I want to comment on the meeting with the editor as I know many of you are waiting for news. I met with her first which worked well, since she feels it is "my" book, and I suppose it is, and yet, the idea is, also, of Jane being there in the way of non-judgmental support. How did Jane change through the experience? Perhaps that part is not there yet. Jane is busy, and this is not easy stuff to look at for either one of us. Also, we only gave the editor the first 1/3 of the book, and we now realize it is not organized as coherently as it will be in this next week. (I am taking care of that. I don't like disorganization, some of the time.)
My comment though is this. She, the editor, went through breast cancer ten years ago, and she chose to continue working through it. Work was her nourishment and support. She is not married and does not have a husband. I understand. Where I balk is this. She seems to not be able to understand why anyone would write a book, other than a technical one, on the subject of breast cancer. She seems to find the subject matter distasteful. She says people turn away. They do not want to read about breast cancer. She says there are no books out there like ours. Well, that is why we are writing it. I am writing what I wanted, and was not there. I wanted a book of support that was not technical or ridiculously comical. I wanted to know how someone made it through, while also knowing my experience is my own.
The editor pointed out that in the past, people who were sick, were abandoned. If they made it back to the tribe, then, they were included again. She said it is our nature to withdraw from those who are ill. That may have been so, but I did not crawl away and I did not hide my wounds and you did not abandon me. I took you right through the experience, and you stayed with me. You cared. That is what is so amazing about this new world. We have new ways to connect. A man like Stephen Hawking can contribute to the knowledge of the world. We can use every part of everyone. I had a way to stay in touch with you, and you with me. You have been there for me. I was not abandoned. I was supported beyond imagining. I felt you combing the world for gifts.
My thoughts are this. I am not dead. I am grateful for that. Breast cancer is not distasteful. When I was in Kathmandu, I saw that when you chose a chicken for purchase, you watched its head cut off. My mother saw that as a child, but I did not. Chicken, for me, came packaged. I was finicky, but I began to learn in Nepal not to judge, or, at least I began to become more accepting of what might have seemed "yucky" before. I had one shower in a month, and that was water poured out of a bucket from above, water that was heated for the preparation of food and the washing up, and, then, given because a young man who traveled with us had gambled and felt guilty over his wins, and used his profits to negotiate and buy my shower. I went into a little wooden box and the water was poured from a window above and everyone cheered when I emerged. The smell when I took my clothes off was ripe, and it was me. We all smelled, and the air was crisp and clean. It was lovely to be clean, and I was happy either way.
Anyway, the point of this book is this. People with cancer are not Untouchables. As a matter of fact, I became very touchable. People found me accessible and reached out to touch my cheeks and bare head. I like that I am touchable and I will not deny this experience, and thereby, deny a huge piece of myself. I understand that some of you had to pull back from me during this. That is okay. The editor feels that those she told she had cancer, disappeared. They could not handle it. I think she is still hurt. I understand both sides of it, and that is the point of this book. I want to make it so less people disappear. Why? Because people were here for me, and I appreciate that, and this is my way to give thanks, by creating more of you, by magnifying your magnitude.
I choose to touch sore points with this book. I am nudging, and there is nothing in this book that is not on the blog. Were you offended? My feedback is that you were enchanted.
Please, may we all join hands today in furthering acceptance of all aspects of ourselves, even the horrifying, painful aspects. We made it through. This moment is calm for me. I am well. It was simply a part of my journey, nothing else. There is nothing to turn away from, in my opinion. I want to shake it, like a blanket, warm it in the light.
I am grateful to have the energy to share this with a wider group. Some of the time I was having a great deal of fun, and some of the time it was tough, and it is my life, and I want to share it, to open it up and dump it to a wider pool.
Also, Jane's mother took a fall today. She has had a few minor strokes in the last month, and did not break anything in the fall, and I think Jane and her mother and the family need an extra dose of prayer today.
Again, here is to touching as we can. I understand, and I know I am ready to share this and make a statement I feel it is time to make. We, who have or have had cancer, are not pariahs. We have feelings and we are given a chance to learn. I see that as a good thing. I am touchable, lovable and huggable, and I give thanks for that.
Thanks for listening!!