Tuesday, May 29, 2012

From. Afar.

I am smiling and jumping with excitement to share a note from my friend Tia.
As I wrote to Tia, thank you for giving helplessness a voice, I know that this will be helpful.
This is a shared experience and if we can be open to every voice we will have an amazing choir- that’s what I want.
Embrace it all, no man (woman) (transgendered/neutral) left behind.
Thank You, Thank You, Thank You Tia. When this is over we will go out for lobster.

Gus will stand in for anger and frustration:

"Hi Beautiful ... I cannot stop thinking about you. I stole your blog title and wrote ...

I'm sorry if the obscenities offend ... I wanted you to know.

Everyday Aha: From. Afar.

As I sit and re-read Fawna’s blogs for the millionth time, feeling like a stalker monitoring her page, I am struck by the “somethings” that are stirring inside me. Okay, not stirring, but like my six-year old says, “Mommy, it feels like there is a lobster in my tummy that keeps snapping its pinchers inside me. It hurts. I don't know if I'm mad or sad or worried”. So, for some unknown reason, I feel compelled to blog (not that I have my own) about these “lobsters” in my tummy whenever I creep Fawna’s page for an update.

“Everyday Aha: From Afar” – this title guides my writing at this very moment. The internet tab on my computer which reads “FaceBook” is something that I click on every ten minutes with Fawna’s page just to see if there is an update. This all started about two weeks ago when my BlackBerry lost every piece of data I had in it and none of it was recoverable. I sent out a mass email for my contacts (of which Fawna was one) to send me their information once again. As always, Fawna is the “first on the scene” and responded within mere moments to my “distress” – giving me every phone number that she thought I might need. I texted her later that week – suggesting coffee – with her replying that when she returned from her retreat, it was a plan in the works. Because Fawna seems to always be on these self-discovery retreats, I went on her FaceBook page to see what she was up to this time … thinking maybe she was learning some new skill with those rocks that people use for massage, some new meditation technique or a new idea for helping people …

I cried. From. Afar.

Since then, I have thought about Fawna every day – almost every hour of every day … I’m sure her loved ones think about her every millisecond of everyday … and those “somethings” just won’t stop going … damn lobsters. In an effort to put it out there “From Afar” and after being inspired by Dusty’s Blog: “How the Fuck do you think I’m doing”, I thought maybe it was time to share thoughts. From. Afar.

I don’t intend to make this blog about me but hopefully, some of these words are echoed by others. From. Afar.

Here we go … From. Afar. I think:

1. Really?!?! Again?!?! What the FUCK?!?!
Cancer? Yes, you! You are an asshole.

2. Fucking Bring IT!!!
Cancer? You chose the wrong lady. You are evil and bad and unfortunately for you – you are going to get your ass kicked again … I’m all for watching you shrink and shrivel. For the benefit of us all, go the FUCK away quickly … and stay gone. A’right?

3. Pick on Someone Else!
Can’t you see, Cancer? Fawna is NEEDED, LOVED, ESSENTIAL and BEAUTIFUL!! She is everything you aren’t. You sneak the fuck up on people … impose yourself where you aren’t wanted and on the people that deserve (not that anyone does) you the LEAST. Hear me? Fuck off!

4. What does one say? From. Afar?
As a social worker for two decades, I am supposed to figure out the words that have meaning and are appropriate and make things “better”. It’s like wanting to put on a band-aid, buy a big fucking lollipop and a pony to make it all “okay”. I cannot. I cannot make it better (meaning make the cancer go away), I cannot find the words to tell Fawna how it feels to see her body hurting (From.Afar), I cannot find the logic to understand when Fawna tell us everything is okay, that she feels good, that she is peaceful and happy and not want to yell out loud - obscenities! From. Afar.

5. Is Fawna really okay? From. Afar?
I have the qualitative opportunity to know Fawna and her family over the years – although quantitatively, have not had the time that lots of others have spent with her. Fawna, the epitome of grace, kindness, love and “putting everyone else before herself”, would tell everyone that she is okay. But is she really? That’s my question and I may not have the context that others have to accurately know. From. Afar. I search her pictures, her eyes, wonder what her thoughts are when she is alone … and wonder if she is really okay? Really? Okay? Truth be known, I think she might be doing better than the rest of us.

6. There are NO other options. From. Close. And. Afar.
There are no options. Just like there weren’t when Fawna first battled this demon. If anyone in this world has the spirit and love to overtake this beast, it’s Fawna. She is love … LOVE … and there is nothing else more powerful in this world to erase the bad … all of us combined, there is NO other option.

