I sat staring at two names on a piece of paper. It is hard to believe that little black lines on a piece of white paper can create such a physical sensation in my body. They are the names of the oncologist and radiologist.
I’ve been doing energy work for over 15 years. I recognize the power of energy and the interaction with our physical body and have experienced firsthand how emotions can affect health and well-being.
What has surprised me is the underlying energy of cancer. I feel it as more than just me, it is a collective energy created by everyone that is touched by this disease. A mixture of fear and urgency that sweeps you away like a flooding river.
And it is easily triggered.
I have to gather up my courage to make the calls. I will see the oncologist in just a week and the radiologist the week after. The handwriting is shaky as I write the dates and times on the same piece of paper.
But I refuse to let the energy sweep me away.
I was the first appointment in the oncologist’s office and my husband and I had the waiting room all to ourselves. I was grateful for the empty room as I got up to walk around and settle my nerves. There was artwork hanging on the walls that had been done by cancer survivors. We talked softly about different pieces while we waited.
A pleasant nurse came to get us and as we followed behind her I was surprised at how big the place was. I saw several exam rooms and many doctors and nurses gearing up to start their day. In that moment I felt the enormity of cancer.
I felt it trying to take away my power.
I took a deep breath and followed the nurse into an exam room. Blood pressure, temperature and questions about my paperwork kept me focused and allowed me to concentrate on things within my control. She left and we waited for the doctor.
He came into the room with a smile that didn’t reach his eyes and a firm handshake. He looked through my paperwork for a moment, confirmed my diagnosis as DCIS then asked when I had surgery.
“I haven’t had surgery”, I replied. “You haven’t had surgery yet?” he asked with a very perplexed look on his face. I confirmed that I has spoken with the surgeon but had not had surgery.
He put his pen away in his pocket, leaned back in his chair and said, “Then why are you here?”
I was taken aback. I thought this was how it worked. Everyone gives me their expert opinion and I make my decision.
“I want to know what my options are and what you recommend”, I blurted out, not feeling as confident as I had when I arrived.
He regained his composure and told me that I was not a candidate for chemotherapy and that because the cancer was estrogen receptive I would be on hormone therapy for 5 years to reduce my chances of reoccurrence. He examined me briefly, ordered some blood work, shook our hands and was off to see his next patient. Maybe that person was doing it the way he expected.
It was a one stop shop and the blood draw was done in the same office. As we waited in the hall for the phlebotomist I could see that the place had gotten busy. There was a constant flurry of nurses calling names and patients following them down the hall. The wait was longer than I expected and in that time I began to worry.
Let go of the worry.
One of the phlebotomists calls my name. As I follow her my worry gives way to my training and I watch as she uses a butterfly needle to take blood from my arm. I worked as a phlebotomist many years ago before getting into holistic health. I didn’t miss the irony of her using a butterfly needle.
She wraps a purple bandage tightly around my arm and sends me out to my husband. He reaches past me and pushes open the door marked exit for me to go through. As I brush past him I catch the emotion in his eyes. My heart responds just as I look out into a waiting room full of people.
I was caught off guard. I had entered that room with my heart fully open and was immediately hit with the energy of fear and uncertainty.
What came through me was not of me. I felt a huge rush of love go out and to all the people in that room. It was bigger than me and made me unsteady on my feet. He put his hand on the small of my back and guided me out to the hall.
I leaned against the wall as we waited for the elevator and tried to believe what had just happened. I was softly crying as he held my hand. His heart had also been a part of the wave that had just swept that room. Neither of us said a word.
The ding of the elevator brought me back to reality.