21. Terminal

We are all on the track.  Some have been running a long time and are nearer the end than I.  But the difference is that I KNOW I am in the race.

pexels-photo-2402777Who knows what?  That is becoming an issue.  As more diagnoses have evolved, as more people have a baseline, it gets harder to remember what information has been passed.  It is certainly not self evident what interpretations transferred into each person’s view.  And there are pods of folks who don’t know, and that I cannot conceive of the right way to express the information.  Ironic.  Work knows.  Friends don’t know.

Today Starfeather commented that I used the word “terminal” for the first time in her knowledge.  Inoperable and terminal are synonymous in my mind.  I also speak a lot about the chemotherapy goal, which is to shrink the colon cancer but not remove it.  Colon cancer in the lymph system tells a tale of sending radical cells to new and creative areas of the body.  Terminal.

We all die.  Humanly, there will be a perceived cause of death.  

My mind rocks back and forth between “I’m living a glorious day” and “remember the impermanence of this moment’s situation”.  Inevitability.  

I feel no sadness.  I feel an inexplainable race against time.  “Leave right.”  Pack the baby gifts for Rosanna and Indrayani.  Write notes of appreciation to all of you.  Say what needs to be said, do what needs to be done.  Prepare stuff.  Finish stuff.  Enjoy the journey, enjoy the journey, enjoy the journey.  Feel the breeze.  Laugh.

We are all on the track.  Some have been running a long time and are nearer the end than I.  But the difference is that I KNOW I am in the race.

8. Metamorphosis

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Monarch Butterfly emerging from it’s chrysalis Courtesy Steve Greer Photography

Chemo.  There is such a churning and moving and changing within.  It is not comfortable.  (It isn’t entirely horrific either.)  

A caterpillar goes into a cocoon, and is totally reconfigured by the process of metamorphosis.  It’s like that.

Life is entirely altered… and yet “reality” believes it remains the same.  Even within the cocoon of chemotherapy, the viewpoint has a new veil.  The cocoon shadows what was once so clear.  All perspective is shifting.  Anticipation mounts.  

There will be a vibrant, culminating end to the cocoon.  But for now, I sit and watch and listen.  I am in the moment with the life that surrounds me.  A lot of the normal world appears muffled in the shadows.  Perfect.

Falling Up

Climbing Upwards dreamstime_m_162420560In the dream, I stood on the red soil atop a huge butte.  (I had to google search the word for butte, because I have never said it in my life.)  There were no fears, no worries, no issues.  Yet, I definitely fell off the side!

I didn’t fall down.  I fell up.  My body returned to the red ground at the top.  

And there was a pun.  Kwami said I laughed in my sleep.  The whisper jibed, “A colon is a real ass-et!”

6. Chemo: Round One

It’s like WWWF, because the truth behind the big picture is that there is no real competition.  Everyone is on the same team.  The cancer is on my team.  The chemo is on my team.  We are all working together in the drama that is bringing a new kind of excitement, pleasure, and beauty to the world.

It’s like smack down, WWWF (I had to look up the acronym… not my field of expertise!).  First time on the mat, the competition standing on the other side, the crowd cheering and screaming, waiting for the dramatized excitement, the actors in the ring, ready to play out the big show, risking their bodies for the scene.

Michele Plumb Stowell WWWFIt’s like that, but it’s not.  It’s like WWWF, because the truth behind the big picture is that there is no real competition.  Everyone is on the same team.  The cancer is on my team.  The chemo is on my team.  We are all working together in the drama that is bringing a new kind of excitement, pleasure, and beauty to the world.

My focus is more often on the evolving perfection around me.  The love and caring of family and friends, pouring toward me with such light.  It’s the kind of beauty where you watch it and tears run down your face because it makes your heart want to explode.  There is no way to hold the obviousness of how love is everything.  

The heart is actually exploding.  I think it is.  Like particles spreading out into the universe, like a body can no longer hold the truth, and so the soul is showing itself as bigger, universal rather than individual.  Obvious.  

But there are those competitors on the mat.  They are playing out the drama.  There is a visual risk.  It looks like sweat and pain and winning and losing.  It isn’t.  