7. All of my Wishes. From. Afar.
Fawna? You have all of my wishes, my hopes and my most pleading prayers that I’ve saved up and never used. You have all of my dreams that I missed wishing on that falling star … you have my warmest of hugs, my most pleading and hoping of tears, my respect, my admiration for your strength and grace … and all of the blessing that the Grandfather’s and God will bring.

Love. From. Afar.

How is Dusty Doing?

A few weeks ago I began to get asked “How is Dusty Doing?” again and again. I asked him if he would do a blog, or tell me and I would post it. He obliged, and I remember his entire blog word for word:

“How the Fuck do you think I am?” Dusty Bews

I was thinking that would have a strong appeal to my family who all profess to have ADD (and have noted that my blogs are too long).

I have laughed about his statement over and over. That’s how it is with Dusty, he makes me laugh because he says things that I may have thought but don’t think to say.

Dusty has been a rock. He knocked it out of the park 12 years ago- proving that he took the “In sickness and in health” promise seriously. He remembers every med and blood count and detail, allowing me to float in my rainbow haze loving everyone.

He was with me when I was diagnosed, I went to “Shit I have to tell everyone” and he went to “Fuck, I don’t want to have to watch you go through this again”. Once we got over this we are united in knowing that I will get through this better than anyone can believe, laughing at all the dark humour that emerges in the situation and stepping up to the task of helping manage me, the kids and our life, while still working 40+ hours per week.

Dusty does not allow me to wallow in self pity, giving 'to the point advice' as needed “If you would get off of your ass you would feel better”. I am grateful that we have some wonderful friends and our parents that he can lean on.

When we went through this in 2000 he quit work (was working on the movie “The Claim” at Fortress) and was with me every step of the way- doing puzzles, remembering and watching me. He just told me that he doesn’t do puzzles this time. Over the years I’ve often thought that that time was harder on him than me. I remember saying “Geez Dusty, when’s the bad part- I feel great”, He said “Honey, you are as high as a kite”. I’m sure you all get it- and hence the question “how is Dusty doing?”.

Now don’t get me wrong, he’s not ready for sainthood yet, his bickering with our 13 year old makes me want to tear out my itty bitty hairs.

In my opinion Dusty is doing great, he is here, he is supportive, he is understanding and he is fun. I feel lucky.

Here is the Mothers Day gift that Dusty made me- a raised garden (planted on Sunday with the help of my friend Suzi).

Monday, May 28, 2012

Pause, Rewind, Fast Forward

It’s been a little bit since I blogged and I’ve been getting word that a few of you are worried. May need to get a live cam, reality show type crew to follow me, your worry on me is wasted. I am happy as a clam. Today, I noticed that I was completely content; I was doing my taxes, I have chemo. tomorrow and a PET scan on Wednesday and I was as happy as I was in Pecos, NM on retreat.

I stepped out of my ‘regular’ life for a week in a Monastery in New Mexico on a retreat with teachers Nouk Sanchez, Carrie Triffet and Stacy Sully. Their teachings are based on A Course In Miracles, a text who’s main tenants are making the choice between Faith and Fear and using Forgiveness as a tool to invite Peace, Love and Harmony into your life. These gentle and humble teachers invited an honest look at our thinking and gave us the tools to ‘let go’ and to ‘embody’ the Miracle Maker. Thanks to the loving support of Dusty, the kids and our families I was able to completely immerse myself in the quiet time and the connection to Spirit, I can’t think of a nicer gift. Taking the time to stop and go within (Pause) allows me to see the ‘crazy making’ thoughts that are ever present (Rewind) and then to shoot closer to the awareness that I Am Love. This sense has begun to fill me, warming me and drawing me closer to everyone- friends, family and beautiful strangers on the shuttle.

This presence was welcomed as I returned to hear that my sister in laws parents, long time neighbours had been in a head on collision and were fighting for their lives. As with the story of cancer, this is a shared experience, felt deeply by a wide circle and weighing heavily on those closest to the family. My brother and sister in law (not the same one) were the first on scene and handled it unbelievably well, but were understandably shaken.

The overwhelming sense that I have is that we are all in this together, that in sharing our vulnerability we show that we no longer need the strong defences, the walls, the misguided controlling behaviours that keep us separate. Our connection is our strength.

So, if you are wondering how I am, I have to say better than ever. I’m in a space where the words are not quite enough, so I ask you to stop now, close your eyes and drop your awareness into your body, the heart, the belly- drop in, tune in and join me in the openness here. I ask you to feel how I’m feeling, and I assure you that you will not be worried any more.

Love You!

