Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Saturday, September 26, 2009
Two days ago I read a lovely post from Dan, in his amazing blog, Vacant mind, about his love for winter.
I was born on a cold Italian winter, does it mean anything? I have noticed that some of my friends who were born in summertime are meteoropathic: they need the sun. A cloudy or a cold day makes them feel depressed or, in the best case, low energy. I love rain, I love autumn and also winter. When I was living in Tuscany on a rainy night I would go to bed, under my feather duvet and listen to the rain symphony till I fell asleep. It is an ancestral music that touches the strings of my soul. I feel really connected to the nature. I love wearing warm clothes and going out to walk in the cold. And then come back home, in the warmth of the nest. I love cooking soups, hot chocolate, baking; all those things create the unique atmosphere of my winter. And the scents…They are not the same as in summer, obviously. We probably get the scents coming from the woods were we have lots of chestnuts, damp fallen leaves and mushrooms. Have you had a risotto with Italian porcini mushrooms (wild mushrooms)? Or polenta with bolognaise sauce and porcini mushrooms? It is an ecstasy for the palate. So when I go back to Italy I always put a bag of dried porcini mushrooms in my luggage. What make winter special to me it is also the soft hues of colours that the nature offers us. The sun it is never strong or aggressive it is there just to caress softly our faces. The trees have lost their leaves, witnessing a cycle that will never end. The sky is there, relaxed and lazy, over our heads. I can see it, I can touch it.
I can smell when it is going to snow. There is a particular scent that I can recognize and one day later it is snowing. And that is happiness. I started to ski when I was three years old and what I remember of those privileged holidays is the feeling of freedom and happiness. And the immensity of those high mountains. I felt a small speck comparing to them. I loved skiing so much, even being that little, that I used to launch myself down the slopes without the ski sticks (very bothering accessory…) straight down to the end of the slope. No hat, no gloves only the cold wind in my hair. Once I decided to go on my own, because I knew the slopes very well (I was an experienced skier of 5 years old) so off I went, enjoying the freedom and the mountains. I actually shook off my father, who was in charge of me. He was not really happy. Then I got lost, because that is what happens to a 5 years freedom-seeker skier. Everybody was really worried but, I don’t remember how, I managed to find my way back. It was dark, the experienced ski trainers (coach? teacher?) were looking for me with torches, the wolves were howling (yes, there were wolves on those mountains) my mother was frozen desperate holding my sister’s hand, at the bottom of the slope. Then I thought what is happening? Why all those people are here? Oh here there is mum and Betty, and dad. Why is he walking up and down so nervously? So I launched myself down at the highest speed I could. I don’t remember being punished or reproached in a bad way. I was happy to be back to my family and have the sweetest hot chocolate. Probably the reproached one was my father how could you “lose” you child? But please find me a father who never got distracted and lost his child at the playground or in the supermarket. This is another topic for a future post.
Love & rainbow
Thursday, September 24, 2009
I wrote this poem on the 19 July 2008, long before I thought I could write this blog. I found it today, in a hidden page of a notebook and decided to share it with You.
Burn this candle.
And think of me.
And thinking of me, you will see my eyes.
And in my eyes you will see the mountains
The oceans, the sky.
You will ear the sound of the waves
Your mother’s laughter
The first breath of a child
The seagull’s cry.
And then you’ll see the eyes
Of all those before us
And those who will be after us.
And in their eyes you will see yours.
Because yours and mine are ONE.
We are all one in the Universe.
We are all pure energy.
Love & rainbow
Tuesday, September 22, 2009
This week is NAVARATRI. I will quote my teacher’s Vani words: “NAVA means nine, and also fresh, new. RATRI means giving solace or rest. TRI means three. There three types of problems that may affect a person: physical, mental, spiritual. Navaratri means the nine nights that give you rest from all these three types of problems.
The nine days represent the nine months spent by the baby in her mother’s womb, that is to say the evolution of the consciousness to a heightened awareness.
In life there are positive and negative qualities that affect us. Navaratri represents how the negativity can be conquered by the inherent positive qualities in an individual so that one emerges as a divine being. The Navaratri celebrations are done for the benefit of all the humanity. It is done with the intention that all people should be happy”.
If you meditate or follow a spiritual path, this week all your practises are more intense and deep. There is more connection with the Divine in the Universe.
