It has been almost two months since my last post and my hysterectomy. All went well and no cancer was found in my ovary (yay!). I am now without my uterus, one ovary and both fallopian tubes, yet I have one strong ovary who is now my gentle female hormone companion. I have been back in “the world” for a little over a month and it has been an interesting experience. I have had the opportunity to decide what to bring back into my life, and what to change and let go. This is the largest lesson so far from my experience with Cancer manifesting in my body…”Cancer” is a messenger of CHANGE. If and when it happens, it means it is time for Change on as many levels as is needed. One of my Changes is honored within me today, partially by writing this post.
People keep asking me versions of this question… “Are you healed?” hmmm… tough question to answer. My body has healed well, although it is certainly not the same. I now have scars, and in my leg I have many sensations in the place where the very large (9 inches long) Liposarcoma once resided. Sensations that are even difficult to describe…part numb, part tingly, with occasional twinges of feeling. I rub it and talk to it because now I need to be lovingly aware of this space in my body. I have begun to intend that what fills the empty space in between my leg muscles is life force energy that can help me manifest the Changes that are in flux, leaving no room or energy for regrowth of the cancerous tumor.
Am I “Healed”? Here is the thing with that statement… while my body is healing from surgery, I am Changed. Not just because my body looks and feels different. I am Changed because I have gone through a life shifting experience and I now have the awareness that, medically speaking, the “odds” are that some version of the tumor will regrow. This is an interesting feeling for anyone who is a cancer “survivor” (the common way to describe anyone who has had a cancer experience). After “successful treatment” it is said that one is in “remission”, which means that the symptoms and signs have waned, or in my case, the tumor was removed, but now we have a companion of a strange sort. It is said that our Death is our constant companion, and a loving one at that, and for anyone who has gone through an experience with cancer, it is a bit the same. A feeling, a pain, a negative thought… can lead one to wonder “will It come back?” I know logically that this is a futile mental endeavor, and the best thing to do is to walk the path of a healed life…yet intuitively knowing that this manifested watcher is always potentially somewhere. My job now is to do my best to stay true to myself and not let anything sway me from my center, especially worry or fear…about anything.
The biggest spiritual work that I did regarding the removal of the Liposarcoma was around Fear. Money/Financial Support fear, fear that something was my Fault, and fear that I was holding back a part of my Authentic Self because it was somehow dangerous. Hearing these might surprise some who feel that I am bold and “out there”, which I am…and yet the Fears were hiding. I tracked these fears to my teen years and past life fears, which fed into the current feelings of fear. As I lay in the hospital, ready to go into surgery, I kept repeating my Gratitudes (all the things I could think of to be grateful for) and putting all the Fears that I knew were in me, into the tumor to be taken out. Now, three months later, I feel a difference. I notice the feeling of Fear, (such as a concern about getting back to “work” and having enough money to cover my expenses) but I do not let it plant a seed inside me. I had a wonderful opportunity to practice this recently. I want to share it with you.
A couple weeks ago I had an appointment with an oncologist who was going to be my follow-up doctor, or so I thought. Quickly into the meeting he began telling me how (in his opinion, although he didn’t say it was an “opinion”) I needed radiation “therapy” because it was guaranteed that the tumor would regrow. He said it again, in another way… that (in his opinion) it was 100% that it would regrow in 5 years. He said “I could send you to radiation now, or you could not do it and the tumor will regrow, and then I will send you…but then it might be harder on you.” While he was speaking to me in this way, I consciously said in my mind “this is his reality, it is not truth.” I made a motion with my energy to push his opinion (stated as expert fact) outside of me. I wondered how many people sat in the same chair and accepted his opinion as truth and, out of fear of death, hurried to their 5-7 weeks of radiation therapy. He also told me that, even if I did the “therapy” there was still a 10-15% chance that the tumor would regrow…”maybe a little higher in your case because your tumor was so large”. So, there was some wiggle room on the end of doing his prescription, but an absolute (100%…not 99.5% or 99.9% chance) if I do not. In my particular situation, the tumor in me was very low grade, which means very slow growing. Regarding Liposarcomas, it is not really about metastasis, it is about potential regrowth, and I had been told earlier by my surgeon that radiation isn’t effective on such slow growing cells. Yet here I was hearing such a contrary attitude, coming from the “expert” in the field. I left the office with a referral to his recommended radiologist, but I knew in my heart that I cannot say yes to this method of “treatment”.
What a mix of feelings! I was so grateful that I did not get this attitude thrown at me earlier in my experience, it would have been much harder to not take in the fear. However, I was appalled that this “expert” would be so absolute about his interpretation of my reality. To tell a patient that anything is 100% is, in my humble opinion (I am no doctor), is irresponsible. There is always, especially with the huge range of conditions we call Cancer, room for the unknown or unforeseen. I was able to feel all the feelings of this experience, and yet not take in the Fear. For that, I was grateful.