Sunday, May 6, 2012

Focussing on the Gifts

We have been without internet for a week so it was a chance to unplug (aka torture the teens).

Where I’m at right now is a week after the second chemotherapy. I met with my lovely team, 2 doctors and a nurse at Tom Baker on April 27th to get the low down on their plan. They were thrilled with the results of the initial treatment and how I was feeling. In a short visit they lined out their plan to treat this as a ‘new’ occurrence and therefore take least invasive measures first (yay!). Three sessions of RCHOP (chemotherapy) followed by a PET scan and radiology consult. I was thrilled- 2 more sessions- easy peasy!

Over the time since the first chemotherapy I continued to accept offers of supplemental treatments, I had a Reiki + session with Sandy Day from High River. I made a commitment to see Sandy for her nurturing treatments monthly in 2005,
in May of that year I became miraculously pregnant with Gus. I had been told that I would NOT become pregnant after the Stem Cell Transplant and had in menopause for years. Sandy is where I go when I want to feel complete unconditional love and attention.

The second week I had a “Journey” session with Deb Elliot from Millarville, this was a profound session, uncovering beliefs about being ‘let down’ by ‘spiritual teachers’, being betrayed, not being trusted and not trusting. In uncovering these I am able to choose again, to choose to trust and heal. I have had several people say “I couldn’t do that, I’m not that in tune”, it’s just not true, there is an element of fear in looking at these beliefs and a stronger relief when you have the courage to do so. The power of these sessions are that they take you right to your Source, to your Truth and allow you to access that Wisdom- all in a couple of hours of guided meditation.

In the final ‘rest’ week I had a massage/CranioSacral treatment and Oxygen therapy with Sheila Harvey at the beautiful Chimney Rock Wellness Retreat.

I have continued to receive distance healing from yoga groups, drum groups, healers and prayer circles from everywhere.

The morale support on Facebook and in email has been remarkable, people reaching out with their love and their own stories.

I finished reading Wayne Dyer’s “Wishes Fulfilled” and Anita Moorjani’s “Dying To Be Me”.

After waking drowned in hair last Sunday Dusty shaved my head, I let it go too far to do the mullet or mohawk! It’s been a week and - for goodness sake it is growing! Gus found it scary at first and then enjoyed scaring his friends with it (my bald head) this week.

Chemotherapy last Monday was much quicker, I spent a couple of hours sleeping through it and just managed it much better this past week. I actually took all the medications I was supposed to (lol) and did my best to truly rest (realizing this is not my strong suit). The chemotherapy leaves me feeling ‘hungover’- tired, gross taste in the mouth and nauseated however, after months of feeling miserable I would say that overall I am feeling better. By Thursday I was well enough to take the 3 kids shopping and go to Costco. I saw Sandy Day again and today was treated to a visit and a Crystal Healing Kit from Grace Diamond.

I continue to wake in the middle of the night with meditation and insights. This week is what about eliminating dis-ease, and my desire to remove all barriers to Ease. Ease in relationships, ease in support, ease in health, in every area. I saw how the current situation is a chance to grind to a halt. A chance to redirect towards heart centred living, a chance to stop ‘trying’ to be perfect and accept my perfection- as is, here and now. I also have a strong sense that all of this is happening through me, not by me, that Grace is acting on me in a way that is NOT under personal control and that theree is a sense of evolution to it- it’s just time. Time to give up one way of living for another. Without judgement on the past or on what ‘other’ people are doing.

What this adds up to is GRATITUDE. I continue to allow myself to Love and Be Loved - allowing pieces of dis-ease with this to fall away. I have had miraculous support all around me, from my husband and kids to our accountant, lawyer and banker (seriously!) and everyone in between.

This weekend I booked flights to New Mexico to join the Power of Power Retreat. I will step away from my life for a week and I look forward to the opportunity to step away from old roles- Mom, Wife, Daughter as well as this recent role of ‘cancer person’. I look forward to listening and hearing.

I don’t have a point today, sharing more than anything, sharing all of it.

Dusty and I have both been struck by our ‘fear detector’, the room when we left chemotherapy on Monday was FULL of it, heavy, choking fear and despair. Dusty mentioned ‘they should have comedians in here’. The loss of hair seems to trigger people, both of us feeling their terror as a discordant hum. This hits us mostly as a surprise as we are not in a space of ‘Fawna is dying’ and so when we see it sets us back, Dusty usually starts to laugh, it doesn’t seem to last long when people tune in.

I’m grateful for all of you who are following and participating in this journey, we are in this together and I invite you to love yourself with me. I’d really like to hear some feedback from some of you for what’s going on with you too- share your insights, your growth, your miracles.

In Peace,