One year and a half ago I have started to meditate after having read how good it is for healing. I did not know what to do, I hadn’t bought any book about it nor done a course yet. I just stretched out in bed, early morning and closed my eyes. The expert ones know perfectly that the optimal posture to meditate is being seated crossed legs or in a chair or on a meditation bench. But lying down in bed is more for couch potatoes than for spiritual seekers. Well I was unaware of all this. So my very first meditation was very relaxed. After a while I was absolutely so relaxed that I felt weightless, sinking in my comfortable mattress but not feeling my body; then I started to see lots of colours like waves of coloured clouds just showing off in front of my closed eyes. The colour range went from all the shades of yellow and orange with the permanent presence of a violet background. Wow…it is better than what I could expect of course my mind was very active with enthusiastic comments for the show going on, which tells everybody that I was not really meditating. But those were my energy’s colours. I think I lazed in this bed-meditation for a while and then fell asleep. When I woke up I was thrilled but also relaxed. I was thinking I have meditated, I have meditated and felt like repeating the experience. I repeated it, till one day a dear friend of mine suggested we should do a proper meditation course. We thought we could go with our husbands and learn altogether. So she got in touch with an old meditation teacher, very academic and experienced man, who taught her meditation 15 years earlier. The course was quite expensive so I pictured myself in a very “Zen” clean place, with waterfall sounds, birds chirping outside, surrounded by nature and people very fit and dressed in white. To my surprise the course was late in the evening in a scary area of the city, in a stinky old ram-shackling flat that made us feel the main characters of a horror movie. Johannesburg can be very dangerous. Our teacher was weird. Oh he is really really weird. After the introductory talk that lasted till midnight (he was the only one to talk, not bad for a professional meditator) he asked us why we wanted to learn meditation. I said I wish to meditate to improve my healing. Looking into my eyes he said“ don’t worry, if you meditate regularly you ‘ll survive slightly longer than what the doctors expect you to live” Bloody hell, does this old wizard know that I am not going to die for the next 100 years? So, content with the thousands information he had given us we scheduled our first meditation session. Then I asked my friend how old is he? She said “he must be 85 now”. Before leaving she told him “You look so great, Peter” “oh thanks my dear I have just turned 70!” I ran away to burst out with laughter. We spent our way back talking over the cell phones about the evening and I really split my sides laughing. I felt so good afterwards!
So we did the course. Once a week from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. for about 6 weeks. Everything was new and bizarre. This man chanting in Sanskrit without warning us oh my gosh what is he doing? The rituals before the meditation, the whole atmosphere. But it was the beginning of something that would become a daily practise for me. Once my friend’s husband was so relaxed in the meditation that he fell asleep and started snoring loudly close to me. We, the girls, tried not burst out with laughter, unsuccessful attempt, to which the teacher reacted trying to make his Sanskrit chanting louder.
We really had fun. But this experience, unforgettable for many things, planted the seed to develop a spiritual path in our lives.
Monday, September 21, 2009
Few days after my Journey session I went for my ultrasound. The tumour that had shrunk at the size of a peanut before the session, was not there anymore. I was overwhelmed with joy but somehow I was expecting it. I could not diagnose myself but I COULD FEEL.
So, both my oncologist and I cheered up of the successful start. In my mind I was healed. I had completely trusted my doctor and the treatments and I felt I was done. End of the story. The oncologist, on the contrary, wanted me to go for surgery, just to make sure. What? There is nothing left, why do I need to go for surgery? I had basically to make up my mind and choose between mastectomy and lumpectomy. I felt that every time I was talking to the doctor I was becoming unsure, full of doubts. As soon as I could be alone, thinking on my own, walking in the nature, being with my children and friends, I was fine and not at all uncertain about my health conditions. I liked the support I had from the “science” but I did not like the doubts, numbers, statistics they wanted to feed me with. So I decided to take some time to think about the next step to undertake.
