I had an acupuncture session yesterday which again left me fatigued, and my pulse showed weakness in my lungs. She said she sees that in women like myself who had radiation where they had to hold their breath to protect their heart and lungs. The fear of making a "mistake" is still there, so I am practicing breathing exercises to see if I can break through the fear in my lungs, and find a fuller, calmer, more energizing pace. My breathing is very shallow, and "trying" to deepen it right now seems to be a challenge. I have also been experiencing a bit of frustration as I struggle between having more energy, overdoing it, and then, feeling extremely tired. There is so much I want to do. I feel like I'm let out of the gate, rarin' to go, and, poof, the energy is not there to support it.
I never realized how many levels of fatigue there are. I feel like I'm on an elevator, hitting all the floors, most of them down. A puddle of reserve is beginning to build, but, for the most part, I am struggling to accept that often, it is time to rest. I am also struggling with knowing this struggle is not presence. It is suffering, wanting things to be different than they are, so then, I beat myself up about that. I'm sure you can see that a little acceptance is in order here. : )
My brother has suffered through two major illnesses, so he understands this need for rest. He points out that I was running on adrenaline those last few weeks of treatment, and, so, now, my body is trying to make up for that, too. He is an understanding conduit and support for this need for rest. He says if you sit in a chair and fall asleep, well, then, you must need the sleep. Otherwise, you would pop back up. Since when I sit in my cozy, comfy chair, I do fall asleep, today, is going to be a "kinder, gentler" more accepting day of myself. I'm now into chair therapy.
Also, the acupuncturist read me the pathology report. I guess I had never understood quite how bad things were, and I'm not sure I appreciated hearing it, but she is very matter-of-fact. I appreciate the care that my doctors took to work with my desire to get well, and not what I was needing to get well from.
I spoke with Diane Brandon, one of the main support people for those with cancer at Marin Cancer Care, and she told me of her experience five years ago. She signed up for a workshop at Esalen for those who had finished treatment for breast cancer, and the teacher was all set to lead them in exercises and discussion to get over and release their anger at their doctors. They all said, "What anger?" I don't know how one would find anger at Allison, Jenn, or Francine. She wants me to write my experience, because she feels it is an unusual one, the care given there, and I agree. It is a new approach, and this with the acupuncturist showed me just how careful they are with language, and how supportive they are of what my attitude means to my healing.
I am reading a wonderful book, Reality, by Peter Kingsley. He goes back in and looks at the writings of Paramenides, Empedocles, and interprets what they were saying in a new way, in the way that he feels they were written. In his opinion, the Stoics changed what they were saying to the logical writings we have now, but, his interpretation is quite Buddhist, mystical, and fascinating. He also, puts the soul back into the writings, something that was definitely lost at the Council of Nicacaea, and even before.
What is interesting to me is that he says both Paramenides and Empedocles went through an "incubation" period, a technique of altering states of consciousness, to give the experience of coming back from death. That rings a bell. It seems like part of the chemo process, incubation, and that dip into the feel of death, as cells die like crazy, and energy is something one can't even imagine as one is overcome with deep sleep.
I sit now with what I learned, and wonder why I struggle in the humanness of my life, rather than feeling more of the divine, which is here, in PRESENCE. It can be so simple, and yet I am struggling. And just writing that, something releases, and here, I am, back with the fog and the moment, and a full breath. May we all experience a day of peace, joy, acceptance, and ease. BREATHE!! It is the gift of presence. I smile with the gift, and release.