This morning headed to the office, I pulled open the heavy vehicle door on the passenger side with my left hand.
That might not seem like much of a big deal to some, but for those of us who have undergone some kind of surgery or injury, opening the heavy car door is a big deal.
Today represents the first day I’ve been able to use my left arm to open the door since a mastectomy – radiation – reconstruction for breast cancer spanning August of 2015 to today - the milestone of using the “bad” arm without thinking about it.
So many ladies and men have come into my life as a result of this breast cancer journey – even circles brought closer thanks to online and social media relationships, and each one represents an angel on this journey.
It’s different for each of us, and yet part of the experience is the same – a showdown between will and biology, medical science and faith, chemistry and quantum physics.
Staring down death and dis-ease has a way of galvanizing a person, and making him stronger like a diamond is squeezed coal.
It’s an experiment in destruction – killing off the invasive cells who seek to colonize at the expense of the whole organism – that organism being me.
It’s a trip really in so many different ways, and on so many different levels.
Our fellow “C” survivors know the meaning of staring down that choice – to fight and live, or to give up and die – which admittedly might not be so bad given some other alternatives, no matter how much we’re not supposed to admit that in polite company.
We are a brotherhood of men, women and children, and our families who know this struggle intimately – this struggle and journey that eventually leads us together – healthier and contributing to the world that will not yet let us go, perhaps because there is more work left to do… or perhaps because of the will to make it so.
I write to you here at the New Year in a spirit of hopefulness that all our present ills can be healed and our paths straightened.
There has been much shouting and mucking about in idle chatter and speculation. It’s time to get to work and quit wasting time.
The Earth is reeling – like a fellow cancer patient in many ways, and here and there are cells that would ravage Her further given the chance. This we cannot permit, and by every means we need to intervene.
I personally contribute to this ideal by: 1) not eating sugar (which is known to feed cancer cells), 2) consuming locally produced goods when possible, and being a functional minimalist (I still have 10 pairs of shoes being a diva female, but I do have my boots resoled), and 3) encouraging meaningful communication and community connection among my fellowman.
Connection feeds the Spirit and brings us to where we are right now. You and I are connecting through these words on this weblog, and I for one am grateful.
It’s nice to know you’re not alone. I’ve spent much of my life alone – as an only child – in isolation – in hiding – incapacitated at times.
But with this year, I turn over a new leaf and push myself out into the world. Shyly at first, perhaps, but gradually and with honesty – or as best as I can muster or care to know.
Happy New Year, Dear Reader - Happy New Year to us both.
And it is a big deal to open a door, any door, right hand or left. Because often at the end, we find out that the lessons we learned and the time we spent trying far outweigh any destination.
It is a pleasure to meet you.
Love & Light,