I think I was fearless since the beginning of my cancer adventure, but I was not brave enough to quit the treatments. The doubts had penetrated somehow into my mind. Probably this was my left-brain judging my capacity to contribute to the healing process. I gave myself time then I decided to go for the lumpectomy. Talking to my wise GP I can’t resolve this dilemma, I feel I am not accepting phase 2 of treatment she told me “why don’t you use your mind to avoid any side effect from all the treatments, the same way you did with the chemo? You can have both with no harm” I started thinking that probably this was the best solution: I pulled myself together and tried focus again on Life and its positive sides not giving energy to the “idea” of the surgery. So I went to the hospital for my lumpectomy. The following day I was out, feeling good (I only took the pain killers once) and the pathology result confirmed that there was nothing in what they cut off, not even scar tissue. That is really my pink, healthy cave… My hair was starting to grow, thin and fluffy like the babies’ ones, a simple sign that my body was there with all its power and wisdom. I don’t ever have to lose trust in my body’s wisdom. Then it was time to face the third phase of the treatment, that is to say the radiations. I had heard lots of negative things on this treatment: fatigue, skin irritation and blisters, local pain and so on so I did not know exactly what to expect. I was upset when I knew I had to go for it every day for 6 weeks why so many? But that was the protocol; the radiologist told me “there are no studies, at present, on women who have done less radiations than this. That's it”. I booked the first one for the following month. Once again I gave myself the time to digest it. In those periods of thinking I have never gone on Internet to get information, statistics, people’s stories. I did not need to feed my mind with negative stuff. What was happening to me was MY STORY, my journey, and it was not comparable with anybody else. I was aware there are more successful people than me, there are people struggling and dying although doing their best numbers and statistics are not for me. But I was certain that I did not want to feed my cells with bad thoughts. I have always FELT at the very core of my soul having answers when I needed them, not looking for anything external to me. I have been blessed to live this experience and being able to lift up the level of my awareness in life.
So I decided I would spend my radiation sessions visualising my immune system protecting me from the side effects. The sessions lasted only few minutes: I used to close my eyes, relax and meet Andy, the foreman of my immune system, directing the action of all the small beings populating my body. I must say it was fun: every day, during the session I visualised that they were spraying cooler foam inside my breast. It was a nice, relaxing, an every day ritual. I had read about the power of visualisation in THE JOURNEY so I thought I had nothing to lose in trying. For the first 5 weeks I did not have side effects at all; the last one my skin was externally pink like after a sunburn but according to the medical staff was nothing serious and it did not last long. And never ever got physically tired.
Still I could not have been so strong and positive alone. I was surrounded by LOVE and loving people.
Saturday, September 19, 2009
In this last part of my journey I understand the meaning of having met my father, who passed away in 2001. It is the amazing end of this incredible session that lasted in total not more than 2 hours.
The eight of us decide to leave the heart. We go up to a metallic stairs, in a single file. The stairs is very steep and leads us very high to a door. I open it and…there is only void, the sky is blue, we cannot go back. We can only jump into this open space. Holding hands, we jump into the void, in the infinite blue sky. It is fantastic, I cannot really describe it, we are flying together, weightlessness in the infinite. We are not scared, it is absolutely beautiful. Free from our bodies, fears, thoughts. We only feel joy.
After a while we land softly on a flourishing green grass where we find a light aircraft. My father is silently waiting for us at the aircraft’s door. He looks very pale and he’s wearing white clothes. The aircraft takes off flying through the most stunning landscape I have ever seen: luxuriant nature, waterfalls, birds, animals. It’s so beautiful that I am speechless, I only FEEL the beauty surrounding me, my nose glued at the aircraft’s window. I am overwhelmed when I realise that my father is piloting. I cannot hold back my sobs of joy, shaken by the deep meaning of what I see and perceive.
Everything is clear, no words are needed.
The small aircraft lands softly on a golf course; we get out one at the time, silently. Still in silence I turn myself to look at my father, one last time, he is near the aircraft. I feel a sharp pain in my heart for this ineluctable separation.
We go walking through a rocky path that leads us to a Club House: there we find our shuttle and I understand it is time to go back. I hug my mother, my daughters Clara and Eva, my young sister and me and we leave. In a second we are back to the dark place where there is the door with striking light behind. We get off the shuttle, going to open that door again. A strong sunlight and a pleasant breeze overcome me, I need to know where we are. It is High Mountain, witness of Life and History, so majestic that I feel to be nothing and everything with the Universe. I look around; we are very high, only surrounded by mountains and open space. I am in pure bliss, I could stay like that forever. There is no time, no body, and no mind. Only energy. PURE ENERGY. I don’t know for how long I live the intensity of that moment, I feel I am part of Life with all my cells, in a Life vortex that will always BE. When I start feeling the fresh grass under my feet and look at the beauty of the nature around me, I see that there is a cableway waiting for us. We take it to travel through the open space that takes us down. And there, we find our husbands and children waiting for us anxiously.
