications, but the fear I'm speaking of pertains to the physical body and it's vulnerabilities.

I had finger surgery to remove a tumor of all things (which I'm trying to heal and prevent from coming back).  You can read my past blog (pictures too if your not too squeamish) about it.  The tip of my middle finger had to have reconstructive surgery and man, THAT was painful. 

I had a partial hysterectomy from fibroids that were bleeding like gravity was trying to bleed me dry.  That was horrific...the pain, the bleeding, the surgery, the recovery.  All things considered though, I would've done anything to stop the profuseness of the bleeding so cut me if you must, and they did.  There was much relief afterward.  I'm so very thankful to God for the medical industry.

Then I broke my right arm (of course I'm a righty).  Talk about pain and struggle. 

Thankfully this has all happened over the course of my 48 years.  To suffer it all at once, well that would be cruel.  But, I realize that I am well acquainted with suffering of the physical kind.

So now, back to Holy Name Hospital where the Dr. is telling me I've got some issues.  I won't really know until the end of April what issues I have and if they're issues at all.  I need to go for some biopsies on both breasts.

Dr. Joshua D. Gross, MD had the pleasure of reading my films.  He asked me to join him so that I could get a clear picture of what my breasts look like from the inside.  I had seen them on the sonogram while I was being examined, but this was the Captain's Chair! It looked like something out of a Star Trek episode.  There were breast images on three sides of Dr. Gross being displayed on a total of six flat screens, and they were huge. 

He's a warm looking, blue-eyed older gentlemen dutifully wearing his white Dr.'s jacket and ya mica and salt and pepper beard and mustache.  I remembered him from last time.  He smiled a lot for someone in his profession.  I was trying to read between the lines and his eyes while he was addressing me to see what my news was all about.

I've had mammography since I'm 40, so I know that where there is nothing on the film to discuss, they politely send you home.  This was an official meeting and the full impact of where I was sitting kind of struck me.

The compassion I felt for all the lovely women who have sat where I was sitting, receiving life changing news came over me in a flash.  One minute it was about them and the next about me.  He's looking at me.  He's talking to me.  He's looking and talking to me about what a large majority of human beings succumb to in this lifetime.  I know some beautiful people struggling and fighting as I type and as you read.  Please pray for anyone who is struggling with cancer. 

It was surreal.

I guess you can say the news is indeterminable in that more tests are needed to detect if any illness in my breasts.  He showed me what was concerning him.  He showed me white calcification's which looked literally like tiny white dots, very unassuming, and a darker mass (small) that the sound waves were not penetrating, or casting a shadow or both.  Hard to remember.  I just know I need further testing that won't happen for a few weeks and then two days of waiting for the results.

The tears started to flow without my permission.

Dr. Gross politely got me tissue saying that he would normally have them ready when giving someone bad news.  I guess that was very positive, since they were not in the readied position when he knew emphatically that he had a very sick woman to tend to. 

This was not that day for me, thank God, however.

However, I am fearful of the unknown and with so many people around me struggling, it's hard not to imagine the worst case scenario.  We've seen the movies, we've heard the stories, and in some cases, we've watched our love ones survive and then, not so much, so it is a real fear and a real concern.

A weakness?  Perhaps for someone other than me.  Fear for me in this case, is something that propels me forward.  Most fear paralyses but I'm more interested in what I can do, not what I can not.  If I cannot move I cannot help myself.  I need to be moving in the right direction and while fear may visit, it cannot live here.

I am acquainted with fear and sickness and I have respect for both since they teach us so very much about the human condition and resilience.  They also teach us about the brilliance of some humans (healers in particular) and the amazing, unconditional love, caring and tenderness of care takers.  Have you ever watched a nurse care for a sick person, or perhaps you had a nurse that you'll never forget?  These experiences come from very painful, scary circumstances, but have a purpose and deserve respect for such is life.

I have a plan for the next few weeks.  I'm going to take very good care of myself and get myself all built up in the Spirit and in the Physical and psyche myself out in the mental.  I've already declared my body a cancer free zone, I really do not feel like I have cancer in my body.  If I even get a splinter, all cells fire warning shots, so while I initially may be freaked out with fear, I know my body. 

Calmer minds prevail here.

Calmer Spirits.

Calmer Bodies.

I know that I God is closer to me in these situations than any other... and I will praise Him because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; His works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:13-15

So, today's message is about fear, a place I visit but leave shortly thereafter. 

I share this with you in case you are afraid. 

If I could, I would hold you and tell you that it's okay to be afraid, we would acknowledge the fear, look at it, and offer it up to God in faith based prayers that's intention is to set your soul free.

You can develop so many wonderful virtues from things like fear and illness.  I am hopeful that this will be the case for me.  I am hopeful that my fear and my illnesses in the past and their experiences can help someone, encourage someone, bring us closer together in our suffering, in our praise and worship of the glory of this lifetime.  It is glorious and wondrous and wonderful.  Even in our suffering.

Nevertheless, L'Chaim! which means literally, to life!

Let's live every blessed day of it one lovely second at a time.  It's all good.

Namaste and with much love,