-Get out of bed (it’s 10:12am)
-Nourish your body, take your vitamins, drink your greens (ugh)
-Answer mails for work
-Pack to leave the country
-Schedule doctors’ appointments – trying to get them all in before leaving said country
-Re-think flying in plane
-Meet with Elease
-Research how to make a blog
-Clean the house
-Think about purchasing a good camera…but that means you have to take pictures…
-Re-think wanting to share your life with other people
-Say f*ck it, let’s do it
-Make a plan to create stability for yourself
-Drink Green Tea
What I’ve ACTUALLY done…
Woken from my slumber. Went to the bathroom. Crawled back in bed. Looked at my phone. Scrolled through what a future could be if I was really the girl in the picture, swiped left. Felt reality crushing me. Created a nest, burried in my mother’s bed. Assembled a fortress, pillows protecting the perimeter. Just enough breeze from the fan so I can bundle up. Nightgown. Socks. Sweater. Water by my bedside standing guard. GREEN TEA on the front line (getting it in before treatment, it helps…so I’ve read). Apples at an arm’s distance, they are safe food. The thought of going into the kitchen freaks me out. The thought of making food for myself freaks me out. The thought of putting anything into my body freaks me out. In fear of doing more damage, or even worse—in fear it might help.
Whew, I said it.
That’s a big one. A big decision; life giving or life taking. Do you choose to LIVE? One that has to be made. Like a point set for navigation. The fire in the night. A goal to be achieved. THE GOAL to be achieved. One that can not waver; the cost too precious. A serious warrant, a serious aim and yet it’s still just another day. It is still just as simple as being here. As breathing. As getting out of bed. It doesn’t HAVE TO BE that SERIOUS…but it is.
It all swirls about aimlessly swooping in, out, and back around. Honestly, my mind is just piecing itself back together after surgery, anesthesia, and pain pills – which scares me.
I want to go HOME. Is it here, in the bosom of my mother, in a place I have not known for ages? Is it in Ecuador, the center of the world, where I have re-built myself over the past years? Is it in a sweatlodge, nestled in the womb of Mother Earth? Is it in the words that float off my finger-tips? Is it even in this skin?
The answer…only I can DECIDE. I have to do it MYSELF. No one can make this work for me. No one can give me the answers. No one can help set the course of my life. First and foremost, I have to do it FOR myself. A HOMECOMING. Finding my center. Finding my direction. Making sense of what stands at center, behind the IMAGE of what is presented. Creating strength at center. Creating COMFORT at center.
In the mean time I have moved. Working in circles. Moving around and around and around until things culminate. Drank a tea, ate an apple, took the supplements, the vitamin C, the CBD, the ABCs, pulpified the greens to go down easier, answered the mails, made the doctors’ appointments, to say wrote would be redundant, decided to FLY, re-searched chemotherapy, read some blogs about cancer, deleted the dating app (GET YOUR SH*T STRAIGHT)…slowly piecing life together today. In all of its grand simplicity.
Linking one movement to the next, slowly, but the constant is motion. It could have gone DOWN today, it could have SPUN OUT, I could have LOST CONTROL. But steadily it all comes back. Not bad for a breakdown lived and recovered before noon. It helps to piece it together on the pages, with the words. Anchor it to something; so that I know where it is. Proof that I am REAL.
I want to go HOME. The Earth makes the most sense. One foot in front of the other, moments linked in time to space. Consistant. Breathing. Beautifully simple.
Life makes sense.
(11:51am) Monday, June 24 2019
I signed up for a dating app. Something I said I would never do. There are a lot of firsts now. It was sort of the last attempt to feel normal. Like the last stand that said… Hey, why not? Sure I’m just like any other girl! Hey, I’m cool! It doesn’t matter if I have Cancer, that doesn't change a thing! Except it does. The small lies that don’t hurt … until they do.
It’s funny how you begin to SEE yourself, when it can all go away. I have never thought I was so beautiful, I've never been so in love. I have never seen such clarity in my eyes or in my face. I have never caressed my hair with the same touch. My boobs have NEVER been this perfect. And my hips, they are abundantly beautiful.
I AM PERFECT. And what sucks even more about exuding radiance, is that other people can feel it too. They smell it, they see it, and you can no longer hide. Over and over again people tell you, “Gosh, you look gorgeous today”. And all you can do is shake your head and say … if only I knew before, if only I knew.
And now, I sit behind the screen. Shining with a light that once hit the floor; FEARLESS. What does it matter, I’m just a normal girl, this doesn’t change a thing. A casual chat, there is no harm. You can wait until you meet in person….the Cancer thing is really more of a person to person conversation, I guess. And if you don’t make it that far, at least it was FUN! Yes, this is true.
But all the while the foreign device that has been planted opposite your heart stretches against the skin with each short breath. The Port. You think if you don’t breathe as deep, you won’t feel it – that it won’t exist anymore. That it will all be a bad dream, and you will wake up tomorrow whole again, unscathed. Trying to ignore that this device that you willingly had buried within your body, will be the same hand that administers the poison. The poison, YOU will release into your veins. Trying to ignore that you are finally able to embrace the woman who you are, just in time for her to fade away.
No, this isn’t just a conversation you can have over a quick chat, or even over a cup of coffee. Not with a stranger, and not even with a loved one…no, this is a conversation you have to have over and over again with yourSELF:
What you see now, she will no longer exist in 6 months, or ever. I don’t know what is going to be waiting for you on the other side, I don’t know what will be left. But I do know, you will make it. I do know, it will be far from the girl I see today. And I will walk with you each step of the way. I will pick you up. I will keep you intact. You are allowed to rest, because I will fight. You are allowed to let go, because I am holding on. Where there is absence, there will be growth. And that which is not needed, will be transformed.
So, now, that it is real. Inhale. That there is a reminder of each choice I have made. Exhale. A reminder that I can no longer ignore. Inhale. That this flesh is not invincible. Exhale. That this life is not a dream. Inhale. A reminder of the effort it will take for me to be WELL, to STAY WELL. Exhale. A reminder, that in spite of all the vernacular surrounding this disease…this indeed, WILL BE A FIGHT.
This new piece of me, snuggled into my collar bone is my new armor. But not an armor to hide, instead, an armor to guide.
A reminder that I am ALIVE.
I have spent years on the search for what it means to be FEMALE, for what it means to THRIVE, for what it means to be ALIVE. This path has lead me all over the world, drawn to women and their children, to communities, to SPIRIT, and ultimately BACK to MYSELF. Here I will share my most recent adventure, navigating a diagnosis of triple positive BREAST CANCER and each step of the way I figure out how to be a little more ME. I am Catherine-Ayer Gresham a 30 year old woman