It’s time to emerge. Emerge and embrace where I am and what’s next. It’s certainly not what I planned but I think it’s something we all think about – How will I react sitting in a doctor’s office getting bad news? The dreaded news that your life is about to change. I realize now I’ve been wandering through life with the ignorance of a teenager who thinks or at least lives as if they’re immortal. Turns out that, well, WTF! I’m not!
I survived Meningitis as a baby and a brain tumor and surgery as an adult. Luck? Who really knows? It’s a silly question really. Luck is just a trick we play on ourselves when we don’t have practical answers.
This time, last year I went on a meditation retreat at the Omega Institute with Jeff Warren, he’s awesome by the way, check him out. It was amazing. I had never gone that deep for so long as we did. Over 100 people in a room, not to mention virtually, sharing space and energy. I absolutely thought more than once I’d fall asleep, but I didn’t. I stayed present, I was awake. Awake to myself, to commitment and belief that this was meaningful. Oh, and I had one of the best massages in my life, I get them fairly regularly – so that’s saying something. I will say there is something to be said about a masseuse who’s also an energy healer – but I digress, maybe another time.
After the retreat later that week, I started to feel off. I thought, wow, I went deep and brought up all the shit deeply embedded, and I was realizing it. Two weeks later I was still sick and now on day four of fevers, I went to urgent care, nothing. Went to my doctor; nothing. Test after test, then specialists: hematologist, infectious disease, rheumatologist, nephrologist – Check – check – check. Finally, the hematologist looks at me and says, well, something’s not right there’s a reason you don’t feel well. My blood numbers were off the charts. We clung to his words – I really don’t see this coming back as cancer. He was certain it was some autoimmune issue, and it didn’t take much to convince me to do a bone marrow biopsy when he said it was the most efficient way to find what was wrong.
After three months of tests, specialists, daily fevers, no sleep etcetera, he was right. I was sitting on the couch, two friends over, it was recommended I not be alone in case I fainted. I was severely anemic. We were sitting chatting and I got a call (I’d begun to answer numbers I didn’t know since all of this had happened).
It was my hematologist, very excited –
We got it, we know what it is, it’s Multiple Myeloma! I’ve called my colleague at the Myeloma Center, he runs it, and he knew what it was immediately. He’d absolutely seen it before. Here’s his number, he’s expecting your call. This is great news, this is treatable.
Great? Ah, thanks. I hung up, my friends only hearing mm-hmms and okays then taking notes. I look at them both and say – umm… It seems I have cancer. Multiple Myeloma, blood cancer. Now, I have feared blood cancer for years (ask my therapist), always afraid my good health had a hijacker. I had all these questions for years getting things checked because of a pain or a strange shift I felt in my body. Everything is normal, every time. I’d think – well, what can’t they see? I know my body, something is off.
It is a specialized illness and I clung to the doctor’s words, “it’s treatable”. I used them hard, and so did my husband, over and over.
I started treatment Immediately was out of work for six months and went on an educational trip through the internet trying desperately not to Google generally. Because yes, it is treatable, but for how long? Turns out this is a cancer that, though rare, is the second most common blood cancer in the world. Who knew? I’d never heard of it. In the past five years so many treatments have come to fruition -but – there is no cure, and it is guaranteed to come back. This is a lifelong, chronic illness, a ticking time bomb that I now must learn how to live with. That teenage immortality has been eaten away by vicious plasma cells invading my bones. I’ve learned a lot, I joined a support group, I’m taking a writing class, and I’m working on getting back to coaching after this lovely relaxing hiatus. Seriously!?!
This is honestly something that could kill me much sooner than my plan in life. It is also something that holds hope. I can live a good and long life. I’ve often felt when others have struggled or suffered, why me? Why am I OK? What did I do to deserve so much, and they not? Such fucking stupid questions! Sadly, it has nothing to do with what we do or who we are. This is simply the TRUTH – life is hard.
So – here is my new question and how I plan to see things as I move forward…
Why not me?
Why should I not be healthy – lucky – fortunate?
I can and should survive. I can and will be fortunate. I will live my life fully and for a long period because why the fuck not me? I’m young. I’m strong. I’m determined. I’m terrified, but come on, who isn’t? We’re all afraid. But it’s no reason to give up. It’s exactly the reason to get up and take that next step.
I am alive and I am grateful. Whatever your situation, I ask the same for you. We all deserve the best, so let’s work to make the best of the things out of our control while bringing joy to all the things in our lives that we can.
So now, I send YOU love and healing for whatever you might be going through.
How have you helped yourself through difficult times?
What is a song you play that makes everything better even for just a few minutes?
What is it about that song?
What do you do for comfort when you’re afraid?
Please share if you’re called to or know someone this could support.
Love to all.
Namastè & Pura Vida my friends!
Taking control is in the release of expectations.
“The beginning is always today.”
– Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
It’s been a hot minute since I’ve posted and I thought a nice grounding meditation to start the month off right was the perfect way to start.
FYI – This is a video, click to watch.
Hope this brings a little calm to your day.
Namastè & Pura Vida my friends!
#artist #nicholedonjeartist #southie #southboston #boston #nyc #newyorkcity #ny #yonkersny #yonkers #photogrpahy #poetry #writing #art #lifelessons #personalgrowth #dogmomma #activism #feminism #theatre #director #connection #selfcare #selflove #acceptance #compassion #curiousty #creativity #courage #trust
This is the land I come from
the land of
cracks in the sidewalk.
The place where roaches are squatters surviving a desperate home filled with spackled dreams.
She erased the young lovers from the mural on the wall
leaving just an empty tree
never to be climbed again
an artist whitewashing her future.
The land of white knuckles and fight clubs; of white men with dangerous pasts and drunken futures all too close and personal.
A city of tears and required loyalty to false gods.
paints the streets
with dreams of escape,
of knowledge beyond
the corners and the cracks
I watch from my second-floor window, the souls that stroll past the burnt out warehouse across the street mirroring their young and angry lives.
Afraid to see myself as the same hollowed out wasteland whose heart smells of burnt wood and mildew.
I hold my innocence and integrity steadfastly close shutting out
the pain of
Laughing at my intimate lonely world filled with fantasies so not to cry.
Patch the wounds
Fill the cracks
Plant the seeds that will sprout from new and fertile earth
never to be hollowed out,
rooted in acceptance.
I will climb
Out of the fear
Into the future
#artist #nicholedonjeartist #southie #southboston #boston #nyc #newyorkcity #ny #yonkerny #yonkers #photogrpahy #poetry #writing #art #lifelessons #personalgrowth #dogmomma #activism #feminism #theatre #director #connection #selfcare #selflove #acceptance #compassion #curiousty #creativity #courage #trust
As she swept
the book out from
her lap so came
all interpretations of
trickling down the binding
I love when I see something and the words spill forth in pure inspiration completely out of my control. This poem came to me after seeing a provocative image a friend posted on Instagram with the note…”Many interpretations…all accurate.” Thank you, Vesta
Who Am I?
A lost child?
A powerful woman.
Always strive to not be frozen in the fear of future memories.