On Jan. 4, 2019, a doctor I had never met until that day, lovingly and compassionately held my hand and told me I had pancreatic cancer.
To say I was shocked was an understatement. My husband and my parents were with me, and we were all in disbelief. How can a seemingly healthy woman receive this diagnosis?
Everything I had previously heard about pancreatic cancer was bleak and scary. I was blessed that mine was discovered early. We left the hospital in a blur, with so many unanswered and unspoken questions, as well as questions yet to even occur to us.
Later that night, my doctor called me about a surgery, the Whipple Procedure, which could eliminate the cancer.
That call gave me so much hope and also helped my family. At age 58, I was not ready to leave the planet and I had so much left I wanted to do.
Prior to my diagnosis, I had been busy living my life, being active with friends and family, when suddenly I no longer had the energy to do much. For a few weeks, I could only sit on the couch and rest. I thought I had a virus. I began experiencing a tenderness in my tummy region and could tolerate little food. I also began having dark colored urine which prompted me to see the doctor.
I was hospitalized during Christmas week as I was having trouble keeping down any food or beverages. I also spent two weeks in two different hospitals in January for the same symptoms. I was able to have a metal stint placed in my bile duct which helped my symptoms. Hallelujah.
During my hospital stays, the angels would whisper soothing messages to me like “body calmness” and “all is well.” I would meditate on body calmness, especially when my guts were in turmoil, which really helped. Their message of “all is well” helps me every day to know that I am supported, loved, protected and held in their loving arms. The good news is you are too, dear ones. You can find out more about the angels on my website if you are interested.
Each New Year, I select a word of the year; for 2019 I chose, “flourish.”
To me, flourish means vibrancy, being firmly rooted, strong, resilient and thriving. This year has been that for me. Somedays when I am feeling poorly, I ask myself how I can flourish. Sometimes the answer is to drink water, nap, rest, meditate or eat something. Sometimes the answer is to go outside in nature and nourish my soul.
One particularly windy, rainy night in the hospital, the weather provided a great metaphor for my flourishing. I envisioned myself with strong and vibrant roots allowing me to bear the strong winds and rains that were crashing outside. I envisioned myself hanging on while been buffeted and blown by the winds and pummeled by the rain. I survived the onslaught. I prevailed. I flourished.
Another key point is that the angels want me to consider cancer as a journey and not as a fight.
Cancer has something to teach me. In fact, cancer has lots to teach me. We will talk more about those lessons in a future blog.
I am a daughter, sister, wife, mother, friend and more. My cancer diagnosis affects everyone I know to some extent, as we are all connected. I am not alone. You are not alone. So many people are praying for me, sending me love and light and healing goodness and grace for which I am eternally grateful.
I hope to see you here for my next article this time next week!