I was diagnosed with stage 3 breast cancer 8 years ago, with a newborn baby, and after years of (mostly) healthy living. I felt betrayed by my body. My fantasy about the first year of my daughter’s life and what kind of mother I’d be was shattered.
After the end of active treatment, it wasn’t over. I was a psychotherapist and a yoga teacher who still found it hard to manage.
I had physical pain and limitations, low energy, fear of recurrence, terrible chemobrain, difficulty sleeping, early menopause, and no clear path forward. I wasn’t “over it” and quite frankly, I wasn’t interested in adjusting to the so-called “new normal.”
It took time for me to heal. Yoga and meditation helped. A lot.
But what I needed most were places to express the feelings that I’d set aside in order to survive that first year. I needed places to feel the anger and loss and fear. The confusion. The incompetence and loss of identity. The astonishment at the connection with strangers. The vulnerability in asking for and accepting help from family and friends when I was far more comfortable being the helper. The shock and disappointment. The strong and beautiful people I met who didn’t make it.
We also need places to wonder and talk about gratitude and remember the sacred moments of connection, inspiration, or understanding that may not have happened any other way.
Eventually, through feeling and expressing, I cleared out enough of the anger and anger at loss to really re-connect with the pulse of life and feel creative and engaged again in the world.
In 2016, I’m offering a new Yoga and Talk® Therapy group to help people go beyond the “new normal.”
The cancer journey is full of ups and downs. Finally you get to a place of relative stability, either because active treatment is completed or ongoing treatments are a bit more predictable. This can be a good time to explore and find deeper meaning in your experience.
Read this description of the group and let me know what you think!