The C Word – Part 17: Keeping Your Heart Open!

I just completed my LAST Round of Chemo. Fingers crossed it’s forever.

It’s been 8 months since my diagnosis. 7 months since my colon surgery. And 6 months since I began chemotherapy. I just completed my final round – Round 11. (this Chemo goes to 11!). As mentioned, the Doctors are not requiring chemo after my surgery. So, it feels like a major moment. A victory to celebrate! While I did my final bottle detach, I listened to “Brand New Day” from The Wiz. Because it is. And today is Full Moon in Cancer. The first full moon of 2022. A time to let go of what no longer serves us and ascend!

In the past eight months, I have experienced the full gamut of body functions. I’ve watched a deep wound heal over time. I’ve watched my scar grow smoother and fainter. I’ve found new ways to manage pain, nausea and discomfort. I have a more intimate relationship with my own asshole than I EVER expected to have (Seriously, the ‘roids! My butthole looks like a loaf of challah bread).

Last week, I had to go refill all my naturopathic supplements.
This is what $500 looks like.

Reflecting back on the past eight months, I’ve been doing a lot of energy work. Spiritual healing. I’ve always dabbled in astrology and ancient healing practices. I utilized these techniques in my life when I was younger, but for some reason, I abandoned them. Or got too busy, or just wasn’t resonating with the practice any more, I’m not sure. But this has motivated me to reconnect with my spiritual self and go deeper. I just had my astrological chart and forecast read by my healing friend and Moonologist Michelle and again, I learned so much more about astrology and my own journey. She pulled a card for me prior to the reading, and it was “Keep Your Heart Open”. Wise words!

Moving to Vancouver in December of 2007 was a big life shake-up. I think it shook a lot of things loose. And then I was insanely busy for 13 years running a modest burlesque empire. I poured everything I had into the business and I neglected my personal and spiritual needs. So now, I find myself still collecting what was lost or misplaced from my life shakeup back in 2007. I’ve been doing some deep dives into my psyche and I’m learning so much about myself. I used to walk around with a crease between my eyebrows. Now I walk about with a smile on my lips.  I feel more as if this phase of life is a glorious evolution towards my higher good, rather than a tragedy. It’s been an opportunity for me to learn so much.

There was that moment one day when I tried to get up too quickly in the morning, and there may have been a counteraction between my RSO and another medication, so I was incredibly dizzy and fell – fainted briefly, I guess. But feeling that sense of falling into the void somehow made me less afraid of death. It was a beautiful, graceful feeling of falling into a soft and comforting darkness. Not painful or violent. Except for the bruise on my elbow when I recovered, of course.

I was terrified of making ends meet during this strange time, especially after our coffers were low from the onset of the pandemic. But somehow, due to the support of friends and family and to the almighty universe for providing work and gigs for me, we’ve managed to stay afloat! In fact, your help and support even enabled me to do some charity sewing of ribbon skirts for the Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s March on Feb. 14th.  I was the first sewer to tackle the four-panel model yesterday and they were so happy with my work they took a photo! If you have time to help out, check out sweetgrasssisters.healing on Instagram.

One of the Ribbon Skirts I sewed for the MMIW March and our fearless skirt-sewing leader! Kits are available to take home and sew at your leisure. Stop by Saturdays and and Sundays (only 9 to 1:30 Sundays) at the Strathcona Community Centre.

I mentioned I hoped to go on a healing retreat prior to surgery. Well, it’s official. We decided to dip into our savings for a healing journey to the magic of Maui. Have you seen The Earthing Movie? I highly recommend it. I desperately need to ground and connect my body with mother earth, and its too darn cold to float in the ocean or lie on the earth in January in The Pacific Northwest! I plan to get my body as STRONG as possible before my liver surgery February 28th. Of course, we made plans and the advisories shifted due to Omicron, but we feel all the extra annoyances are worth it. We’re taking every precaution possible. But at the end of the day, I don’t subscribe to the idea of living in constant fear. I need to LIVE. So I am trusting the flow of the universe to hook us up!

Looking forward to reconnecting with our healing mother earth in Hawaii.

I watched mom go through her treatments, but my parents were stoic in terms of their emotions. We weren’t a kissy/huggy family. I never had a true grasp on how she FELT. Which made me feel a bit helpless. And I’m sure, as my loving husband Doug watches me, he can’t fully understand what I’m feeling inside.  There is something which is at once intimate and public about dealing with an illness like this. After your diagnosis, you go through all the phases of grief. That is, if you will allow yourself to go through them. And you should. When I think of the paralyzing fear that settled coldly onto my heart at my diagnosis, in comparison with how I feel emotionally today, I am amazed at the human spirit’s ability to adapt, heal and renew. But there is this very normalizing aspect which occurs from going to your chemo appointments, seeing other cancer patients, and the realization that so many people are on this journey.  

I’m still manifesting a future in which I am CURED of this following my surgery. I know there are no guarantees, but I’m determined to be an intrinsic part of this living, breathing, paradise of planet Earth for a long time.

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