On the day of my appointment with the radiation doctor I was nervous about what she would say. I knew that I would say no to the “treatment”, yet there was a part of me that didn’t want to have to fight her about it. I quietly cried all the way to the appointment…energy release I suppose. I met with the young female doctor and after asking me a number of questions regarding the tumor growth, and looking at the images, she told me that she recommends one more image, post operation, to make sure that no part of the tumor was left in my leg, and assuming that there is none… she wants to be conservative and “Wait and See”. In 6 months have another test and see what it shows. She said that if/when, at some point in the future, the tumor cells regrow, then we cut it out again. She also said that she had just consulted that morning with the oncologist that I had seen, and they both agreed on this approach. I was shocked. This man who was so sure, had somehow changed his tune and was now ok with “Wait and See”? Funny how reality changes! I was very relieved that my gut feeling ended up also being the recommended approach of the “experts”. I told her that I am a shamanic practitioner and that instead of living in a radiation world for 7 weeks, I wanted to focus my healing on creative manifestation. She thought that was a good plan. As we parted, she shook my hand she told me with a smile “I hope I never see you again.” I agreed.
So now I am back in the world of Life, Healing and Changing, and staying aware of old patterns and not jumping back into them. There is one Change that must be shared today, which is an important part of my Healing. There is a part of me that has been trying to have more of a presence in the world and the time for waiting is over.
As a child I was thought sometimes to be a boy and I never really felt like a typical adolescent girl. For many of my adult years I have felt that “I” am a male spirit in a female body. I like my female body, I am in it for a reason this life, but I do feel the distinct difference between the inner spirit being version of “me” and the chemical nature of the female “me”. In the past I did not really know what to do with this reality, so I didn’t do much about it. Two years ago today (july 1) I had a vision while drumming that made me feel differently about my experience. I looked within and saw my male self inside me. He wanted out so he came out my mouth and his energy unfolded to the outside. My “Quynn” energy folded in and became the inner part of me. At that point it felt that it was time for my male spirit within to have more of a life in the world. I (the whole me) have been doing my best to honor this for the last two years. It can be challenging and subtle and confusing. One thing that helped me tremendously was to find written works about people in various (many!) shamanic cultures who are chosen to be the tribe’s version of a “shaman” and how common it is for these persons to be Two Spirited, Blended Spirits, a mix of both energies. Often they are chosen because of this blendedness. The role itself is to not only be a bridge between the worlds, but a bridge between masculine and feminine. Malidoma Some’ says we are called “Gatekeepers” in his Dagara culture. It is also commonly understood in shamanic cultures that a “shaman” has a symbiotic relationship with one or more spirits, meaning that their abilities come from particular spirits or a spirit that either resides within, or comes through the human to help other people. So this information added a whole new layer to my experience beyond the narrow view of gender and sexual orientation that is common in western culture.
However, when I found out that “I” had “Cancer” in my leg, I felt that my not-completely-expressed-male-spirit-within was acting out in an inappropriate way. That is what (in my lay description) “Cancer” cells do…they act out in our body, try to do their own thing and multiply themselves, even to the detriment of the whole Being. So here I was, with my male spirit deciding that there was no more time for hiding or waiting, yet causing the whole “Me” trouble. Then, for three weeks (after leg surgery) I was under the impression I had ovarian cancer. What?! I had many inner conversations with the various parts of me. We had to all get along and find peace. I asked my male spirit if he was not satisfied, what would satisfy him so this did not need to kill me? Once it was known that I had fibroids in my uterus, it was felt that taking it out would be an acceptable compromise. It was decided that my painful uterus (and one ovary) would be allowed to leave my body and go to the spirit world (these organs were burned by the hospital, thereby going to the spirit world), and I would be able to move forward as a more integrated person. Part of this deal is that I need to be more open about my experience, even knowing that talking this way might make some think I am crazy. I feel that I have memories of past life experiences, where I was killed for being this way, but there is no room for Fear now, and no more waiting.
So, to integrate my Self coming into wholeness, I hosted a public ceremonial releasing event this past weekend in Tucson, AZ. I realized during my healing that hosting such events is something that I did not want to let go, in fact…I needed to do this more often. So, I called on people I care about to participate, I dressed to please the emerging Me, created a headpiece that both my “he” and “she” and “in-between” liked, and I felt confident in my wholeness on this night. I honored my own experience and yet it was intended to be helpful to others as well. We let go of energies that no longer served us, and that were in the way of our authentic selves emerging more strongly…and then we danced! It was an early birthday present, because today, July 1 is the birthday of my whole Self feeling Whole. The way I am is not in relation to any other person, it is about the energy of Me. On this day I write about it publicly and feel no Fear.
As a way to share what I have learned with others (part of the reason that I have apparently manifested this reality), I have created two circles based on my experiences- A shamanic circle to help people understand the Spirits of their Sickness, and a talking and rhythm circle for those who feel they are beings of blended gender. Please see the meetup group for the upcoming circles in Tucson, and please email me if you are interested in participating in such a circle online. I look forward to growing these circles in company with other people seeking balance.
I would like to extend my gratitudes to all of you who have been so supportive during this time! I look forward to a new era of creative manifestation, rest and healing fun! Here is to integration and wholeness!
New Life Era is Upon Me-Shamanism-Cancer-Healing