And I can only feel LOVE knowing that my journey has come to an end.
Friday, September 18, 2009
In this part of my Journey, we land into my heart. It is a very strong experience because there I meet important people in my life.
Our shuttle takes us somewhere else, but I do not know what to expect. I get off warily, I have got the feeling to be at a King’s court. I look around and see a huge heart that dominates majestically this place. It is beautiful, red, with a white vein that runs through it like an upside down V. Like my small pebble, my fellow traveller. I feel moved because I can see it beating. My sister and I get closer to see it better; the more we get closer, the more curious we are. It is huge, imposing, rhythmically beating just in front of me. I feel very small and have a feeling of deep respect: I know I am in the presence of a King. I want to see what it looks like so, calling my sister I hold her hand and we jump inside the heart. I am speechless: there is psychedelic lights and disco dance music of the 80s. We start to laugh and dance in unrestrained way, like two young girls for the first time in a disco. It ‘s an awesome feeling, the ground is so soft and swinging it feels like being on a water mattress. We start jumping high like on a trampoline, and we laugh. And more we laugh the more we jump. Betty is really cool. We jump, we fall, we get up, we tumble turn, we jump again and we laugh inside this crazy heart that gives us such a fun! Exhausted but happy we sit on the soft ground, cross-legged in front of each other. We stay still for a while, just looking into each other’s eyes and communicating with our hearts. I feel somebody’s presence and turning my face I see two young girls, smiling quietly next to us. I look at them but I know who they are. I recognize them, it is us when we were children. Suddenly a lightning in my mind: Betty the princess no.2, the one always responsible and mature, the one of “work before pleasure”, the shorter and chubby one, a talent who does not win, the one who hasn’t got fighting temper. I feel a terrible pain and silent tears start rolling down my cheeks: I can feel, in every cell of my body what my sister, as a child, feels. I am her, in every breath and every glance. And I understand. I have never thought about it, why? Why I have never realised how difficult it could be for her to have a sister who is often first? I did not want this, I did not want to hurt her. I did not want differences between us. The two of us children are smiling and quiet. They are playing together. They are pretty; I can see they love each other a lot. So true love is stronger than difference, than sorrow, than shade. I now understand that maybe I was the favourite one and my heart feels a sharp pain. I turn myself and I see my youngest daughters, Clara and Eva; they are playing nicely with the two of us children. I understand, I understand, I understand everything. And on the other side I see my parents. We are eight people sitting in circle. We communicate without talking. But it is time to leave the heart.
Tuesday, September 15, 2009
The second part of the Journey takes us into my right hand, probably because at the time it was sore for a drip’s needle that had come out of the vein, during my first chemo, making my hand swollen and bluish. Then it takes us into my womb.
All of a sudden we find ourselves in a very messy place: I see lots of wooden cases on the floor that seem the explosive’s ones of the pirates. I can’t help thinking that I wouldn’t be amazed to meet Jack Sparrow. We get our torches again to see better and I see four strings suspended in the air, they could be a musical instrument’s strings but they are huge. Inside, a muddy green liquid is flowing and a big knot blocks the second string. I have the feeling I am hearing voices from far; I suddenly realise that it’s the white specks’ sound. They are trapped and want to flow freely. My sister and I feel that we need to do something to help, but what exactly? We look intensely into our eyes and, hugging each other we softly put our cheeks over the knot to warm it up. It is a tender hug, a hug of warmth and love. We stay like that, timeless and thoughtless, for a while. When we lift our cheeks, the knot is undone; the white specks are flowing free and happy again. We look around, the feeling is that everything is all right, tidy, maybe it is time to keep on with our journey.
The shuttle is inviting us with its flashing golden button. I know I still need to visit and see many places. I push the button and one second later we find ourselves in a place that seems to be the Moon or a planet. The ground is smooth with some prominences that look like mushrooms. I am suddenly attracted by something, which is a silver rocky wall and seems to be endless…we get closer to see better and touch it: it is not a porous surface but hard to the touch. We touch it and touch it and touch it again, we need to know where we are. Then we look up for the edge of the wall and we realise that there is a round opening above our heads that connects us with the beautiful open sky. It is a wonderful sensation, like breathing only pure air, like to be born. From the round opening comes a beam of light, it is beautiful and unexpected, a true gift. We slowly go under the beam and, softly it catches and lifts us from the ground in a timeless cosmic dance. We have no body, there is no weight, only this circular slow rhythm of the dance. We stay like that, suspended in the air, for a while. It is only pure joy, we are soaked with the Light, feeling the Life energy. After indefinite time, the beam put as back on the floor. I cannot describe my feelings: it is only Life, Energy, Happiness. We leave for another unknown destination, my Journey is not finished yet.
