So I am getting in touch with my spiritual side today. Yesterday I had an epiphany. It wasn't like a cast iron frying pan hitting me over the head all at once. It was more of a feeling of peace that came over me......and stayed. I am sure this has been days in the making but yesterday was the day it hit me. Ever since I found out my body might be acting up and making miniscule spots appear in places they shouldn't, my head has been in a really bad space. True to form for me.....I panicked. I didn't want to but I really didn't see any way around it. Panic is my go-to emotion anytime I feel in over my head. It usually settles down into something more manageable and less manic after awhile, but when I feel like I am going under for the first time....I really need a lot of talking down off the ledge.
Since last week at this time I have teetered on said ledge and I have really had to put things mentally and more importantly spiritually in perspective. Probably my greatest personal fear next to losing my kids, is having cancer. It is not so much the sickness itself although I know how horrible that can be, but the major issue I have is leaving my kids. I can't hardly think of what Z went through when his dad died and then imagine myself leaving him too. I also can't imagine this being his senior year and any focus having to be on my health. I almost get sick when I think of all the sacrifices he has made without complaint over the years with David and life in general. This year is to be his year, not the year that he has to worry about his mothers health or life. Then of course there is David. I really can't leave David. Not now especially with him still in school and him being special needs. He needs me! This all has been running through my head and causing me to hyperventilate at every turn.
I knew I was in over my head the moment the nurse said..."spots on your lung." Along with my immediate worry about the kids there was also anger. Lots of anger directed at the one person who is not here to defend herself. My mom was the greatest mom in the world, except for her smoking addiction. Cigarettes always came first with her and she ultimately died because of that choice. Was I going to die because of her choice too? As my head swam and I began feeling as if I was going down for the second time, I realized that I couldn't do this alone. I couldn't find answers in the state I was in. I couldn't be a mom in the state I was in and I was barely functioning in the state I was in. I had to pull myself together and deal with whatever I was facing.....head on.
I began praying. I pray daily and usually several times during the day but I still see myself as a lazy prayer. I suddenly was a very dedicated prayer. All the spiritual words of wisdom that I had grown up with started making their way through my cluttered brain: "If God brings you to it....He will get you through it," "God doesn't give you anything you can't handle," and my mothers favorite of and for all time......"Put it in Gods hands and............LEAVE IT THERE!" They all made sense but my desire to control all in my universe is pretty darn powerful. My next stop was Mass. Going to Mass always seems to have a calming effect on me and much like a Twelve Step program for an addict.....Mass is my meeting. Luckily Mass was being said at the Cathedral and I went. God directed me there for a reason.
The Cathedral to me is both ominously scary (I went up the dome stairs as a little kid and I remember the small stair case, the heights and the life size statues scared me) and gorgeously beautiful. Once in the church though...I found great peace. Then as the priest gave his short but penetrating sermon about when in need ask the Blessed Mother to go to her son for you, it hit me. No prayer is ever unanswered and all prayers are answered in the way that is best for us...we simply have to listen and let God guide us. I think that was the first step in my ability to start seeing things as they really are and not the way my crazed mind was viewing them. My mind was going to the worst possible place without any actual facts to back it up. I don't know if I have cancer or not. I don't know if I have anything. All I do know is that I have some spots and those little teeny tiny spots are not going to take me down. They are not going to stop me from living my life, being a mother or doing the things that I both need and want to do.
Since the day at the Cathedral, I have talked to my doctor who I am utterly confident in. She already has me set up with specialists for second opinions and is staying on top of all of it. I have also found that a couple of people I know have had an actual diagnosis of cancer and they are fighting it with a drive and determination that makes me highly ashamed of my own panicked meltdown. I have talked to friends who I know will support me whatever road I go down and finally.....I have gotten some positive perspective on the realities of my situation.
While I still don't have all or even really any of the answers that I would like to have, life is moving forward again. I have recharged my faith and I believe I have honestly put all of this in Gods hands where I know my family, my life, my heart and my soul are the safest they can be....and yes Mom....I will LEAVE IT THERE!