Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Until it teaches us what we need to know

I've noticed a pattern.  Everytime something really great and amazing happens, I promise myself I'll post or make a video about it.  Then a week goes by, and something devastating happens, and I think it's silly to post about the good thing...because..what does this all mean?

Good News?  Last weekend I went to my first yoga class in years.  (See my first post, "yoga" to read about how that went.)  To my surprise in delight, I LOVED it.  I felt my heart sing as I glided into the motions of Barre, or "Ballet" yoga, with pieces of my childhood coming back to me. I watched my body move in the mirror.  I noted how much easier it was.  I felt myself about to focus, concentrate, hold poses.  Two days later, I went to yet another class.  Something I have not done in 9 years.  And on the way home..something happened.

It felt like a spring day and I just completed a second class with little pain.  I rolled my car window down, breathed in the air, turned up the music, and started my drive home.  It was then that I felt it.  I felt well.  Yes, well.  It came over me so quickly I didn't feel it approaching.  I could breathe.  Nothing hurt.  I felt light.  My heart beat in a different way.  My mind was clear.  I felt like my healthiest days in high school.  Health is in there.  It exists.

Fast forward to one week later.  I was on my work phone with the IT department when this sudden pain hit me.  Right ovary. Pelvis.  I had to hang up the phone, and I collapsed to the floor.  I was nearly screaming in pain, and nothing would give me relief.  I knew something was wrong.  I was sinking into my nightmare, but part of me didn't want to believe it.  How could this happen after such a high last week?  I made it to my Dr's office, with the help of my mom.  They walked me back to that same room, the ultrasound room, the room that always gives me results I don't want.

And, there is was.  The doctor pulled up the picture of my right ovary on the screen, and even his face dropped.  He pointed to it, and tried to move it.  But it didn't move.  He showed me how my left ovary moved, but my right didn't.  Slowly he said.."You see this?  It can't move.  It's covered in adhesions and scar tissue.  That's the pulling you feel.  And it's full of blood.  It's frozen.  That's the pain you feel."

I stared at the screen.  I was numb.  I literally did not feel a thing.  You'd think I'd feel like I was betrayed by my ovary, but really, I felt like I betrayed it myself.

"It's stage 4 endometriosis, Laura."  I heard the doctor say in the background.

At some point he left the room.  I slipped my clothes back on and stared at the screen.  I couldn't cry.  Some things are so sad that you can't form tears.  I don't think the body can register that kind of sadness.  I looked up at that dark ovary.  And I told it I was sorry.  "I"m sorry I failed you", I thought.

As I walked into the next room, the room where they would inevitably tell me about the next step, the surgeries, the hormonal treatments, the past two years of hard work flashed in front of my eyes.  Diet change.  Sacrifice.  Supplements.  Detoxes and homeopathic treatments that practically made me feel like I was going through an exorcism.  


I sat there.  They gave me pamphlets.  Told me I need surgery. Told me if I want a baby I should have one soon.   Told me if I ever want one I should have the surgery now.  I nodded and walked out.  Numb.

I let myself cry for the rest of the afternoon.  I let it sink it and come over me.  I let myself feel sad, disappointed, angry.

I don't know why this is happening.  But, I do know one thing.

It will go away.  Yes, it will.  I cured my cervical cancer and I will cure this.  I will.  All I need is a plan.  And I will make a plan.

In the meantime, I will give myself a few days to feel sad.  To allow the loneliness of this disease to wash over me.  I'll let it swallow me today.  I'll look outside and feel like I'm not a part of the living world.  I will cry and maybe scream.

Then, I will say to my body, "what do you need?"

I have heard that nothing every truly goes away until it teaches us what we need to know.

Teach me.  Teach me, so I never have to see you again.  Teach me, so I can take you away from someone else too.


  1. Laura - you continue to inspire me. I am in awe of your strength, courage and bravery. I was diagnosed in September and I'm only now getting to the place of asking me body, "What do you need?"
    My 'few days of feeling sad' ended up lasting for months.
    I, too, felt like I failed myself.
    It's so hard, but know you are not alone, sweet one.
    I am walking this road with you. I know you can do it.
    Sending love and prayers

  2. Laura, You never stop inspiring me. I am so glad that you and I met so many years ago and were able to reconnect...although the re-connection is through some pretty painful stuff, I can only be grateful to share this journey with you.
    Thank you so much for sharing <3