Life Can Take a Turn…

by Nola on July 10, 2015

signpostThis is a personal post, not really writing-related. Almost four years ago I was diagnosed with uterine cancer. I underwent a complete hysterectomy and then five months of chemo and some radiation treatments. Everything went like clockwork and I was assigned a 93% chance of full and lasting recovery. Pretty good odds. Since then I’ve been blissfully going about my life, assuming I would be fine and live to be 98 like my grandmother. That experience hardly made a ripple in my life.

Several months ago I began bleeding from — ahem — behind. A CT scan in March revealed nothing, and I was referred to a gastro-enterologist for further testing. That doc assumed I had radiation damage from the prior cancer treatment, and he scheduled me for a colonoscopy two months out, despite the fact that my symptoms were worsening. I finally had that colonoscopy three weeks ago, and the shocking diagnosis was an egg-sized malignant tumor squatting in my sigmoid colon. Not colon cancer, the biopsy showed; this tumor is full of uterine cancer cells. I understand that a recurrence like this is quite unusual.

Well, you could have knocked me over with a feather, as the saying goes. Life can take a turn in a moment from planning blissfully on 35 more years, to wondering how much time I really do have left. It’s pretty damned surreal.

I learned a lot the first time I went through this, but I like to say I am now enrolled in the Master Course. I have a strong spiritual connection, and I am assuming this disease process is a way of bringing me closer to who I was meant to be. I can relax into the experience and allow it to crack me open and become the true me, if I have the courage to do so. That’s the wonderful gift that is available in a cancer diagnosis or any other life-altering event. Already I am in metamorphosis.  Last time I kept everything to myself, determined to be strong and quiet about it. Only my family and a few close friends knew. This time, I am revealing myself. I feel it is part of my work in this Master Course to be vulnerable and accept support from others, because that is way out of my comfort zone. I have even started a GoFundMe page for the expenses that will go towards my hefty deductible. Friends and strangers alike are sending me messages of encouragement and donations, filling my heart with gratitude and my eyes with tears multiple times a day. That’s the part of this I missed the first time — letting other people in. Wow. It’s a great lesson.

Next Thursday I will be having a low anterior resection. My wonderful surgeon with be removing that tumor along with a good-sized chunk of my sigmoid colon and my rectum. Life will change even more. I will have a stoma and an ostomy bag for a few weeks while everything heals. My bowels may never function normally again. There could be complications, though typically I am a fast healer. Six weeks later there will be a second surgery to reconnect the ostomy, and then we’ll start chemo. It’s going to be intense. If I’m not here as often, now you know why. Life took a turn, and now I’m in the Master Course.

Thanks for stopping by to read this

~ Nola
“Small town, big love.”

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

susan July 11, 2015 at 7:17 am

How wise of you to share your journey, allowing others to be there for you along the way. I have been going to Denise Linn’s healing portal, sending waves of healing energy to you. I’m a fellow student in Life’s Master Course with you right now. I’m actually considering it a speed bump. It certainly makes you look at life a little differently, doesn’t it. My love and prayers are with you, Nola. Love, Susan

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Nola July 11, 2015 at 2:48 pm

Hello Susan. How nice to hear from you. I’ve been getting updates on your “journey”, and I was happy to hear you are doing better. You’re right that it’s mainly a speed bump. Once we’re over the bump we’ll resettle into new routines and almost forget how scary things were for awhile. The trick is to not forget the lessons. I will check out Denise Linn. That sounds fascinating. Thanks for sending those waves of healing to me. I will send them back to you. Wishing you all the best. Love, Nola

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Kate Spencer July 11, 2015 at 12:05 pm

Thank you for posting this. You are a wise and strong woman, and many people benefit from the experiences you share. Prayers and love sent to you, and your loved ones.

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Nola July 11, 2015 at 2:41 pm

Kate, I appreciate you reading my post and I especially appreciate your kind comment and loving support. It’s a learning experience in so many ways; I feel as if I am balancing on the sharp edge between calm composure and complete break down. That’s not the usual place I live; I’m definitely out of my comfort zone. But for now I am declaring that I’m right where I should be. That’s about all I can do. Thanks again, for writing and for your prayers.

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