Monday, September 14, 2009
The Journey is basically a visualisation session where you go inside your body and see what’s there. It is a guided the experience where the practitioner is very important. There is no hypnosis or other techniques, only closing your eyes, relax and answer to the practitioner ‘s questions. It is a very natural way to release blockages stored inside one’s memory. Letting go is one of the most difficult things for a human being but it is also the way to feel free. Once we let go of old painful or bothering issues, we are on the path of FREEDOM. This is my Journey session, the way I recorded it on my Italian journal, about a month after I had it. I will write dividing it into several parts but it all happened in one session. The Journey started inside my breast...
I am breathing deeply, beating a time that is timeless, ancestral. I am alone with myself and the familiar shell of my body. I enjoy feeling my relaxed limbs and the stream of Life in me. I suddenly realise that all around me it is dark, except for some candlelights along the stairs. I start being curious and go down. It’ s like if I am looking for something that is waiting for me. I am wearing a white linen nightshirt but I don’t feel cold, I feel I am in a familiar place. I start going down the stairs, slowly, observing the candlelights on the ground. The stairs seem to be endless, each time I reach a place, I could carry on going down. I stop at a landing where the stairs divide in two: one goes even downer and it is darker; the other one on my left leads to a door that gives off an extraordinary light. I feel I want to open that door because behind it there is something or someone waiting for me. I open it and find my sister Betty smiling and warmly hugging me. We look at each other intensely, communicating without talking. Our hearts don’t need words. We get onto the open shuttle that is waiting for us, it has comfortable seats but what attracts me is a big golden flashing button. I push it and we take off at the speed of light. We land into a cave whose inside walls are smooth and pink; I feel it is a quiet place, healthy. We take the torches from the shuttle to see well: everything is pink and incredibly smooth but a big grey stone that looks like a bench. We get closer, I feel very curious, Betty follows me; we feel like being on holiday in Wonderland. The grey stone is porous like pumice; I look at it attentively then I stretch out on it. I like it, it is fun, so we both start to play: I behave like a movie star, she takes pictures of me. We feel cheerful and thoughtless. We decide to go somewhere else but all of a sudden I want to have a last look at the stone. I go back approaching it with my torch. I can see that underneath the stone’s surface there is multitude of white specks that move franticly everywhere trying to get out of it. Betty and I move away and sit down still staring at the stone. Suddenly the stone starts sparkling from the left corner; it looks like fireworks that become bigger and bigger till it covers the whole stone. When it ends there is no more stone left but only a pebble that has a white vein that looks like an upside down V. How cute, I think, putting it into my pocket before getting into the shuttle. We have enjoyed this first stop so we decide to carry on our trip, trusting our feelings. I push the golden button again.
Copyright 2009 Lorenza Verdini
Sunday, September 13, 2009
Thursday, September 10, 2009
For my birthday, I received a wonderful present, from my friend Ana who is one of the Angels’ Gang (as I like to call my dearest friends). I got a book. I love books, I am crazy for books, I like the smell of paper and the feeling of getting lost in a bookshop where time stops going by. I love people writing, I love being one of those people. The book is THE JOURNEY by Brandon Bays. Till that time I was still reading only in Italian, being lazy about pushing myself into a deeper relationship with the idiom of my host country. So I got the book, cuddled it like a baby and started to read it.
I was about to break down the wall that was still keeping me apart from a new world, the world of alternative medicine.
