A mastectomy is a long process which takes many months if you have reconstruction. It involves two surgeries—one to remove the breast tissue and one to insert the implant. After surviving the first surgery, I prepared myself for the second.

Flying through the Hurricane

October 18, 2011

Hi Dawn [my cousin],

Today I have my pre-op appointment with my internist to get clearance for the surgery next week. Physically, I am much, much better. [I had been struggling with a virus.] My sinuses are even starting to settle. The virus has moved into my colon, which is fine with me as it means it is making its way through my system and exiting—good riddance :)

I feel my energy beginning to shift deeply inward as the reality begins to descend upon me that I’m about to have my fifth surgery [three surgeries during first diagnosis; mastectomy after second diagnosis, where breast tissue is removed; and now reconstruction after the mastectomy]. In this very sterile, metal, knife-slaughtering Western paradigm that I am about to enter, oddly enough I have found it to be a profoundly spiritual experience. As I mentally prepare myself for the upcoming reconstruction surgery, I find myself reflecting on the experience of the mastectomy. Days before the mastectomy, I began to mentally prepare myself. It’s hard to put into words. It’s like there was this opening before all the madness hit. And “God” asked me to enter and completely surrender like I have never surrendered before. And I did. I entered this frenzy of mad activity (hospital, knives, slaughtering of my breast) and was carried effortlessly and with ease, like the bird that flew through Hurricane Irene. It was in the news. The bird intuitively knew how to navigate with ease through a fuckin’ hurricane. I entered a “hurricane” and instead of being consumed by it, because I had totally let go, I was able to swim with and through the hurricane—its energy did not destroy me—it became my friend. We danced, my body as light as air. I felt like I was carried for about ten days, until I was settled back at home. I kept asking myself: How did I get here? And I would realize I was carried— as if my body was no longer using its muscles or exerting energy to walk. I was just carried. And I had flashbacks of angels swarming around me in the operating room.

So, this will all be behind me soon. I have my theater class tonight, which is good—I will definitely need a creative outlet. It’s improvisation—I will probably do something about crystals or about the “hurricane” or I will see what arises within me in the moment.

I will be in touch.


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