5.Easter

I have had many puncture wounds with the biopsies.  My left hand specifically has PTSD from blood draw punctures, and both have had their share of the drama.  There has been a lot of Crucifixion in my human story recently. 

I thought a lot about suffering and biblical stories and comparisons.  I have had many puncture wounds with the biopsies.  My left hand specifically has PTSD from blood draw punctures, and both have had their share of the drama.  There has been a lot of Crucifixion in my human story recently. 

What was the message being portrayed by Jesus becoming the Christ?  How can we use our own pain and suffering the same way?  How does “resurrection” factor in?  I am looking at myself, and everyone will journey individually.

Since spiritual evolution is the hardest thing in the world to put into words, I can only make a vague attempt.  There is a lifting of fear.  No real fear of death.  No looking forward or back.  No real worries about end results, death or life; everything will be right.  It might seem crazy to believe.  I see it as the first stage in resurrection.

Jesus went up that mountain to meditate and connect with the Eternal truth, to get the power to endure his death from the human realm.  He knew it would be hard.  He knew it would be of benefit to many.  That’s what I would hope and dream my life and death would be, something that somehow brought love, beauty, and inspiration.  Right now, the sun is rising in radiant red behind the mountain peaks outside my window.  It speaks everything without a single word. 

4. Challenge Lasagna

I have always loved Shrek.  “Onions have layers…cakes have layers…You know what else everybody likes?  Parfaits!… Parfaits are delicious…”  Layers.

Michele-Stowell-Challenge-Lasagna-BlogWhen I mentioned Challenge Lasagna to Christine, she reminded me that I have always loved Shrek.  “Onions have layers…cakes have layers…You know what else everybody likes?  Parfaits!… Parfaits are delicious…”  Layers.

For some reason, my mind is on main dishes. No one has just one lasagna noodle right now.  The challenges are piled on.  Noodles, sauce, cheeses, repeat.  We’re all in a challenge lasagna, or a challenge parfait if you are like Donkey, and that’s what you like best.  

There is beauty behind it all, each piece.  The release into control-less-ness.  If we point our internal vision to the incredible gifts, the lack of control seems to be a part of the gift.

3. Deva Premal

What if this IS just a test?  How do we all get the best score?  

Deva and Miten are world leaders in spirituality and the use of Mantras.  They are doing a daily meditation webcast that is available on Youtube and other formats, to support the world efforts in finding peace in virus moments.  

Deva spoke of a time when she was trapped by a situation with no way out (much like many see themselves now).  Something within said, “what if this is just a test?”  

What if this IS just a test?  How do we all get the best score?  

Hint, humanly you can only get to 33%.  You have to take it up a notch in order to get to the passing grades.

Mindfulness Meditation with Deva Premal

 

Mindful: A Meditation Series (Peace During the Pandemic- Coronavirus/ COVID-19 Guided Meditation)

 

2. Stairway to Heaven

I danced up the next dozen stairs, happy and elated to be on the journey home!

Stairway to heaven

In a Reiki session, my mind was still going crazy with thoughts and “to do” lists. 

As the fog started to clear, I saw an endless white staircase to the clouds.  I stood on the third step, looking back, and crying and crying for those I left at the bottom, hands reaching for me and mine for them. 

Then my gaze redirected.  I danced up the next dozen stairs, happy and elated to be on the journey home!

0. Welcome!

Embrace my mortality and your own, as we walk down the path of this incredible level of existence

Severe intestinal pain brought me to surrender.  On March 7, 2020, we drove to the Bellevue Urgent Care in Washington State. After multiple blood tests, prods, and a CT scan, the doctor bluntly diagnosed “a large mass around the intestine and two smaller ones in the liver… it looks like metastatic colon cancer.”  And indeed, a week of hospital testing verified it, and further scans added one or two unrelated cancers in the uterus as “the cherry on top”.

Life ended.  Life, as I knew it, ended.  A glowing, painful, death defying, frustrating, challenging, and vibrantly glorious and spiritual new journey began.

Come with me on the adventure.  Ride the roller coaster.  We are all counting down to our last day!  Embrace my mortality and your own, as we walk down the path of this incredible level of existence.