One word - part four

"I really need to figure out a way to travel more."

It's interesting, what you think about when the word "cancer" enters your vocabulary in a way that only cancer can.  When it is no longer something "out there" and has taken up space in your life.  When the mundane things that you take for granted, like a long soak in the tub, are replaced with waiting for phone calls from the hospital.  

Not once throughout this experience did I ever think, "Wow, I'm sure glad I worked all that overtime."  Not once did I concern myself with my clients or their ad campaigns.  What gave me pause was how much I enjoyed travelling and how little I'd done it thus far in my life.  I spent many hours of my recovery time wracking my brain, trying to figure out how I could manage it financially.  

This clear quartz Goddess travelled with me throughout Ireland. 

This clear quartz Goddess travelled with me throughout Ireland. 

It never ceases to amaze me, how things come together if you are open to possibilities.  I had surrendered my question to the Universe, stating my intention that I would do whatever was needed in order to bring my goal to fruition.

We were sitting at the kitchen table one day during my recovery and out of nowhere I said "I really need to figure out a way to travel more."  I wasn't looking for an answer, just stating my intention.  My mom replied, "Well, we've been meaning to talk to you about something."

My parents asked me if I would like to come live with them.  Apparently, for reasons I can't quite comprehend, they enjoy my company.  They said my living there would help them tremendously and in return, they would help me save money that I could use to travel and set up a solid retirement fund.  I could sell my house, be debt free, have the acreage life that I always dreamed of, and travel.  

The acreage a few summers ago.

The acreage a few summers ago.

I have to admit, I wasn't completely sold at first.  As with all decisions, I needed some time to warm up to the idea.  But the more I thought about it, the more sense it made.  I had been watching shows about "Tiny Houses" and thinking that I could definitely stand to downsize my life.  Not quite to that extreme, but certainly let go of some stuff.  The thing I kept coming back to was being debt free.  That was a dream come true.  I would no longer have to borrow money when the unexpected occurred, only to worry about how I would ever be able to pay it back.  I would no longer have to put off doing the things I really wanted because of lack of funds.

It took me about three days to decide to downsize my life, sell my house, and move out to the acreage.  Now, the real work would begin.  

One word changed my life

"Well, I know why your leg won't heal.  You have cancer."

I felt the world fall out beneath me.  My stomach sank.  All of the air was sucked out of my lungs and everything suddenly became an odd shade of grey.  

Photo by vitanovski/iStock / Getty Images
Photo by vitanovski/iStock / Getty Images

It started out with a cut on my leg that refused to heal.  It would reach a point where I thought it was healing, then it would break down again.  My intuition told me that something was really wrong, but I was too fearful to seek help.  So I stubbornly insisted that I was fine.  

Finally, I went to the doctor who referred me to wound care.  I went every week and they tried every treatment they could think of.  This went on for the better part of a year, during which time they tested me for a myriad of things that could be preventing me from healing.  They also drilled me on nutrition and suggested I wasn't eating enough fruit and veggies.  Now, I admit my diet is not the best on the planet, but it's far from what I would consider unhealthy. I was also asked about my activity level, what I could be doing to interfere with the healing, etc..  At any rate, we would soon learn that what was going on was not in any way my fault.

I was referred to a plastic surgeon and had the initial surgery in May of 2015, which consisted of a skin graft.  It never fully healed, but I was assured that I just needed to be patient.  By the time I returned from Ireland in October, the site was falling apart once again.  I was heartbroken.

After the cancer was discovered, I had another surgery.  This time the goal was to to remove the affected tissue.  It required at least two weeks of recovery, much of which was spent in bed.  I had this misguided notion that I would get a ton of writing done and catch up on the list of books I'd been meaning to read.  The reality of the situation is that I was in so much pain I could barely function.  I didn't like the pain killers, so I just quit taking them after a couple of days and slept as much as I could.

I had a follow up appointment and the night before I couldn't sleep.  I had a feeling that something was wrong.  Very wrong.  Turns out, I was right.