“Breathing exercises,” the secretary repeated. I didn’t respond. “The radiation will target your left breast.” I still didn’t get it. “That’s where your heart is.” Now I felt my chest jump. Was this going to be a danger? I’d googled it and read a little but it hadn’t seemed a real threat until now. “If you practise the breathing exercises, you’ll safeguard your heart.” Okay now she had my full attention. As her explanation continued, I visualized the procedure. How on earth was I going to remain calm enough to keep my heart out of the way! “I’ll send you the diagram now. Then it’ll be much clearer,” she said in a merciful voice.
And the picture made perfect sense. If I held my breath for 20 seconds, when I was told to, I would create the space needed for my heart to be out of reach. I lay on my bed with my hands behind my head and took a deep breath. 40 seconds before I exhaled. I could easily make 40 seconds if I had to. It wasn’t a hard thing to practise and of course I was able. Chakra healing to the sound of bowls popped up on my laptop screen. I’d do my breathing routine to the lovely echoes. It was at this point that Archie jumped off my lap and high tailed it into the lounge. Tibetan bowls are not really his thing. Seven chimes later however, I felt as calm as a sleeping kitten. I’ve starred the site so that I can go back tomorrow.
So the scan is next week and then the radiation schedule will be arranged. I’m ready for it. It is after all the ‘mop up’ my doctor recommended. If you’d asked me yesterday, you would have heard a different answer. But today I am prepared. Those of you who know me well, are lifting eyebrows. Don’t think I can’t see you! And yes I admit it. I panic like crazy leading up to something and then put on my calm as a cucumber routine. (Don’t tell the radiographer this as I want her to be impressed.)
And the future beckons. I’m not sure which journey will end first, as lock down has influenced my cancer one. I can see the light for both tunnels though. Despite the loss and unspeakable grief, we are getting there. I hope Simonsig is still making my sulphur free bubbly and that it will be purchasable when the time comes. I am cancer free. I remind myself of that every day, despite some words of caution from well meaning people. The word remission is one filled with reservations and it’s more palatable when I insert ‘radical’ in front of it. I am surviving and thriving. My herb garden has been seeded and a new veggie patch is being prepared as we speak. Mindful living and healthy eating are top priorities. That doesn’t mean I am not still scouting around for the best ever chocolate cake recipe. (All suggestions gladly accepted.)
Archie’s come to check on the sounds. It’s back to afternoon bird song now and he’ll rejoin me. A little white eye is attempting to fly through our window. I hope he sees the hunter before he takes this reckless dive.
Life is still full of beauty if we remember to look 🙂