Cancer Widsom: Tales from the Journey
This week I had the honor of some profound conversations with others on the cancer path. Words cannot quite capture the depth of understanding shared when two people facing death come together and get real.
Martin Andrew (AKA DJ Dragonfly) is a great friend of mine whom I've known for twenty years or so. Deb, my dear friend of mine who died almost three years ago from Leukemia and I used to go to his 'Groove Garden' dances in Fairfax at the beginning of his DJ career in the late 90's and early years of 2000. I have such ecstatic memories of dancing with her at his events. (See the photo of Martin and I above.) For more info about Martin, his DJ life and uber fabulousness, please check out: DJ Dragonfly)
Martin was diagnosed with throat cancer a few years ago and I watched from a distance as he navigated his courageous path. Little did I know that a stage 3 breast cancer diagnosis would soon come my way. When I was diagnosed Martin was one of the first people I spoke to. His words cautioning me to not let my diagnosis become my story was the best advice I have ever received concerning cancer. It became my mantra to separate myself from the reality that I was more than the diagnosis.
Martin came to visit me this last week with his three energetic dogs and we had a powerful conversation about how cancer has touched our lives, transformed us and has strengthened some relationships while it dissipated others. It was refreshing to get real with another cancer journeyer!
Eugene, shown in the photo above was someone I met a year ago through my dear friends Jai Dev and Simrit. (Please read the above box for more context of the story.) In the last few weeks ago our conversations through email have deepened and I'm so grateful for his candid viewpoints. I feel like he is an elder helping to guide me on this tricky path of holding the reality of death and yet embracing life, which is necessary while on the cancer path.
I am the leader of a secret Facebook group and through this experience I have gotten to know many on the cancer journey. Sadly there was a death recently, which seems to be an inevitable reality when you know many with a life-threatening diagnosis. A friend of mine, Ben (who also is on this path) shared these words of wisdom with me, "Death is a hard one but for many people it goes to show how much we loved. Love without a doubt in my mind is the most powerful energy source in the universe. Somehow it's the energy source or consciousness all the universes holds. It's not Love or how we define it and fail miserably in doing so but the actual transcendence of Love. That bond that cannot be explained. "
Dawn Higgins Andrews is another dear friend I have met though this wild, tangled path called cancer. You might have seen some of the videos we made in the winter time. If you haven't please check them out here: Dawn Interviews Tara and Tara Interviews Dawn. Dawn exemplifies a true warrioress spirit of bringing joy, hope, inspiration and light in the midst of the greatest challenges. Recently while facing some major hurdles, she has found great inspiration in helping others find joy through her Facebook and Instagram social media platforms. Encouraging others to capture what bring them joy and tagging it #DoJoyNow is such a brilliant way to mirror back the gems of wisdom she has learned. All we have is the moment and finding joy is key enjoying life. For more info about Dawn please check out her marvelous pages: Rise Up For Healing and Facebook Rise Up for Healing
All of these friends, Dawn, Eugene, Ben and Martin are important allies for me on my journey to healing cancer. I am so blessed to be connected with a vast network of warriors and warioresses finding their way through the beauty and the challenges.
Eugene recently wrote to me, "And yes for many cancer is a curse threatening to rip them away from their life of possessions and desires. For others, like us, it is a blessing in disguise. The true nature of our soul is revealed and we have a guiding light to follow. The path is difficult but we now have greater strength. Our new vision can see what is real and what is not."
I am grateful for the greater strength and vision. May we all find the gems of brilliance in the midst of struggle!