Rising and falling
Drifting on beats of my heart
Music transports me
Flirts with moments of past lives
Not captured in retrospect
I’m reminded of butterflies. Ephemeral, delicate, not prone to being examined up close and personal, here today and gone tomorrow.
This week my heart felt like a butterfly. Sometimes happily drifting along. Other times on guard and likely to disappear into the sunset if I ignored it.
I’m still coming to terms with chronic heart challenges. Plus the reality that no matter what I do, I’m in my end game.
This week I began reading Carol A. Miele’s book, Metatastic Madness: How I Coped with a Stage 4 Cancer Diagnosis. Ironically, Miele, a nurse, worked for years with women with this diagnosis. Now she finds herself on the other side of the picture, at Stage 4 without having had a prior breast cancer diagnosis.
During the years she lives with Stage 4 breast cancer, Miele experiences five phases:
- Phase One: Shock and Awe
- Phase Two: Betrayal and Despair
- Phase Three: Loneliness and Loathing
- Phase Four: Complying and Compensating
- Phase Five: Adapting and Advocating
I don’t have Miele’s disease. I have mine. Nonetheless, her discussion of Phase One brought me up short, beginning with this:
If you can’t get past the fear or anger in the earliest phase, you may not be able to manage your illness or its accompanying issues very effectively. (p. 13)
In her description of Phase One, Miele describes people and other support systems she set up so she wouldn’t get isolated and stuck in her emotions or in the demanding realities of life with Stage Four breast cancer.
Happily, I’ve done some things she describes. Yet there’s more to do to before I’m ready for whatever comes next. I don’t want to be stuck in Phase One.
Thanks for listening.
©Elouise Renich Fraser, 23 March 2019
Image found on YouTube