Till that moment I had no clue of what alternative medicine or mind healing was; I was not into it at all, as I was coming from a "traditional thinking" environment. But from the very beginning of the book I understood that I had started a journey into the endless possibilities of my mind and soul Oh my God, but this is what I am doing…this is what I am feeling…I am helping my body to heal…
I was receiving the normal treatments but I could be above them, above the side effects, above any fear or doubts. I was above everything only because I was deeply INTO LIFE. Being into life meant to release old blockages that were stored into my cells memory. Into my soul. I had, like most of us, old unsolved issues, which were contributing to build up my daily unhappiness and feeling of lack.I was naturally FORGIVING whoever or whatever was to forgive. Reading THE JOURNEY was a revelation: I started to know about our cells and their “memory”, about their amazing working process realizing that we are more than numbers but pure energy. So the Journey, according to Brandon Bays experience, is a pure technique that can help people to unblock negative energy stored in our cells' memory. She was very close to Deepak Chopra’s cells’ theory described in his amazing book QUANTUM HEALING. I read both books and carried on putting together the puzzle's pieces. The more I read, the more the whole picture was clear to me. It was magic, I cannot describe my feelings otherwise. I felt like Colombo finding a new world but what really touched me was that I had already done, spontaneously, what was described in the book. I am so blessed. So, I decided to go for a Journey session, which is basically a visualisation technique. I found a fantastic Journey Practitioner and booked my appointment. This was few days before the ultrasound that had to confirm the tumour size. I had already felt that the lump was smaller but I could not “quantify” how much it had shrank. When I went for the session, the lump felt to me like a small nut. From a golf ball to a small nut, not bad at all, in two months time.
So I had the session. I need to write a special post to describe it because it has been an unforgettable experience. Now I just want to say that few days later, when I went to have my ultrasound done, there was nothing left. There is nothing left, oh my God, Adolph is not there anymore. In that right moment, with the doctor speechless with joy I experienced something so deep and indescribable: I was communicating with my body I am in touch with my inner Wisdom, with the Source of Life. So, off I went, deeply moved, to give the good news to my family and friends.
Saturday, September 5, 2009
I am not going to write about my feelings while I was doing the chemotherapy, I am sure that there are thousands of blogs describing carefully the side effects, the pain, the fear, the doubts. I just want to write about what happened into my mind.
I think that the first very important step was ACCEPTANCE. I never felt guilty of having cancer, never thought once why me? I took it the way it was, one drop in the ocean, accepting it had happened. This feeling was good because it enhanced my humbleness towards Life. I do not own my life, I can only honour it. Accepting to have cancer helped me in LETTING IT GO and MOVE ON.
Moving on from cancer was basically the conscious choice NOT TO GIVE IT ENERGY and it happened in a very spontaneous way. I never went on Internet to research information, I did not need to make my mind busy with cold scientific numbers: I asked all the information I needed to my GP whom I trusted completely. I was asking myself a simple question what is the real reason why I am having cancer? I was not questioning my diet, my life-style, my habits, I was very healthy: I don’t smoke, I don’t drink, I don’t eat junk food and as the oncologist said I was not the right candidate for breast cancer. But I was not happy. I was not truly happy. I was Mrs.Fixit unsatisfied since too long. So I kept on asking myself what is the message behind this cancer? The more I thought about it, the more I started to get answers that I could not get from any scientific texts or statistics. The answers were coming from my Consciousness, from the inner Wisdom deep inside myself. I was not realising that I was doing a very powerful approach, only listening to my Source.
So I got the answer this cancer is here to teach me COURAGE not fear; to teach me to LOVE LIFE not to live in fear of death.
It was as simple as breathing, as simple as laughing. I understood that it was my wake up call, the dynamics of my body cells had changed to communicate with me I need to trust my body, I need to listen to it, I don’t have to fear my body. So I started very naturally to focus on Life, the blessing of being alive, healthy oh yes, I am healthy, of having four marvellous children and my husband showing me his love and support. I started to live in the MOMENT I AM ALIVE NOW, I am alive and happy now. Whatever happens tomorrow nothing can take this joy away from me. I understood that fear is only a projection in the past or in the future because we never fear things happening in the present: what if the treatment doesn’t work? What if I react to the therapy, what if the oncologist is wrong? What if I am not the right stats and so forth, wasting LIFE ENERGY, losing the right focus.
This awareness was so powerful that I started to feel deeply connected with the Universe, so not only with my family and friends but with everybody and everything. I wanted to be outside in the nature because I was feeling the connection with it so I used to do long walks almost every day, I was happy to share the simple daily life with my family and I was feeling good. I had four chemotherapies, the most effective but also most aggressive type for the body (it destroys ANY cell, regardless if they are good or not) and I was not having side effects besides being bald. Remember I focused on the fact that some people don’t have side effects…
When I started to lose my hair, I was uncomfortable because although I had been honest with the kids on the therapy's side effects, it was traumatic to touch my hair and having my hand full of it. So I decided to get rid of the "problem", I could not afford to be stressed. I bought a trimmer and on the 1st of January I called my kids to shave me. It was the best intuition I could have. The small ones really enjoyed the job, they were part of the action, so I was not losing my hair, they were shaving me, which made a big difference in their mind. Then my husband also asked them to shave him, so we were the same. They never felt I was different or ugly, they accepted bandanna mum and at home I never wore something to hide my baldness.
