In this letter, I share my thinking as I arrive at a difficult decision. Filled with ambivalence and feelings of uncertainty, I decide to return to chemotherapy. Over and over throughout this journey, I have been presented with impossible choices that often left me feeling like I had compromised my values. I believe in something better than chemotherapy. I know that a better, kinder, way exists. Yet after fully exploring alternative methods, in order to live, I have chosen to also accept what the conventional world has to offer. I have paid a big price for utilizing conventional treatments, beginning with the sacrifice of my right breast. I continue to confront these difficult choices.

Impossible Choices

August 13, 2015

Subject: Update #3

To: my inner-inner circle,

It is 5:50 am and I slept very little. I had a long session with my naturopath oncologist evaluating the situation and my options. One thing that became clear is that my current diet is not supporting my post chemo health. While on chemo it was okay and encouraged and necessary for me to eat anything and everything :) I had such a strong agent fighting the cancer that food issues became quite minor by proportion. But when chemo ended, the playing field changed. I have been eating quite a lot of goat dairy- cheese and yogurt- on a daily basis. This is not why my tumors have returned…that is what cancer tumors do…but I have been fueling the process with my eating. My cancer is highly estrogen sensitive- when tested it was the most estrogen sensitive that current tests can measure. It got the highest possible rating for estrogen sensitivity, which means estrogen is its food. When I was initially diagnosed around 7 years ago, this was good news, as it meant my cancer could be treated through hormone therapy and I would not need chemotherapy. Fast forward to the present, while I do not think it is helpful to become obsessive and stressed about food, I do think eliminating all dairy and most soy is a healthy choice. Again, I do not think my eating caused the return of the tumors, but I do believe it accelerated the process.

So, where do I go from here? As I check in with my body and soul in this present moment, the answer I get is that I need to reduce the tumor load as soon as possible. The quickest and most effective way to do that is chemo. So then I say, but what will be different this time? Why go through chemo again? You want to be living and interacting and socializing with the world and you may not be able to do that on chemo…so I start to seduce myself into the suicidal talk— take the end of my life into my own hands…blah, blah, blah…I am pretty sure all of you have heard me recite this scenario multiple times [Throughout this journey, I have found myself returning to the same inner battle. I frequently talk about ending my life but am now not so sure if I really want to die or if this is the only way I know how to express and release my rage and disappointment]. I am not making fun of myself or minimizing my feelings, but I have had a strong realization/awakening that I mentioned in my previous email (Contemplating Life or Death). When I focus on ending my life and preparing for it, I get a headache and feel a huge energy drain. I do not believe there is anything morally wrong with suicide BUT clearly that is not in alignment with my energy flow at this time. I realize now that I can not control the outcome of my situation and that that is not my job. All I can do is work with the intention of the universe, in partnership with it or against it. That is the only choice I have in this life. And right now, for whatever reason, the universe supports life for me—and it supports it strongly—that is its intention and desire for me. I can fight that and work against it and plan my suicide and maybe even do it or I can go where the flow of energy moves me and right now it moves me toward life. As I have taken the last few days to go deeply within and truly be in the moment, that has become very clear. If I want to work with the energy of this great planet that I love so much, then I must be in the present moment and listen to the truth of each and every moment. Right now that truth tells me to go back to chemo as soon as possible and get my tumor load back down. NOW…”but that might make me sick and I might not be able to dance and socialize and what will be different this time when I finish chemo…” And all I can say to that is, “I don’t know. We will find out when we arrive there.” “Maybe you will feel sick. Maybe you will have to temporarily curb your activity again, maybe nothing will be different this time when you stop chemo…” BUT THAT IS NOT FOR ME TO KNOW IN THIS MOMENT.

I think now that I am clear that suicide is not in my flow in this moment, and that the universe is strongly supporting me, I have less rage and more acceptance because I truly have no other choice if I want to be in alignment with flow. And that I am clear on, I WANT TO BE IN ALIGNMENT WITH FLOW. Right now the best way to do that is to stay in the present moment, listen to the truth of each moment, of each impulse that comes from the stillness and the honesty, and take action from that place. And what will be will be…it truly is out of my control. Even if I am to have my worst nightmare realized of a slow drawn out painful bedridden death, it is not really in my power to stop that unless it becomes in the flow for it to be stopped.

There is of course grief and sadness and disappointment over watching my tumors grow before my very eyes.

It is now 6:15 am. I am going to try to go back to sleep for at least a little bit.

I don’t feel happy, but there is not much to feel happy about in this moment, but I am showing up for duty because when we are born, we make that commitment. Once you have passed through the birth canal, it is too late to change your mind. You either learn to accept or you live an agonizing, hollow and frustrating existence. I don’t have the energy to fight anymore, so I choose acceptance.

Thanks to my inner-inner circle for caring and creating a safe container for me to use to process and find my way.



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