There Was a Time I Thought I Was Going to Die.

Dear Woo Woo Girl:
I have been struggling with breast cancer and have been told that it has spread to my brain.
I can’t share my thoughts with anyone, although I do see a therapist but it doesn’t help. She doesn’t understand what it is like to be faced with something like this. I swing between being numb, and wanting to scream. I don’t want to die. I’m 42 and I thought I had so much time. I am married, but I don’t have kids. I have no idea what I did with my life. I kept putting things off because I thought I had so much time. I focused on my house and career. Now it’s too late.  I always wanted to see the great wall of china. Silly isn’t it? What do I do now? I know you had cancer too. Can you help? Do you think there is a god?
 Signed  Don’t know how to die.

Dear: Don’t know how to die.
I love you. I really do.
I wish I could hold you and take away all your fears and tell you everything will be fine. The darkness you are living through is heart wrenching.
There was a time I thought I was going to die.
There are no exceptions. We must all face this at some point in our lives. I have some idea how you feel and I know it is like living in a cave, surrounded by a still deep blackness that’s starts to smother you. The unknown is terrifying.
I wish I could tell you for certain that there is a God and when it is your time, and my time she will be waiting arms wide open to welcome us into warm loving arms filled with love and joy. I am not sure. But I am sure that we are part of something greater. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I reached out to God. Under the covers I prayed for help. A white hand came down from above and took all my fears away. I am convinced there is spirit, there are connections all around us, and we are but a speck within this world. Hold on to that. A Blue Jay in the tree is you, as is the tree  beside you, the ground you walk on; the person next to you. Your body may disappear but your spirit will never.

Faced with death is not like in the movies, is it?
You have to be well enough to get on that plane and take off around the world. Angry and bitter, there is no joy or sense of adventure left.  You also have to have someone to go with, and let’s face it -this kind of travel is a solitary, spiritual journey. Your heart needs to travel to a place of love and acceptance.
But if you can and do have someone, take a road trip. Get on that plane. See whatever you wish to see, that can replace the anger and fear with wonder for even a few days at a time.
Sit beside the ocean, and hold hands with your husband, your best friend, or mother.
Get as close as you can; as if you can snuggle into their skin and share a part of you with them and they with you. It will be the richest part of your day. You will find strength in connection.
Get your feelings out of you. Fear will not help you fight and when you write it down, it is released. Whether your journal is filled with anger, regrets, what if’s, it doesn’t matter. Fill it to the brim, because when it is done you will have discovered the beautiful you, and not the wasteful emotions that consume us and get in our way of truly living.

There are so many cancer survivors, and this year may not be your year. My beloved father lived five more years after being diagnosed. No-one can say for certain, so look at it as a time of clearing. Clear yourself of those emotions, people, and situations that no longer serve you. Find a spiritual practice that speaks to you and your beliefs. Talk therapy works for some, but it never worked for me. It missed the yearnings in my soul, and I found it within me. But I also worked with many shamans, and energy healers who helped me find my joy again. This may not be your path, but there is a path out there that is uniquely for you.

I cannot tell you how to live the rest of your life. I can only point to the wondrous moments you have left. Try not to give up on things. While we never know when our time is really up, we MUST know we are loved. And you are very much loved.