"I have good news, bad news, and weird news. Which do you want first?”

Well obviously, I want the good news first, right?! But apparently that is not the common response, based on the expression moving across the doctor’s face. After the fact, I pondered this, as I do with any conversation, especially if I’m trying to stay in my head so I can keep control of my emotions. In the past I would’ve wanted the bad news first, to get it over with, so I could end on a high note. I now know, that if I start with something pleasant, it allows me to shift into a sense of gratitude, which then pre-paves a more positive way for whatever is to come. As a result, I seem to be more equipped emotionally to handle the “bad” and the weird.

So back to it. The good news first. The tumor in my head has shrunk a little more from the last scan 6 months ago. Excellent! And a visit with the eye specialist confirms that amazingly enough, my eye is fully functioning as if nothing ever damaged the nerve in the first place. I am so grateful for this news!

Ok, I’m ready, as I take a deep breath to prepare for whatever comes next. The bad news….the cancer has metastasized to my lungs. (Sigh) Yes, indeed this is sucky, surprising news. Already????  The scans reveal several small nodules in my lungs. At this point, the plan is to monitor the growth with another set of scans in mid-November. (Deep Sigh)

The weird news....the chest scan revealed an abnormally enlarged aorta which landed me in a cardiologist’s office the next day. Weird converts to great when it is noted that the aneurysm is not of a dangerous size and taking a medication should help decrease it so no other treatment will be necessary.

And so, as if full circle, exactly one year (to the week) that I initially received news of the cancer, I now find out it has spread. And like the first time around, I’ve cried a lot. I’ve started questioning the point of anything and everything. I’ve even heard the phrase “This is not fair” circling in my brain and wanting to burst from my mouth. And then I remember, life is not always fair. It just is what it is…..an experience. And I still have a choice as to how I will move through it.

I will do my grieving, knowing it is not a simply defined, linear process, but more like a feeling of heaviness that creeps through my mind and shadows my heart. I’m reminded of a weed vine I just removed in the front yard. I noticed it beginning to grow up the side of the house, and as I removed it from there, I found it winding down the step, through the bush, and springing from a random spot underground. Grief feels a lot like that vine, springing from nothingness and making its presence known by twisting in and around everything in its path.

And at the same time, I also feel the biggest desire I have ever felt TO LIVE. I will continue to embrace whatever is in front of me, to plan for the future, and to emanate love and light as much as I can. And so yes, this unfortunate news is yet another bump in the road.... but of an overall journey that has been, and will continue to be, filled with mysterious adventure, curves of joy and inexplicably beautiful landscape. To all of you, my companions on this most incredible road trip, thank you....and buckle up. It’s going to be a hell of a ride!

HUG! -Lorena

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