I like the idea of bad ass unicorns. They represent the divine feminine power that nurtures all living things. A few years ago, I saw the above image, “when I look in the mirror, I see a unicorn, a bad ass unicorn.” I loved it because it was creative and funny. Not all unicorns flew on angel wings and pooped rainbows. For me unicorns are a combination of magic, mystery and color with a dash of defiance. They also poof around.
Over the last nine months, my mantra has been, I am a bad ass unicorn. I can do this. And trust me, I’ve done a lot of hard things. You see, in January, this sparkling unicorn was diagnosed with a rare form of brain cancer. I remember when my surgeon said the words “it’s cancer” because I stopped breathing. My heart rate climbed as my brain was bending to comprehend. It sucked. And yet, I continued to find joy and sparkle while the words “it’s cancer” settled. People would discover the news and relay their heartfelt condolences. They would look at me like they could see my shinny purple horn when I said, “I’ll be okay.”
My obscure and rare cancer (.4 percent of cancers) has unicorn properties because it was difficult to obtain. And yet, I managed. If I am honest it’s been nine months and I am not certain the pathology report is correct. But that’s what bad ass unicorns do, they rarely believe anything one hundred percent. I like to leave room for a little doubt. I think it helps hope burn brighter.
I’ve become far more defiant with the medical establishment. I’m not unkind, I just don’t accept ever thing they tell me. I remember telling a doctor that I accepted the diagnosis but not the prognosis. He reacted a little stunned and smug. The unicorn in me laughed at him. I have read over one hundred scientific articles (and counting) about my type of tumor. What I found was conflicting information and unsubstantiated statistical information. A twenty to fifty percent chance of anything is not a meaningful statistic. Going back through twenty years of medical records is not the same as clinical trials. Because my cancer is so rare, I doubt I see a clinical trial anytime soon.
I took control and put together a team that I valued and trusted. You will meet each of them in the coming months. I have a primary doctor, acupuncturist, neurologist, healer, herbalist, functional medicine doctor, neuro-surgeon and neuro-oncologist. These are my helpers and truth be told they are probably unicorns too. I’ve witnessed them sparkle.
Having a team is great but I have my part too. It amazes me how many people I have met who have cancer and depend entirely on their doctors. I figured if I was gonna live long and prosper I had a part to play. I fuel my body on organic veggies, good fat and lean protein. I exercise because it gives my body oxygen and cancer hates oxygen. I pray and meditate every day. I practice gratitude every day, even if it’s a shit day. I stay connected to my family and friends. AND of course, I use creativity to find new ways to poof cancer and take care of myself. As of today, I have poofed cancer and am doing very well.
Which brings me to the word “poofing” as in go away. Early on I would cringe when people used words like fight, war, battle and warrior. These words place an emphasis on winning and losing. For me, this language can invite suffering. I went through a hard surgery, physical therapy and radiation. I worked hard and chose not to “suffer” but to look for joy. There is no winning or losing. Every single one of us has cancer cells in our bodies. The truth is every single one of us will die. That’s not losing. That’s life.
Poofing cancer is about sharing ideas, resources, insights about my journey. My biggest hope is that it can help someone else. As a coach I love helping people.
You don’t have to have cancer to gain from this blog. Maybe you have a different health issue or just want a little inspiration and hope. Or maybe you are a bad ass unicorn too and are just curious. It’s all good.
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