I decided to document my journey, because I had to. So much has happened and I so desperately needed it to mean something. Maybe believing its all part of a hero's journey is self-serving. Maybe its what people like me do to make sense of things, to survive. If I don't believe there is meaning to it all, I will go crazy.
That said, I do believe there is meaning. I have always believed there was meaning. From the first cancer diagnosis, I new that my life was changing for the better. I would never be the person I was before the diagnosis. And yet, I was, sort of.
I ate better, exercised, reduced stress and mentally explored. I did lots of personal growth workshops, started going to the Unity Church, and deepened my ability to reflect and ponder metaphysical topics. But one aspect of my life didn't really change - my heart. Still operating in my head 90% of the time, I was still not on, and perhaps not yet prepared for, the path my life needed to take.
In the summer of 2013, I had a second cancer diagnosis, Stage IV Breast Cancer. Though in shock initially, deep inside I had known something was wrong for awhile. Because the cancer was in my bones, I was in a lot of pain. It never occurred to me it was cancer, because it had been 13 years. I was past the worry point, or so I thought.
Ever hopeful about my future and blessed with good doctors, I went home to the coast of South Carolina, my healing place, to visit with old friends. While there, my husband, love of my life and soulmate was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident. I was on the other side of the country and could not get there in time to be with him before he died. It made me crazy. That's when my hero's journey began. I didn't know it at the time, but from that tragedy would come great love and an open heart.
A year later I moved back to Dallas to be with friends and family. Life was good. I had a job I loved with freedom and money to do what I wanted. The cancer was in maintenance mode and I was not in pain. I found a church I loved, got involved in the community and had a lovely home and life. I was grateful.
Six months after moving to Dallas, Woody, my beloved Jack Russell and closest thing I had to a child died. That next summer I spent a lot of time with my mother-in-law who I loved very much, as she transitioned into the next life. Six months after that, my mother died. Though grateful I was able to be with both of these wonderful ladies, watching them and their painful exits took its toll.
Shortly after my mother died, I lost the job I loved so much in a sudden and strange course of events. I had no notice or recourse (as a contractor) and I went from one day having stable and consistent employment to the next day having zip. I had been with this client so long that I hadn't kept up other connections and found myself having to start all over. Initially it didn't seem like a blessing, but when viewed as a part of my hero's journey, it was.
Stay tuned as the journey continues.