I've been waiting for a while to share some important news that may or may not affect the community. I haven't wanted to take away from the pleasure of having baseball back, nor the fun everyone was having with the NBA and NHL playoffs. I also didn't want to preempt Tina's random thoughts. (Happy to have you writing again, Tina!)
I'm finding there's no easy way to say this, so I'm just going to rip off the band aid. A month ago, the lump in my breast was diagnosed as cancerous. Since then, I've undergone a battery of tests. My case is unusual in that the lump is small (yay!) yet the lymph node came back positive (boo!). As a result, it's been decided that I am going to start with chemo, which happens next Thursday (assuming my blood tests on Wednesday indicate everything is good to go). The tests are to determine how aggressive the chemo treatments are going to be.
It feels a little weird doing a whole post about this when I'm not the only one in this community who's going through health issues. We know Mule is going through something and NoCramps has had challenges the last few months. I know I'm also forgetting others. However, I'm doing it for two reasons:
- I have no idea how I'm going to react to chemo. I may end up flat on my back for a while, which means I won't be around.
- I need help financially. I'm really glad that I haven't had to deal with my job on top of this, however it has meant that I haven't had steady money coming in. My plans to build my business have had to be put on hold. I recently did a directing gig that put some money in the coffers and my social worker and I are exploring what I can get government-wise but that's not going to be enough considering the debt I've incurred the last couple of months.
I created a GoFundMe, which you can find here. I haven't put it out on social media yet because I'm still trying to get hold of one of my brothers to tell him personally. I also have cousins and aunts/uncle to tell. So this is not the only place I'm going to be asking for help but it is the first.
On the GoFundMe page, I've also made a list of other things that will help me that doesn't require a cash donation:
- Gift cards or items you might have lying around
- The link to my coaching/oracle reading booking page (I can definitely do online sessions before I start chemo and I'm hoping to be able to do a few a week out of each treatment)
- The link to my The Unstuck community, which I hope becomes a source of emotional support for me (it's designed to be a place of support rather than what is here, even though this is a very supportive space)
And if there are others in the community in a similar boat that need financial help, please speak up. We can funnel it through my GoFundMe - the donors can specify who it's for and I'll make sure those funds get to them.
I have no doubt that this has been triggered by my father's death. His mother died of breast cancer when he was 5 and I've always known it was a possibility. In fact, I drove myself in my 20s because I thought I'd be gone in my 40s. Yet here I turn 55 in a few weeks! During that time I've lived an interesting life with few regrets (and those I'm dealing with now). I firmly believe that the cancer is here to help me, not kill me. It's telling me that I need to reset my life: change my eating & sleeping habits, face the grief around my mother's situation, look at the resentments I feel and resolve them, put myself first and love the heck out of me unconditionally, and connect back to my creativity and the people/activities I love.
I'm asking everyone who cares for me to hold the vision that I will get through treatments as easy as possible then go into remission, never to come back out. I'm choosing to take a page out of Matt Kahn's book Everything Is Here to Help You. This is an adventure that I'm on that has lessons for me and I will come out the other end stronger in every way.
"Fuck cancer!" doesn't help me. The hardest thing so far has been having to manage others' fear and anger around this. The C word holds a lot of scary connotations. I'm choosing to treat this like any other illness and I'm asking that to be respected. Feel free to ask how I'm doing but I won't always answer. They'll be times where I don't want to focus on my treatments but just have fun. I do want to say how grateful I am that I have this place and that I'm counting on celebrating a World Series win with you all in October. #nextlevel