PATIENCE, patience and more patience. That’s what I found I needed most of over the past 12 months. I have always been an action woman. Still am really. I became a different kind of action woman last year. I put myself on a crash course of finding out what had happened to my body, what the doctor’s wanted to do to it and how I could best look after myself in the process of returning it to full health.
I was stopped in my tracks following having the lumpectomy and then 18 lymph nodes removed. At this time doctors have no way of finding out whether lymph nodes are cancerous without removing them. Mine were removed and there was no cancer in them. This, of course, was a relief and good news. However, the healing process in my chest wall, under arm and arm itself has taken much longer than I imagined. I was used to my body healing quickly. It has been a slow process and it may take another year or two for the numbness and phantom pains in the left side of my body to disappear.
A month after the lymph operation I started chemotherapy. Whilst I had talked to as many people as I could about what might happen to me when on chemotherapy, I couldn’t fully prepare myself for what did happen to my body. I will talk about this more in another blog.
Once I was on the treatment course, I looked for ways that I could bring patience into my life every day, every moment. One of the greatest sources for building patience was meditation. At this time I read The Tibetan Book of Living and Dying by Sogyal Rinpoche and was moved and inspired by the Buddhist belief that “living is learning to let go”. I let go of many things – frustrations, anger, opinions, judgements, expectations – and took on being loving and patient, especially towards myself.
I have been asked about nutrition and how I used that on my healing journey. I’ll talk about that next time.