I replied with, “uh, I’m not really thinking about it.” We laughed (ruefully), moved on to coffee and breakfast.
But I got to thinking. Because Monday I will have chemo. However I think about it, that drip is gonna start and here’s my new best friend for the next six months.
The thing is, I’m not that psyched about allowing toxic chemicals into my body. But it’s kinda like having some bad uncles in the family. What if I thought about it like this: there’s been a pretty bad mofo wandering the streets of my body. The crime boss, let’s call him C.C., he’s been taken out. But he’s got all kinds of minions and feeder fish lower down the ladder that might be thinking my body is ripe for a new boss. I mean, unprotected territory is fair game, right?
But I got these two bad uncles. Let’s call them Flavius Umberto the V, and Octavius Pocotini. They don’t get invited to Christmas dinner (though maybe this year), they’re black sheep ass-kicking assassins, and I don’t really relish hanging out with them. I mean, they’re killers! I’m a moral girl! Yet, here they are, FU the V and OP, stepping in to take down the bad guys. (Insert the voice of Marlon Brando here) For the family.
How Mars is like Chemo
How do you make peace with a bad-ass, chaos-bringing dude as your biggest champion? I’ve been sorting that one out for the last 10 years, because according to the Vedic system, I’ve been in a Mars dosha (time period ruled by Mars). In traditional Vedic astrology, someone in a Mars dosha is generally gonna do nothing but suffer. Oh boy. Bad planet, bad times.
(Not that I believe in bad planets, mind you.)
But . . . the last decade certainly has been challenging. And yet, despite heartbreak, economic despair, and cancer, the molding of my soul through the last years of pain and glory has been nothing short of amazing. Mind blowing. Humbling. Empowering.
In other words, Mars, like a tough love sensei, whipping my innocent ass into warrior shape. Cause Mars says, girl, we got some things to do! He says, (insert Brando’s voice again), Elia, you got to be strong. For the family.
Family=human, animal, vegetable, mineral.
We’ve all got these dubious allies in our lives. The tough times, the challenging family member, the call to be stronger than we think we can possibly be. Sometimes we have to let the fires burn everything down in order to be ripe for the arising. Surrender is inherent in the process of healing, and Monday I will be surrendering to the good intentions of FU5 and Oxilplatin, however dubious I suspect their methods to be.
Can I take this for the team? Can I trust the strength inside of myself and my amazing body? I think, you know, that I have done harder things. And if this is how I stay strong and present for the people I love and the mountains and the elk under the moonlight, and the women I support in Africa and the little girl I’m helping in India, and all the souls that have yet to touch me . . .
Yes. I can.
To all of you who are strong for me: thank you.
To all of you who lay hands upon me with care and healing intention: thank you.
To all of you who have been my teachers, bad uncles, less than salubrious companions: thank you
Round two. I got my red Mars boots on. Let’s do it!
ps: as always, if you like this post, please share it or comment! It means a lot to me.
pps: I want to hear about your bad uncles. Really, drop me a line!