Monday, May 18, 2009

Things That Go Bump in the Night

Posted Aug 14, 2008 1:02pm

It really annoys me that I can’t fool my brain. Despite my cheery update yesterday, by 6 p.m. I had a roaring headache and was melting in a hot flash. When I checked my biocommunication (Zyto) test in height of this fit, it showed several off-the-chart indicators of emotional stress. Go figure.

The headache didn’t subside, even after dinner, so I took a handful of Myocalm PM to assure a restful night. It worked – until 2:30 a.m. when my brain shook me awake by chattering its worries about how and when to take the dreaded step to shave my head. My headache pounded to make sure I didn’t lose this focus, and threw in a one of those random waking nightmare thoughts about brain cancer, just for something else to add to the mix.

This fear, too, will pass, but it was another transition period where the inner voice and images just would not shut up. Should I just cut it short at first to lessen the blow? Should Dave be there so he won’t be shocked at the results? Will it be fun? Will it be horrible? Will it look great with big earrings? Will the wig be too scratchy when the chemo makes my skin sensitive? Will the scarves fall off because my head’s too slick? SHUT UP!!! Why am I being such a big baby over this????? This is so CRAZY; cancer was a walk in the park, but the thought of being hairless keeps me awake at night – and it’s going to be only a flash in time.

I’m a Leo – not only am I annoyingly vain, but my mane is my glory, and nothing makes me grumpier than a bad hair day. Like a kid with nightmares, I kept getting images of a scene in the animated film “Narnia” where the wicked witch is about to kill the Lion, the ruler of the good guys. But first, to add his degradation to her victory, she orders her deformed gnomes to shave his mane, a symbol of his power. It was painful to watch – and it was a cartoon, for God’s sake.
By 4:00 a.m. I had it with tossing and turning, and got up to take a few more Myocalm. Of course, washing them down with water sent me on several trips to the bathroom. I was groggy, grumpy, my head was pounding, and I started feeling nauseated. Yuk.

While stumbling back to bed, I understood why people take anti-anxiety drugs and sleeping pills… The lack of sleep is what will eventually make me crazy. I know I could get them if I asked. But I really do want to experience the flood of emotions that goes with all this – for now, anyway.

I did a few rounds of EFT. That helped the pain and nausea a lot, and made me feel more in control of the ride. I fell asleep around 4:30 and enjoyed a couple of hours of nightmares that involved Dave & I riding in a car with neither of us steering, gangs robbing my neighbors and drive-by shootings, where I ducked for cover. Have fun analyzing THOSE...

First thing this morning, I checked the “Locks of Love” website,so I might donate my loss as another’s gain, and found the minimum length requirement is 10 inches – I’m at only 8. I felt the embarrassment of having a treasured belonging appraised, only to find it was worthless. I’ve been had.

So I scurried over to the Carepages, and read the updates on the other people I’ve been following – the young mother of 2 who has been through a year of chemo with no end in sight and is still celebrating every moment, the photo of the 8 year old girl with her shiny head, giggling at her Chucky Cheese party, the woman that recorded every single day for the past year of her journey so others can be comforted to know there is another side. One day she was celebrating her friend’s victory over cancer, a few days later she was mourning the woman’s death after a truck slammed her car into a tree.

In his book The Hero with a Thousand Faces, Joseph Campbell describes the hero’s journey, a symbolic quest that transforms the hero and renews the ailing community. There is a heroine or hero in each of us, striving to express her/his highest purpose in this lifetime in order to help others learn the same lessons. We just never know when or what that challenge will be, but there is no turning back once it is presented.

Back to Narnia – the Lion shaving and assassination later revealed itself to be a symbol of his humility, and the strength to submit to the enemy when it was necessary. His reward was that by allowing this sacrifice, he was able to rise again with greater strength – and his glorious mane.
The joys and terrors, celebration and heartbreak are what bring us together, remind us that we are alive. I’ll bypass the meds for now, and write instead. I went through my SoulCollage cards this morning and pulled a couple for today. The one I called Fear is what happened last night:

I am the One Who
blocks the route to your dreams.
Terrifying and elusive,
I challenge you to admit
my magnification
is a phase of your own imagination.

but Strength is my guide for today:

I am the One Who
honors the cycles of transformation,
the purpose of your frightening phases.
A compassionate protector of those who seek,
I patiently guide as your power emerges.

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