There have been several epiphanies for me since my "Behind the Pink-part 1" post earlier this month. (It's pretty amazing what you can learn in just a few weeks time if you really think about it.) The first of those being, that behind the pink, for me, is a beautiful hue of turquoise.
It's pretty spectacular when you discover that you have been arming yourself with a sort of survivor instinct that was subconsciously serving you to the highest good. I realize that statement sounds somewhat crazy, so let me elaborate. Smack dab in the middle of Breast Cancer Awareness month I had my routine round of scans. Scans are a mixed bag of thoughts and emotions in a normal month, but with the constant BC reminders at every turn this month, well, it made going into this round a little more intense than usual. I was carrying with me the hope from 2 previous sets of clear scans in the months prior, but I undoubtedly had the fear of my luck running out. Let me introduce you to Scanxiety. Not to overgeneralize, but I think those of us who face scans always wrestle with the demons of an unfavorable outcome. I did something this go around that I have never done before. I brought a friend with me to scan day. My survivor sisters are probably reading this going, 'what? a friend'?!?! Friends are often an essential part of the army on treatment days or just appointment days, but scan day? This day is usually reserved for family members or, as I have done in the past, just for me, myself. The reasoning here is because this is a pretty vulnerable place to land. I have no control of the outcome of the day and with that, no control of what emotions this experience might drudge up. The muck one labors through physically, emotionally, spiritually on scan day is not only very deep, but pretty raw and pretty real, BUT, I had a friend, more of a soulful, spiritual advisor and seeker of sorts who wanted to take a look behind the pink veil and see what it is like to live with this disease. She wanted to see ME. With zero hesitation (other than the fact that I had to ask her to wake up in the 4am hour to go with me...ugh!!), I welcomed her love and companionship. Every single human who has joined me for a trip to the cancer center has touched my heart in some way. I have gone at it alone, many times, but having a sidekick always brings laughs, conversation and memories that I hold forever in my heart. There are too many of you to name, but I hope you all know how much I deeply and truly love you. THANK YOU for loving me and supporting me....I'm going to stop there because to see me right now, is to see tears of gratitude streaming down my cheeks.❤️ What I want to share about this particular day, this experience was a discovery, an epiphany! After my Stage 4 diagnosis last January and all of the treatments, etc., I had to dedicate to scans every 3 months. Three months time seriously whizzes by and for me, this was/is going to be tough to endure. I've done every six months in the past, but every 3? Intense. Before that first new round of scans post treatment last April, I was trying to figure out how to show up on that day with any sort of confidence that a positive outcome could be my fate.For some weird reason, I went into my mental rolodex to figure out a time when I felt good, strong and confident going into scan day...if that was even possible. For whatever reason, my mind landed on June 24, 2020. Right after the clear scan I had on that day, I had my port taken out the very next week. Success!! I had taken a picture on that day with my "live a good story" sticker, drinking an iced coffee from my beloved Josiah's Coffeehouse as I waited for my results. What struck me about that moment and the picture, was my nail color (haha! weird, I know). Enter....Turquoise. This was an unusual choice for me, but for whatever reason I went for it then and I was open to whatever would soothe my overly sensitive, superstitious mind now!
I ran and got a mani, rocked the turquoise and had a great result. Breathe. In July this year, I had another round of scans. Same thing...turquoise mani, good results, breathe again! Here we are, October, scans yet again. My truth was that I desperately wanted a different shade on my nails, hahaha! So no turquoise nails. The night before scan day, I was picking out what I was going to wear (selecting my armor for the next day...this is a thing for me!) and I suddenly had that yearning for turquoise again. It's weird, but this is real! I looked around in my closet and settled on a pair of turquoise shoes and turquoise earrings. I was a little nervous about switching things up, but I felt good keeping this color with me somehow. I was explaining this real life dilemma to my friend as we were driving to Sioux Falls on that early morning and she quickly looked up the meaning behind the color turquoise. Why didn't I think to do this?!! What came out of her mouth gave me the shivers. Here is a summary: Turquoise represents wisdom, tranquillity, protection, good fortune, and hope. Some believe it can protect and heal. Turquoise can be grounding and thought to be a bridge between Heaven and Earth. Wow, just wow!
My Reiki Cathy (😉) has told me repeatedly that my angels are always with me when I need them. Without a doubt in my mind, I know this comfort I'm finding with this color was intentional. I know my guides work at getting my attention and the message here was received and needed. It was a long day, this most recent scan day, but it yielded an excellent outcome! You better believe that I will be carrying with me a shade of my new found power color probably everywhere I go.
I opened myself up in a big, big way this month. Not just on scan day, but everyday as I dedicated myself to my advocacy efforts in an attempt to show what life is like as a breast cancer survivor, patient, thriver...whatever. Many of you will have the luxury of hearing fewer BC commercials and advertisements as October comes to a close. Some of us will continue down the path of doctor appointments, scans, surgeries, medications, emotional trauma, fear, side effects, and well, survivorship. For that very reason, I have dedicated myself to advocacy and improving the breast cancer experience for all involved. Men, women, families, healthcare workers...everyone. Advocacy can feel like oversharing and I'd be lying if I said I wasn't a little sick of myself and all that I've been positing, yet I know from the depths of my soul that it is serving a purpose. A purpose much greater than me. My mission is for fewer disparities, better outcomes, stronger support systems and a guaranteed humane approach for all who are faced with this monster of a disease. Whatever I can do to blaze the trails of change, you better believe I will exhaust all efforts to do so. My epiphany has been a call to highlight the good and support those positively impacting the lives of survivors and their families, but also to expose the many ugly truths behind the pink and advocate for change. I will forever and always be the little girl who saw diamonds in the snow...and now I'm proud to also be the woman determined to pull the diamonds from the muck-right, Carm?!
So here we are, I hope aware. Aware of what goes on behind the pink ribbons, celebrations and countless commercials and advertisements. Surviving breast cancer, trying to understand breast cancer and ultimately living with and/or beating breast cancer is a day to day, minute to minute and honestly sometimes second to second kind of existence that doesn't just disappear as quickly as the awareness campaigns do. With that said, I might take just a little time now, to exist in the turquoise. We are entering a new month (my BIRTHDAY month!!) and I could use some 'me' time. Pink will always be a color that carries a lot for me, both good and bad, but there's a whole rainbow out there to explore. Thanks for digging in a little deep this month and supporting me and all who have been impacted by breast cancer. From the bottom of my heart....thank you. Lots of love to you all and as always, Keep On Killing It-M.
"The only thing coming, is more of me." - a love note from God...and Carmen.
Wild Hearts Can't Be Broken