Friday, October 17, 2014

More Treatment

I saw an oncologist on Tuesday of this week, and she said that because I'm responding so well to the treatment, and tolerating it so well, also, that they are considering another twelve rounds of chemo as soon as the present batch is complete.

I'm feeling fine with that prospect. For me, chemo has not been the horror story I had been led to expect, from all the reading and listening to stories about "My aunt had cancer, and when she was in chemo it was awful, it aged her terribly, she was sick all the time, etc etc."

In the last year or so, I have noticed that whenever some people find out that one is facing a procedure, they will immediately begin reciting every horror story  that they, or anyone they've talked to has ever heard.  I was hugely fortunate, in that a friend in program whom I love and admire, had undergone one of the same major operations I was facing, and she had me over to her place to talk all about it, show me the scars, explain what to expect, what might hurt, what might be an improvement over the results of the first operation, and a few other things.

When I got back home that afternoon, Robert took one look at me, and said, "You look much better." I told him that this time with my friend had removed about 80% of the fear I'd had about that particular part of the second operation. And it has proven to be quite true, it's nothing as negative as some told me it would be, and it is a relief after the results of the first operation, which was most definitely not a success.

Had I not had her experience strength and hope, I would have been much more frightened, and some studies have seemed to suggest that the better of a headspace one is in before a procedure, the better one is able to deal with it, and any side effects.

One oncologist told me that she thought that chemo was about 10% medical, and 90% mental. I find that I have been able to go through it with gratitude, peace and joy, for my life, and time with my beloved, wonderful Robert.

When I was still so upset about the call from my ex, and obsessing as to how he had managed to secure my unlisted number, I called up my first sponsor here, and asked if I could come to talk? She immediately and warmly agreed, and I went to spend an hour and a half with her wisdom and support. When we hugged goodbye before I left, we were both a little choked up and teary. We have talked a few times about her unfortunate comment, and my over-reaction to it, but have put it down to just a misunderstanding, and agreed this time to resume working through the new 4th Step workbook, "Reaching For Personal Freedom"

We had barely started with it, when the misunderstanding took place, but I find that I miss the meetings with her, talking and laughing. My new sponsor is a great help to me, and I enjoy and appreciate her enormously. That doesn't mean I can't also enjoy and appreciate my first sponsor, and spend time in her company. We may not consider it a sponsor-sponsee relationship, but I'm thinking that it's in name only - the sharing of experience, strength and hope is all still there.

Knowing that I have people to whom I can turn, during difficult times in my life, has been a blessing for which I am continually, deeply grateful. And I truly believe that the practise of gratitude transforms our lives in ways we cannot imagine when we first start to try to work it.


  1. It sounds like you have some good support and a good attitude. Too bad people always want to talk about the negative. We rarely remember positive outcomes. I wanted to tell you that youtube has a lot of positive healing meditation music that might soothe you.

  2. It was difficult for me in the beginning to find a sponsor, they all were busy or some other matter....
    Part of my lesson was not to take it personally and continue to reach out with detachment. Eventually I did find a sponsor and she was there for me when I needed it and even when I didnt... and then things began to unfold that didn't work for me.
    She was always late like 2 hours late...If I didn't speak up folks told me I wasnt working a program. We parted ways and I have a new sponsor. But I still look back able to see the parts that did work for me with my first sponsor....this is a big
    lesson for me there are parts that work and parts that dont work. Looking at what works is progress, letting the old way sail out to sea....This doesn't mean I accept her behavior.

  3. I surely miss my first sponsor. But I have him with me in memory and his words of wisdom are still in my head. Glad that you are doing okay after the treatment.

  4. Sorry for asking for clarification two times and you don't have to post this question if I'm not reading it right... You wrote:

    "One oncologist told me that she thought that chemo was about 10% medical, and 90% medical."

    Medical two times or 90% "mental?"

    I am very ill myself with chronic fatigue and more, and have been wondering how much of this is also "mental", but nothing I have done has worked yet. Wish I could find a sponsor where I live in Central America, but yours and other blogs and online sites are helping a lot. Thanks again for your wonderful blog.

    1. You have a sharp eye - I've changed it, and thanks for letting me know about the mistake.
      take care,

  5. You wrote: "I find that I have been able to go through it with gratitude, peace and joy, for my life, and time with my beloved, wonderful Robert."

    Thank you for bringing up "the practice of gratitude." To see the challenges you are facing "in gratitude" gives me hope for us all. Doing a google search right now to find out more about "gratitude." Gracias, amiga, Amen.


  6. TAAAF: Can you tell I used to be a teacher? And a perfect codependent too, eh? Where do I find out more about the "practice of gratitude?" I'm very interested in what you said about how it changes the longer you do it, and that in the beginning you might not know how much you are actually benefitting." Or words to that effect.

    I know I have plenty to be grateful for, but the hurts and pains and losses seem to overwhelm whatever "good" I have in my life. But I have to make this mental change or I won't survive, so am going to try and find out how to "practice gratitude" and continue to "love them from a distance." That's the hard part, trying to do this at once.

  7. You wrote: "One oncologist told me that she thought that chemo was about 10% medical, and 90% mental. I find that I have been able to go through it with gratitude, peace and joy, for my life, and time with my beloved, wonderful Robert."

    I hope you decide to write MORE about how you are/were able to go through chemo with peace and gratitude in your life! This seems impossible to me. Yet you have done it! I can't tell you how wonderful it is to read your words, right from "the trenches."

    Gracias, Amen.

    "The winds of grace blow all the time; all we need do is set our sails."

    Dear God please show us The Way.