Sixty-five days after being diagnosed with stage 4 Uterine #Leiomyosarcoma with lung metastases, I had a phone session with an oncological nurse turned coach from the Centre of Quality of Life in the Netherlands Cancer Institute Amsterdam. Her job is to offer mental and practical support to #cancer patients.
Not a therapy session because, as she concluded, I seem to have a realistic and empowered (I keep hearing that) approach to my disease. My being a coach and, surrounded by the best of friends ( most of whom are coaches), seem to be working for me. I am finding a rhythm and balance between hope and despair, joy and sadness, moving forward and standing still. And in every step trying to find renewed purpose.
She was wondering how she fits into the support equation. I said that it was good to have someone (in her case from both disciplines), other than my friends, reflect with me on how I am doing. Somewhere in our conversation I had told her that I was not afraid of dying. From the moment I heard the news up until now I feel no fear. I have a deep desire to become a part of the earth and to be reduced to fungi (after seeing Fantastic Fungi on Netflix) whenever death comes knocking. Which is for me and some sooner than for others. To be a part of the largest most productive network on this planet.
My brother-in-law asked me if I am not thinking about heaven or hell. Hell no! Never once crossed my mind until his question. I think they are concepts that instill fear instead of love. I am and have been a person who looks for meaning and a purpose to her existence. Every job that I have had boiled down to helping others gain a deeper understanding of who they are and finding their own strength and #purpose.
My sister asked me if at this stage of my life being with my husband and son does not satisfy my need for purpose. I cannot exist without either. Purpose makes me who I am. Loving them and them loving me gives me a sense of belonging. And, one of the reasons I am loved is my sense of purpose. I have been like this as a young child and have never lost this need. It is like the blood flowing through my veins.
Sixty-six days later I am driving to my 1e scan after my major operation on January 11th, 2022 which removed my primary tumor and a full hysterectomy. To check how the disease is progressing. I realise that even though I am not afraid of dying, I am afraid of being eaten up by this dragon of a disease. Death in life, the loss of purpose.
This week’s resolutions?
– write, write ( Guyanese way of emphasising an action)
– lef it, lef it ( = leave it, also a Guyanese way of emphasising and, in this case, my white Dutch husband’s way of telling me to let go or to forget about it. More often than not referring to my family dynamics and hidden judgements.)
– be with the people I love
– no bullshit talk
– keep doing what I love
– love (me) more
Love and light