Transformation is Happening in Every Moment

When the Japanese mend broken objects,
they aggrandize the damage by filling
the cracks with gold. 
They believe that
when something’s suffered damage and
has a history it becomes more beautiful.
~ Barbara Bloom

Often we are fully aware of the moments we are in true transformation, but many times we are not.  Sometimes transformation is so subtle, it often doesn’t hit us until later.  I’ve realized, even with great setbacks (most recently I’ve been eating everything in sight and have gained weight, I know I have), I’m still transforming for the better, and in real, long-term ways.  My thoughts and beliefs about myself and the world around me are changing.  I’m striving, even in the smallest measure, to live by intention and not by habit.  And even when I fall short (which is all the time), my thoughts about falling short are different too–More of an “okay, that didn’t work” or “man, I fell off the wagon there, but it’s going to happen so get back up and keep going.”  I choose to no longer beat myself up about it or go spiraling into negative thoughts (which, the saying is true, being negative does absolutely nothing for you!  I should know as I WAS the resounding poster child for negativity!). 

We all have negative thoughts and I’m sure I will continue to have them, but I’ve learned not to let them control my life.  I’ve been made even stronger now and developed more awareness, and even gained some tools to keep me moving forward and away from the negative thinking.  Now, I look more toward how I can do things better or just differently.  Past events don’t plague me as they used to and I now see the truth behind them instead of the lies I had previously told myself.  I also see how incredibly strong I am to have lived through such tragedy and adversity throughout my life.  I used to believe so many things were my fault.  I felt so damaged or that somehow I was genetically flawed and entirely unfixable.  Well, LOL, let’s face it, I really am genetically flawed (albeit in a different way); however, aside from the real genetic mutation that has devastated my life (but that I am living and thriving through) the negative thoughts don’t have the stronghold they used to. 

As with any extreme hardship, you have two choices: (i) either you become so destroyed that it’s literally impossible to come back from; or (ii) you buck the hell up and gain an entirely new, more purposeful and positive prospective on life.  THANK GOD I think my ticket is for the later train!  And maybe I’m just not willing to be as critical on myself or about my choices anymore.  I have been beaten down and virtually decimated and now I’m working on being built back up even stronger.  As if my damaged body and emotional well-being lay motionless on a large, metal table being torn open by machines slowly working to methodically replace parts of me with stronger, smarter and more resilient ones.  Such as fire can devastate a forest, in time it brings renewal and even more, productive life.

Acceptance comes with grace and humility, and surrender brings great power if you can be still long enough to see it.  I can now see clearly the message behind the passage “[m]y grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness” because I’ve now lived it.  I am grateful for that as most people will never experience this type of revelation.

A year or two back, I started an outline of my book and recently realized I must continue that project.  It is becoming increasingly more important to me.  A few days ago I wrote a friend about potential titles.  She’d previously read initial draft passages from my book, for which I already had a title.  She encouraged me to think about sticking with the original title.  I think now that she may be right and that I’m on the right track as my current metamorphosis may play into the original title well, but more on that later. :-)

No pain, No Gain

Dag-blamitt! :-)  I’m still having significant pain issues.  Why does it take so long to heal?   I’m ready to start implementing changes and getting into a good fitness routine.  That’s hard to do when your body doesn’t yet want to cooperate.  Some things I can start implementing.  Now that I found my wallet, it’s time to revisit Trader Joe’s and get transitioned to a more macrobiotic/raw foods based diet.  I feel I’m just going to have to work through the pain, grin and bear it so to speak, as that may be the only way to heal.  I have to move the upper part of my body.  I think if I’d chosen a full mastectomy vs. skin-sparing, I wouldn’t have such pain issues.  I think the majority of the pain comes from the remaining skin bunching and adhering to the chest wall, basically scar tissue type pain.   Hopefully, I’ll get into the Star Program at Seton Hospital that my oncologist’s office has referred me to and start physical therapy to get me into better shape to start a good fitness program.

The Odd Couple

So, the pain is still fairly prominent.  Since I’ve gone back to work, I’ve resorted to popping Tylenol and Aleve.  The prescribed pain medication makes me way too sleepy.  It’s not just the pain.  It’s the totally bizarre feeling of having to get used to a hallowed, morphed chest when you’ve been used to having boobs.  Not just boobs, but D cups.  The prosthesis doesn’t really mask the oddity of this feeling either.  And it seems just as bizarre to have pain and numbness at the same time.  Since my surgeon left the breast skin envelope, it’s all adhering to the chest wall, only there’s so much that it’s bunching up in places.  She did state this would happen.  It’s most annoying at the sides where my arms brush against it.  She stated that if needed, she could go back and take off more of the breast skin that was left, but leaving it this way for now will likely give me better recon results, so as long as I keep in mind this isn’t permanent, but very temporary, I’m okay.

The good news is I found my wallet.  It was on my kitchen table in a bag of firestarters. :-)

Off to Slow Start, but Back to the Grind

Well, I’m still very much in the process of healing.  Today was my first day back at work and now it’s the end of the day and, man, I am so, so sore.  OUCH!  All I want to do is go home, take a hot shower, maybe build a nice fire and climb into the blankets sprawled across my living room sofa.

What can I say about being back at work–?  Apparently, I think it’s been pretty quiet.  Most everyone has been gone or traveling on business.  Everyone seems to be happy to have me back, although I should have tried for the rest of this week off and came back on Monday.  Oh well! :-(

I’ve been hesitant on starting a rigorous meditation/cleanse/yoga/fitness program just yet, at least not until I’m more healed from surgery.  However, today at lunch I decided to get my healthy eating plan started so I ventured to Trader Joe’s.  I spent my entire lunch hour filling my basket with yummy, organic produce, fresh fish and lean chicken.  I was so stoked on stocking my fridge tonight with all this fresh produce.  But it wasn’t meant to be.  As soon as I got to the register, I realized my wallet was missing from my purse.  No cash, lone credit card or check book in sight.  I was completely without monetary means to buy all the yumminess I’d just spent an hour loading into my cart.  Crap!  I hate it when that happens.  What a letdown!  I just hope my wallet is, like, sitting on my kitchen table or something.  Yikes!

Speaking of fitness programs though, my oncologist’s office has referred me to physical therapy to get more rehabilitated before I begin a more rigorous fitness program.  I’m sure that’s best.  After the year I’ve had, I’d like to ease into the best healthy living and fitness for me.  I think that’s the best approach if I want this all to become full-on changes for the rest of life.  Going at something full-force sometimes leads to failed results and I’m not in a place to be pressuring myself.  I need to take it smooth and easy, at least to start.  I realize I need to start setting small goals, but I’m not about to pressure myself with 3-mth, 6-mth, 1 year deadlines, at least not just yet.  I realize 2014 is all about transition for me.  That’s what I need to pray most about.  Let there be transformation, God!!!!  Tons of transformation!!!!  So much so, that no one will recognize me.  So much so, that I won’t even recognize me!!!!