Thursday, 18 June 2009

what doesn't kill us heals us

I am now a woman with one breast. Don’t be distressed by this news – I am not. I’m recovering well, resting, doing only what makes me happy. What’s surprised me about this surgery to remove the tumour is that I still feel entirely ‘me’. I’d somehow expected to feel diminished, more vulnerable or less worthy. But so far, and it’s only been a few days, it’s increasingly clear to me that even if I lose my hair or a breast, or my work or identity in my role, I am still essentially me. The me that is not me.

It’s often been said that what doesn’t kill us heals us and I’ve felt for a long time that this cancer has come to teach me how to really live. You could even say that I have chosen this path. As Aristotle commented a couple of thousand years ago, breast cancer can be caused by grief, and part of my healing is to end – now, in this time and for my line - the huge grief and even despair I have felt for mother earth, which is linked to and sensitised by my own mother’s death when I was three.

So nowadays I’m living firmly on the lighter side of my own edge – in full trust in the process of the Universe, which is where meaning is for me. And by trust I don’t mean sitting back and watching life unravel like a movie. I mean being actively involved in the extraordinary art of co-creation, yet with trust and acceptance.

I recently walked with my friend Viviana past this sign on the building site off Western Road. At first glance I was convinced it said No Hat, No Boobs, No Job. A zen-like description of how I feel, and how perfect that feels.

5 comments:

Fr. Peter Doodes said...

We are a part of the earth and so it is a part of us. In damaging the earth, humanity has damaged itself, in healing the earth, we heal ourselves.

May the healing that you are giving to the earth, as a co-creator, also return to heal you Adrienne.

adrienne campbell said...

Thank you!

Margaret's Ramblings said...

I understand what you mean. I had double mastectomies on the same day and was surprised that I still felt complete after surgery. It has been fourteen years now and in my dreams I still have my full compliment, when I wake some mornings I forget they are not there any more. Take time with your recovery, take time to spoil yourself and take the time to realise just how good life can be. If you ever need a 'buddy' to talk to please don't hesitate to email me.

Margaret

Hollysox said...

Thanks for the reminder, Adrienne. I'm happy to "read" that you are doing so well. Lots of love,

Anne-Claire xx

Hollysox said...

Thanks for reminding me, Adrienne. No boobs, no jobs, eh? Glad you're doing so well. You are in my thoughts.

Lots of love,

Anne-Claire xx