As a kid, I loved the book “Fantastic Voyage” by Isaac Asimov. Maybe you remember it or the movie: “Four men and a woman are reduced to a microscopic fraction of their original size, sent in a miniaturized atomic sub through a dying man’s carotid artery to destroy a blood clot in his brain. If they fail, the entire world will be doomed.”
I no longer recall why the world would be doomed if the mission wasn’t successful, but I remember the idea of being inside the body and the fantastic and terrifying voyage that it was. Somehow this was brought to mind when
I had a check up at the Duke Sarcoma Center this past week.
I had finished with treatment sometime in the summer of 2013, and since then, I have been going to Duke every few months. Every time I go, I have a chest x-ray to check for metastasis. I have a choice as to how to handle the inevitable stress that accompanies each visit. Sometimes I am calm, aware of my breath, knowing I am taken care of no matter what the results are. Sometimes I am more nervous, concerned about some new unexplained lump, or what the x-ray will show. Sometimes I navigate more gracefully than others.
Along the way, I have experienced incredible kindness on the part of the imaging department and the Sarcoma Clinic staff. There was the time I was in such fear, I was having a meltdown, crying through the x-ray. An angel named Lorenzo was the tech doing my x-ray. I had one of the those moments where I am seeing a person, and hearing words, but feeling the winds and energy of pure Grace. We never know when Spirit, Grace will reach through the veil and touch us in a way we cannot miss. And that day, Lorenzo (who is now a supervisor) did just that. He comforted me, guided me, reassured me; he exuded love. And all was well, as it has been these five years.
So when I saw my doctor last week, he told me we could consider this my five year mark, and I only needed to come back once a year – for the next five years. He cautioned me that they never say “cured”, but the chances of recurrence become less with each passing year.
I hadn’t really given any thought to this transition before my appointment. I knew the protocol, but I wasn’t waiting for any magic line of demarcation. So I was unprepared for the rush of energy released, the emotion, the gratitude….the I’m not sure what…..that I felt when he said five years, come back in a year, unless something comes up. I truly had no idea how much energy I was holding around the appointments, the scans, the x-rays, the uncertainty, the need to trust and let go. So when those floodgates opened and the feelings poured through, I was surprised….and in awe.
We can hold and tamp down so much, reacting and responding to this fantastic voyage we call life. And then, at the right time, something lifts the lid on what we have been holding and managing, and all that energy or a layer of that energy is released. On the heels of that release, so many seemingly forgotten memories surfaced that night. Once something got opened up, there was a pathway made for other energy that was ready to show itself to follow….and be lovingly released.
These last five years have had a great many blessings in disguise. It’s been quite a humbling journey, teaching me all the ways I need to take loving care of myself. As with everything else, my fantastic voyage is all about Love.