COVID and cancer. They go together like whip cream and jerky. Or like the jagged nail in my car’s flat tire. A vehicle I drove once over the past three weeks. What’re the chances? Then again, what are the chances I’d be diagnosed with breast cancer right before a pandemic? Apparently, quite good. Too bad this wasn’t my odds in Vegas the last time I went. But see, if we look for the silver lining, we’ll appreciate the odds even if they don’t first appear in our favor. Well, except for that nail. That just sucks. But it did get me walking to the local Trader Joe’s, half a mile away and carrying two bags of groceries back home, which doubled as my day’s work out.
Okay, a silver lining. When I was diagnosed with breast cancer in January, I was shocked. It wasn’t in my immediate family, and I didn’t have the typical cancer markers. It wasn’t in my awareness or on my tongue. But it was in me. It was growing like the garden weed I mentioned in my previous post. It starts underground, setting roots and warding off the immune system (weed killer) and settling in like it owns the joint.
How did I let cancer take over? For the past couple of years before the diagnosis, I disregarded my body, my “garden.” I was mourning the death of my mom and the demise of a long-term romantic relationship. I was adjusting to other personal and family stressors, a couple of job changes, putting the finishing touches on writing a book. I stopped meditating, exercising, and eating correctly. I stopped going to church. I was drinking more to dull the ache in my heart and mind. I put myself in unhealthy situations, ignored my intuition and God. Basically, I gave the weed full permission to grow.
So, to the silver lining, right? Well, wait a bit.
When the weed (cancer) busted above ground to where I could feel it, I was like…oh, shit, time to wake up. But, I didn’t just wake up to cancer and to be a victim of it in a woe is me way, I was like …how’d it get here? I’m not one to just accept anything. I question everything. So, why did I abandon me? I looked more in-depth as to why it happened and I created a plan that went back into the dirt, back to the source, and back to the reason. That’s where I started, and that was the journey I was on. Along with two surgeries to get it out. And then COVID came.
COVID and cancer. When conventional cancer treatments (chemo, radiation) temporarily annihilate the immune system, and there’s a hardcore virus lurking around, they don’t go together. So what do I do? Well, I considered the pros and cons. And I had time to do so because of COVID.
Like everyone else, I was forced or I say “gifted” into isolation. I was laid off, the world stopped, and I could face myself head-on. Because of COVID, I took the time to pull back, put the doctors on hold, and listen to my intuition. And to God. And most of all to my body. And to decide what was best for me. I was able to take a deeper dive on a spiritual, emotional, and physical level into “why” I have cancer. Why did I let my body and spirit get so broken that I caused my immune system to stop working and not fight cancer off? And what can I now do to heal my body and make sure this doesn’t happen again? It’s kind of like that nail in my car’s tire. Sure, I ran over it. It didn’t just appear there! But how? Well, maybe I should stay in my damn lane and not veer off into freeway debris? Perhaps I should slow down? Maybe I should have bought a more durable tire? This is my third flat tire, so I should probably make a change in my habits! And the same with my body. And due to COVID and quarantine, I can. And that is my silver lining.
During these times, I send peace, love, and healing to all those deeply affected by COVID 19 and to those who feel they’re losing their minds during quarantine…you’re not. You are not alone! We will all be okay. And its a great time to look for your silver lining.