Waiting for an answer or diagnosis can be excruciating; especially when the outcome could really be something you are not looking forward to; something that is quite final. It’s a bit like sitting on an empty train station feeling alone and like the next train has been delayed: time hanging heavily in space.
We look at our watches multiple times, knowing that time will be up at a certain point, but we keep looking with uneasiness. Maybe we sigh, pace or comfort ourselves; maybe we feel resolute, willing the answer to be the one we want it to be; or maybe we passively wait, not knowing what to think. Maybe we search for answers or we are so filled with fear that our brains become frozen in time. There might be so much unfamiliar information and we feel like we can’t see the wood for the trees.
After I had my breast biopsies I had to wait and wait and wait for an answer. I thought: “Don’t panic, I don’t have a history of cancer” then I thought “But I am not immune to it, I could have it”. When I was waiting I found if I took a step back, metaphorically, it helped. There was no good in crossing bridges before I knew which they were; yet I could educate myself. I had paid no interest in finding out about cancer before as I had this “superstitious” idea that if I showed too much interest I might attract it. The truth is: having no knowledge about the illness can be scarier than knowing what one’s options are. I spent the weekend learning about the different diagnosis and language used so that I would at least be able to follow what the doctor was saying when I received the diagnosis. Facing my fear and holding it lightly, without stuffing it down into my subconscious and without spinning out of control, was a challenge.
Life feels hazy in the distant future without specifics but I chose to look for the patch of sunlight breaking forth. I chose to have faith – not that it would be the answer I wanted but that I could bare whatever was put on my path. I had faith in my community, in my family, and in my belief in Life as a system that has cycles and is designed in a way that we all die at some point; if we live it is partly a miracle.
I reviewed my life. Had I lived a life I had been happy with? Had I done what I had set out to do? The answer was YES. I had a good relationship with my husband for which I was grateful for. I had brought up my daughters as best as I could. I believed they were capable to venturing into life without me if they had to. I had given back to the world as much as I could. What more could I ask for. I was grateful for the life I had been given. If it was taken now I would be complete. “But please God; could I have some more years?” – I asked within my heart. I would love that if it was possible. It didn’t mean I wasn’t scared of the process of dying or receiving the diagnosis. But I knew I had to face it with courage no matter the outcome.
The answer came on the Monday morning, provisionally I had breast cancer. “How bad was it?” They didn’t yet know. I had to wait some more. It was 9 years ago to the month that I had my double mastectomy. Since then I have road tripped twice, seen my one daughter get married and the other engaged, they have graduated and I am proud of them. My relationship with my husband is even stronger now. I have the opportunity to continue to give from a full joyous heart. Now I wait each morning and evening to be filled anew with Light so that I might pour out my heart yet again the next day.
My times may be uncertain but they are in the hands of the Great One and I want to use them wisely and joyously.