seasonal reflection

I returned to work yesterday on the morn of the Autumn Equinox. The seasonal shift had me thinking of all of the change that has happened since the beginning of summer when I initially found the lump in my breast. On my first day of summer classes, I was told that the lump was malignant, and that it was an aggressive form of breast cancer. I couldn’t have felt more put out- “I don’t have time for this”, I thought (and said out loud, many times). But I was energized to do research while I worked and went to school. The sun and warmth of the seasons helped me to stay focused and to soak in the beauty of the nature around me. As summer ended, I prepared for surgery, had surgery, and I continue to feel strong in my recovery. Now with fall and the rain and darkness that I know lay ahead in these coming months, I’m trying to prepare for chemo. Like many trees and plants, I will be losing more of myself as my body reacts to the drugs- my hair will most likely fall out, my skin will become dry, and I will become tired. Autumn and winter will be a reminder that I need to rest and to prepare for the new growth of spring. As long as I remember the beauty of cycles and of the need for deep sleep in order to set my roots deeper into the earth, I know that I will not only get through this, but I will be stronger and more beautiful for it.

Yesterday I returned to work, and although there are some painful and sad changes happening, it feels good to be there. This may be partially due to the fact that my desk looks like a wildflower garden with all of the bouquets I’ve been graced with, but also due to the loving embraces and kind words and thoughts of my co-workers. I am blessed, and I take none of this for granted. And still, I await the official pathology report…