today marks 4 months since my mastectomy.  looking at the post-surgery picture my mom snapped (thumbs up, total cheeseball move) and one mike took last week, it’s a profound difference.  i don’t even recognize myself. in a transcendent out of body moment, part of me actually believes it is not me. 

all the cells that were beaten down, hanging on by a thread…well, they got their shit together and pulled through. everything is regenerating in my body. no, things are not back to a new normal yet, especially energetically, emotionally and mentally, but it’s a huge (like, HUGE) improvement. 

it’s also profound to be here in nebraska. i’ve never been embraced so fiercely, tenderly, authentically, and fully. i’ve never felt such a sense of belonging. if everyone felt this way, i have a sense that the world would be a different, better, whole place. in a way, this is what this group of people is trying to do with their lives’ work anyway. 

there are many things that cancer and its life-saving treatments take away.  hopes, digestive functions, dreams, vitality, breasts, brain cells, dignity, hair. it also takes away opportunities and plans. one of which was to help organize this meeting. having nebraska on the horizon has motivated and pissed me off enough to get me to today…to feel as though not everything was taken away, and there is a lot of living still left. 

i know, i know. it is sounding very dramatic. but in a way, it is. drama is by definition a story involving intense conflict and emotions. i’d say these past 10 months kinda sorta count. only, my story isn’t over yet. (not) the end.  mary pipher, tonight’s speaker and author, read us a passage from her book, the green boat “…hope is not about outcome, but about process. hope is energy created in the process of acting as if we were hopeful.”  she also shared a quote by the neuroscientist dan siegel: “the mind functions best when it feels hope.” very fitting on many levels, as i regain and establish new hopes. 

so…profound. that’s all i got. thanks to cgbd and this community and alan for the embraces. it’s still hard for me to fully wrap my head around your emotion because all i did was live. better than the alternative but i don’t think i had a choice.


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