Being bald has been a very interesting experience because I was always very critical with my thin straight hair, so the Universe thought it was time to make me change attitude. I found out I have a beautiful perfectly round head with a big mole on it, and I liked it so much that I was very comfortable with my new clean look; once I rushed out of the garage to go fetch the kids from school that I forgot to wear my bandanna! I did not care about what people could think I just carried on living a normal life, enjoying it at its fullest.
I lost my hair all over my body and instead of feeling ugly felt lucky you see? that is how it is going to be when you are an old granny, so you know, you are prepared I mean I could turn every single thing I was experiencing into a positive and enriching one.
Once somebody asked my youngest daughter “how is your mum?” she replied, “fine, she is not sick, she has got only cancer”. She was only 5 and a half at the time. The kids could see I was fine, I was happy.
With the feeling of happiness to be alive and fulfilled, after the second chemo I started to feel that Adolph was shrinking. I did not dare believing in what I was witnessing but it was really shrinking. After the third chemo the oncologist, exulting for the way I was reacting to the treatment, decided I will have the last treatment in 3 weeks time then I would do an ultrasound to check the size of the tumour and from there we would take our steps.
Soon it would be my birthday and other fantastic things were about to happen.
Wednesday, September 2, 2009
The verdict came 36 hours after the biopsy. Everything stated in the report was so easy to understand “carcinoma invasive, malignant cells blah blah blah “ exactly the same words as in Italian, I did not even have to bother with the language. Funny enough, as soon as I had confirmation of my forebodings, I started to let all the tension go. My GP was fantastic; she did not waste one second in organizing the communication with the oncology for the first important tests to do why am I supposed to do X rays and abdominal ultrasound? And blood tests? The first step was to make sure that the bloody stuff was ONLY in the breast why should it be somewhere else? I got a little tense in going for those tests because I hadn’t take into account that I could be worse than what I thought. I still remember the doctor at the ultrasounds, asking me why I was doing the test and me, replying in a low voice breast cancer… it sounded so unnatural to me…But it was time for good news: my abdominal area was clear as well as my chest area so I went out of the hospital exulting in my heart that the bloody stuff hadn’t spread all over my body.I sent my doctor an sms all tests negative, it is localised. One – zero for me: the match starts in my favour; let’s play it to win! I had to wait till Monday to see the oncologist so I decided to name my cancer Adolph and it is not difficult to relate it to the history of 60 years ago (I apologize with all the good Adolph in the world). I wanted to have the feeling of a face-to-face relationship with it I know where you are, I can touch you and I don’t care about you. I am stronger that you, you won’t harm me, I don’t care about you. I am not going to give you ANY ENERGY. I will talk again about this matter of not giving energy to it as it came out spontaneously but it has been the KEYSTONE in my amazing recovery.
We went to meet our distinguished oncologist, the best in South Africa, such a straight person that he will only tell the patient the truth about the chances of making it or not. He told me “just in time because the tumour is placed in the most dangerous sector of the breast if it had spread in the area there would not be treatment to try” You see Adolph? The Lucky Star is protecting me! Two-zero the score “but I can treat you”. At that right moment I gave all my trust in his hands knowing, by instinct, that I will be playing, probably, the last game of my life. I had one chance; I wanted to play my cards well. But I felt BLESSED because I still had that chance. I remember him listing me all the side effects of the chemotherapy that I was about to start in 72 hours time, ending with “but there are very few people who don’ t have side effects, except from baldness few people don’t have side effects, few people don’t have side effects, few people don’t have side effects… resounded in my mind why should not I be in those few people? I want to be one of those few people. We scheduled my first session of chemo for the following Thursday, in the treatment room. I still felt out of place but the reality of things was slowly penetrating into my consciousness. I looked around and saw many young people with their drip on and suddenly I realised something so crucial I am an ORDINARY story; I can only make the difference with my attitude. From that moment on I felt and decided I would have the right attitude.