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  • Writer's pictureMia Rose

Less Triggers, More Glimmers

"I am here to keep becoming truer, more beautiful versions of myself again and again forever. To be alive is to be in a perpetual state of evolution. Whether I like it or not, pain is the fuel of revolution. Everything I need to become, the woman I'm meant to be next, is inside my feelings of now. Life is alchemy, & emotions are the fire that turns me to gold. I will continue to become only if I resist extinguishing myself a million times a day. If I can sit in the fire of my own feelings, I will keep becoming." -Glennon Doyle

Life is truly a rollercoaster ride. Experiencing cancer in your life and everything that encompasses is like a rollercoaster ride except there are no seatbelts. You quite literally have to hang on for dear life because just when you think you've made it through the ups and downs successfully, a wild turn might throw you right out of your damn seat. The last few months since meeting my two year mark post recurrence in December, have been pretty great! I had been holding true to my intentions, resolutions, whatever you want to call it, of not letting my cancer situation own me. I call it a situation because all things considered, I haven't had known cancer in my body for over two years! Hooray! But I still have to show up monthly for checkups and injections, as well as, scans every three months. It takes WORK to stay in such good health and also to not succumb to the 'I'm still sick' mentality. It's so easy to feel broken and sick when every time I turn around I'm having to be reminded of one of the worst things to have ever happened to me. It's like someone saying "you're good, you're good!" and then "But don't forget the hell you've been through! Here's what it was like in case you forgot!". Ugh. Total trigger and complete and utter torture. Since December, I've been focusing on myself and trying to undo all of the things treatment has done to my body. I was gaining momentum on building up my strength and feeling a little more in control of my life. We celebrated my oldest turning 16!! The very next week, my middle child turned 13! I felt so present in my children's lives. That may sound weird to some of you, but my reality has been ever since I was diagnosed when my kids were 9, 6 and 3, my attention and focus hasn't been able to be solely on them. I balance all of the same things other mom's, kids, house, activities, etc.., but I've also been juggling a completely different life which is that of treatments, scans, injections, surgeries, medications, doctor appointments and the emotional toll of constantly thinking about life and death and how it would impact these three human's lives. That's a lot of energy spent my friends. Despite it all, I was feeling present and making up for lost time. Then, on just your typical Wednesday, I hit a curve on that rollercoaster where I was most definitely not wearing a seatbelt.

The past two weeks have been intense. I've always said my introspection is a gift, but in some situations, like a scan gone wrong, it is my curse. March meant three months since my last scans, so my oncology visit included the usual labs and consult with my oncologist, but also a bone scan and CT of my chest/abdomen/pelvis. This month was unique in that my daughter asked to go along to scan day with me and my dad. I don't shelter my children from my oncology visits, but over the years I have limited their exposure to going with me because I've honestly felt that my job as their mother is to protect them from the lack of security that I stole from them six years prior. I try to accomplish this by disrupting their lives by this disease in the most minimal way possible. Someone may criticize me for this, but they were again 9, 6 and 3! when this started. Babies! Twice I disappeared on them because I was urgently hospitalized for life threatening post surgical infections and TWICE I've had to tell them that I had cancer. That's enough trauma for a lifetime. So if I can protect them from the ins and outs of what I have to do to be here for them, I will. Until one is curious, however, then I absolutely bring them along to ease their sweet minds. Having Isabella along with me was a nice change of pace and I think it helped her understand me a little better. I'm not sure how we got to her being sixteen, but I do see it as an opportunity to relate to her as a young woman and not a little girl. My hope is that she saw strength, love and resilience on that Wednesday and not the fear and stored trauma that my introspective mind was replaying over and over. My oncologist shared with us that afternoon that my bone scan indicated a suspicious spot on my T6 vertebrae. While although he felt like it could be nothing, he explained to Isabella, that he prefers to look into anything that may come up with me because early detection is key and that I've been through a lot over the past six years. We don't leave anything to chance. My initial reaction was that I was fine! I don't have pain there at all! Izzy even laughed at my reaction because of how confused I was. Nonetheless, we scheduled a PET scan for the next week. It wasn't until we got into the car and Izzy fell asleep in the back seat that my tears started to stream down my face. How in the fuck did I end up here again? Every bit of normalcy I had been experiencing in the last few months vanished into thin air. Dad was really quiet because I'm sure he was also battling the worry demons that literally suck the life out of you. I was sad, scared and so angry. Not angry at her, but angry know. Of all the visits my daughter asked to go to....this is the one. I pulled myself together by going to bed when we got home. Even though it was like 6 or 7pm, I was emotionally spent. It would be thirteen days between the time the scan came back suspicious and the day I received the results of the PET scan. Thirteen days of pretending to most everyone that I was fine, but internally struggling. Thirteen days of reminding myself of what I know to be true: I shouldn't worry about something that hasn't even happened yet, just because I've seen things go so wrong for others that doesn't mean that is my story, I have done this whole cancer is back scenario before I can probably do it again...and there is a chance this is arthritis or inflammation of some kind. It was also thirteen days of my unfortunate reality: I've never had a suspicious scan turn out to be's always been something, my greatest fear as it turns out is having to tell my children for yet another time that my cancer is back and my relationship with God must still be on the fritz because I am mad as hell and once again feel like he/she has abandoned me.

Dark, Heavy stuff. But here comes the light. My results were conclusive. My report reads, "No evidence of recurrent breast cancer or metastatic disease". Stunned, elated and more grateful than you could possibly imagine. While this curve of this fucking rollercoaster (I really hate rollercoasters) was tough to hold on to, I held on. Despite doubting myself and going to some dark places in my mind, I held onto a light, my light, to get me through. It's true that I've been through so much over these past six years. So much that despite wishing I could know what it's like to be a normal person my age, I realize that I have a skill set and many gifts that are because of my situation. Well, because of my willingness to learn about myself and the world around me, because of my situation is more accurate. As my Reiki Guide pointed out to me, I will never be thrown down into that dark pit again because there will be the light, that is MY LIGHT, that I will carry with me. When my self narration became too dark and triggering, I searched for the glimmers that helped me to center and find even the tiniest bit of peace, hope and gratitude. I relied on my light. And when my light felt dim, there was hug, a song, a prayer...something to remind me that glimmers exist to keep my world from seeming like complete darkness. Because the truth is, it really isn't complete darkness! Here is what I learned about Glimmers. "Glimmers are the opposite of triggers. They are tiny moments of awe. They spark joy and evoke inner calm. They have a positive effect on your mental health. They are micor-moments causing tiny mood shifts. They send cues of safety to our nervous system. They bring feelings of ease and contentment. Our body responds with positive energy. They allow us to feel hope when lost. Our nervous system is strengthened by them. They can help increase our well being. Once we start embracing them it can become a beautiful way to see the world around you. "-Helen Marie

I may not be able to completely jump off this ridiculous ride I'm on, but I will for damn sure create some sort of safety harness? (haha), so that I don't go flying out any time soon. Thank you ALL for being here for me. As my favorite Yogi always says..."The light in me, see and honors, the light in all of you".

Much Love...Keep On Killing It (and searching for those glimmers 😉)-M

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1 Comment

Mar 29

Sending much love and white healing light your way! ❤️🫶🏻🤍🤍🫂

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