I went to the surgeon’s office the other day, and then to the oncologist’s office and was told it’s time to have a new round of tests. Another mammogram. An MRI. And for a brief second (well, okay, maybe it was a few hundred seconds), I thought of all the women I know who don’t have breast cancer and don’t have to have their breasts crushed and their necks torqued every six months and I had a moment of resenting this body. This beloved body that really is doing the best it can. I caught the thought as it flew by and before I had a long drink of resentment and victimhood. And I thought of my erstwhile therapist who was just diagnosed with stomach cancer. And my friend who just had a stroke. And another friend who has a heart murmur. And I remembered that this is earth school and that my body, our bodies are our loyal companions and constant teachers.
Some bodies have arthritis, some have digestive difficulties, some have diabetes, some have heart disease, high blood pressure, migraines, hurt knees or hips. Some have pelvic floors that slosh like waterbeds. Every body has something, and some bodies have cancer. This is earth school and that’s the way it goes. And lucky us that we are still inhabiting this body and are able to learn what it has to teach us, which, number one is: If you fight what is going on, if you resent it, you suffer. Your body suffers. No one wins. When you open, and at the least, allow yourself to touch whatever it is revealing, well, that’s when everything changes. That’s when you free yourself even in the midst of arthritis, sloshy pelvic floors, diabetes. Cancer.
Of course, this doesn’t stop you—or me—from adornment of said body. Here is my latest: It’s a lymphedema sleeve, and although I don’t have lymphedema, I also don’t have tattoos and so this is my pretend tattoo. And although I’m supposed to use it when I fly and I’m not flying, I still get to marvel at its colors and adorn this beloved body, shower it with beauty.
To read more in the Cancer Chronicles, click here.