Radio Cancer

As usual, the dawn is breaking when my eyes flutter and open softly, taking in the grid of the window panes before me. I can tell by the shadows and masked objects in the room that it’s time to greet the day. Before that thought is complete, my heart begins to beat faster, begging for my attention. My thoughts start slowly, then begin to race, as the unbidden fear that has become my companion emerges from it’s slumber.

Radio Cancer starts to play in the distance, as if to say “I’m still here…” It’s changed it’s form in the aftermath of treatment; no longer a tumor that can be seen growing inside me, it’s a state of mind that I fight with tightly-fisted hands and all the will I can muster. Or not…I often do the opposite, surrendering to this new reality of hard edges and cold surfaces and the icicles hanging outside that have come to represent me, no longer flowing with life’s rhythm, but frozen in a state of mind that is delicate, brittle and vulnerable.

There is grace in my surrender. I’m not giving up the fight, but allowing a force greater than I am to take over as I let go. There is kindness in my surrender. I stop scolding myself when my feelings paralyze me and I lose hours and days that are so precious to me, especially since I’ve become a survivor. There is hope in my surrender. I know from experience that a challenge can seem impossible, but if I have faith and love myself right now, imperfect as I may be, miracles can occur.

I’m fighting a new battle born from cancer, which dropped a seed into my consciousness before it left. When I wasn’t looking, the seed sprouted into a thought, “I am not safe.” So now, beginning my day includes the ritual of morning meditation, when, for a few minutes I feel peaceful, protected and calm. With practice, I know a new seed will grow and the fear will eventually fade, as time passes and sweet comfort takes root. Radio Cancer may still inhabit a place deep inside me, but someday soon it’s frequency will fade and the music of my spirit will begin to play, stronger and sweeter than ever.

Dedicated to Melanie St. Ours

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