A Hereditary Cancer Survivor and Harvest Season

Linda Zercoe —  October 31, 2016 — Leave a comment
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37436689 - apples fill a bin at an orchard market at harvest time.

Happy Sanhaim!

Happy Halloween!

Happy Celebration of the harvest!

I am on retreat in the Sonoran desert of Arizona at Miraval. After the last cancer/scare/adrenal tumor/then no tumor but scar tissue/feeling disgusted. After the duodenal ulcer healing and the two endoscopies. After the endocrinologist, dietician, holistic functional medicine doctor, the testing for gluten sensitivity, the need for digestive enzymes. After reaching a size 0 – here I am – to center myself, ground and re-envision my life once again.

I have learned many things from the past few months:

  • Other than digestive issues. I feel good. Dancing has given me much joy (not without tribulation, of course). I dance almost every day. And now that I am digesting protein, I am building muscle mass and getting stronger. So in September when the NCI told me that two radiologists saw a 1.2 cm tumor in or around my adrenal gland, I was skeptical. Within two business days, I was in the UCSF OR-attached MRI and had a dedicated scan and was scheduled to see a NCI recommended Endocrinologist before I could see a ‘surgeon’.
  • Initially I was given an appointment in December or January. I told the scheduler, “That is unacceptable”. I suggested that I could have the NCI call or my big shot oncologist call regarding the urgency, once again activating the kick-ass leg. I was given an appointment the next day. The endocrinologist was great thorough, respectful. I really felt that so much history with endocrine/exocrine glands it pretty much covered the whole body – a whole body visit! After taking Premarin – derived from pregnant horse urine for HRT – back in the day, now I am on Creon, digestive enzymes derived form a pig pancreas. We are all connected. Bringing out the kick-ass leg is necessary at times.
  • We are now crossing into the frontier of osteoporosis and bisphosphonate therapy. I am not convinced yet. I want another bone density test. There are no good options. Three parathyroid adenomas and decades of hypercalcemia – not good for the bones and teeth and here we are – outcome TBD. I would think dancing is helping but I feel my hips pop and pain that moves from place to place (lower back, spine, shoulder, hip, etc.) depending on what I’m working on. Maybe I just need to get stronger. The lesson: do your homework then trust your gut.
  • I haven’t blogged, been very active on FB. I stopped distribution of my book to bookstores. It’s now only available used or through Amazon. I’m at a crossroads – Do I want to maintain two websites, a Facebook page, a publishing business, etc.? No, not really. I’ve been dealing with cancer and tumors personally since 1993. 1993, 1995, 1997, 1999, 2001, 2003, 2006. 2011, 2015. I’m tired of being in this space – bombs, recovering, healing, at war. Is it time to change things up? Lesson to follow.
  • I recently told my Trauma Specialist that I no longer see myself ‘on a road to wellness’. I have now shifted my thinking to ‘I am already well but making adjustments!’ Big realization!

So this brings me to Miraval. I arrived late yesterday and while waiting for my dinner reservation, I went to the gift shop. I perused all the books on healing, being broken, manifesting, what now?, recovery, dealing with loss and found that I had either read these books or I really wasn’t interested. Am I ‘healed’ I asked myself? Have I done enough work where all of this is innately part of who I am and how I cope? I bought a book on manifesting in the NOW – with the thought that this would help with my dancing.

Today – the celebration of the harvest had me schedule with a Peruvian shamanic practitioner. Very interesting. She sensed. She knew.

When she massaged my belly she said she was learning a lot about me – things rearranged, scar tissue, things stuck. Sometimes I don’t like bodywork because it makes me sad when I remember how much my body has endured, how much I have endured. I noticed the tears rolling out of my eyes. Then she gently blotted them away. She told me that there is something going on in my abdomen. As I lay there I could feel it – like a harpoon going through from front to back around my 3rd chakra – below the sternum – my power chakra. It made my body feel heavy. It felt black, thick like tar. I saw crows picking at it, around the edges of the sludge. The shaman said this is old. It thinks it is a necessary part of you – the wounding, the STORY. It doesn’t want to leave. I said I want it to leave. I need it to leave.

She placed a crystal between my breasts extending down to my 3rd chakra. She held my feet and quietly asked this black ooze to leave me. Was this an entity I wondered? She told me to allow for that which is no longer serving me to leave. I noticed that from the front of my body to the back – slowly this thick tar was leaving and with it, the pain. The crows were helping to take it away. She told me after I imagined the birds that I might see black birds, a spirit animal assisting in our intention. I could feel this heavy blackness move down my body highlighting stomach noises, intestinal bubbles, then tingling down my legs as it passed. Very weird.

The ceremony ended with some grounding and I became part of a tree. I felt the aura of golden sunshine. There was some rattling as I came back into the room feeling lighter. Soon I felt a sharp pain in my back rib, like a small piece of black tar was hanging on waiting to see what would happen.

But I KNEW I don’t need the victim, the martyr, the woundedness, the grief, the illness, and the story to make me special. This is a childhood issue.

I am special and loveable because I am.

None of the story is important. Isn’t it all just a story? A drama? It became that when I had to write, re-write, edit and re-edit my book. It was healing. I learned perspective. I saw how everything is connected. It was a story. Is this story important? Is this blog important? Can I let it go? Move on? Start over?

As just as we begin autumn and celebrate the harvest, our bounty and results of our hard work, we look forward to the needed rest of winter and the new beginning that comes in spring.

So, what do I want to do with my one wild and precious life?

Today is my first day at Miraval.





Photo credit: http://www.123rf.com/profile_keifer’>keifer / 123RF Stock Photo</a>

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