My Standing Heart

Thank you for all the kind words of encouragement from my last post. I am feeling a bit better. Many of you shared thoughts on harnessing fear and I’m starting to see how fear can be productive. It is the body’s way of readying for a fight, preparing itself for a tough battle. Fear can make you stronger. And I am  starting to feel that I am stronger than fear.

I’ve also been reflecting more on the radiation procedure. As I have written about before, the actual radiation treatment is not too bad. But in the case of the upcoming procedure, it’s the preparatory procedures (pins in my skull and attaching a frame) that have me feeling freaked out. The radiation process itself is less scary. I was thinking about the last time I went through radiation, and the special breathing I had to do throughout the process.

Because I had left sided breast cancer, I had to hold my breath during radiation. The theory is that if you hold your breath, your lungs fill up with air, and they push your heart out of the way of the beams of radiation. I only had to hold my breath for about 30 seconds at a time, several times for each session.  Thirty seconds is not a long time, but it’s surprising the number of thoughts that run through your mind as you lay there, on the metal table and hear the soft ringing of the sound of radiation machines.

And as I took a deep breath in, and held it, this is what I thought: Right now, my heart is standing.  As my lungs pushed my heart out of the way and  kept it from danger, became its big brother, its protector, my heart stood. It stood for my family, my husband, and my little boy.

As I prepare for this next step in treatment, it is standing again, because it is ready for a fight. Now, when I think about fear, I reframe it to think, fear means my heart is standing, readying for a fight. But my heart is also standing, because it is equally ready for an embrace.  I am facing the world, and everything it throws at me, ready for the fight, and ready for the embrace.

And yesterday, we got some good news, some much needed hugs after many, many punches. I had several scans last week to make sure the cancer hadn’t spread anywhere else. We got the results back and I’m happy to share that they found no new cancer. This means no bone cancer, no lung cancer, no liver cancer etc. (No new cancer dance!) And because of this, I do not have to have chemo.

It’s great to be going into the procedure this morning knowing this good news. We’ve decided on the radio-surgery option, and not the whole brain radiation. We know that, at this point, the only tumor we know of is in one spot and so that’s the immediate threat that needs to be treated.

The whole procedure happens once, and takes about half a day. We’re scheduled for an early morning start today (in just a few hours), so it should be done by about mid-day. Looking forward to when this is done, and to more hugs than punches in the future.

More hugs:

Halloween family.

Halloween family.

The future's so bright...

The future’s so bright…

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About Naomi

Writing about health/wellness and motherhood at www.everybodyhearts.com and academia and research at www.tracingmemory.com
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17 Responses to My Standing Heart

  1. fayeandtoby says:

    Dear Naomi,
    Thanks for keeping us in the loop on your journey..your bravery, honesty, and capacity to face what’s next are extraordinary.. Hallelujah that its one time. Sending you love and,support from New York..let.me know if there is anything,at all I can do.
    hugs,
    Faye

  2. Mary says:

    OMG that is the best news!!! I am so happy for you. And for all of you. Three cheers for your beautiful heart and for your incredible spirit, Naomi. By now you will be recovering. Looking forward to another update. Sending love and HUGS! xoxo

  3. dejawoo2 says:

    Breath deep…..let it out slowly… THAT’S WHAT I’M DOING. ..AND IT FEELS BETTTER

  4. Carol says:

    So glad for your wonderful news. Yay to no chemo! Thank you for your update and sending big hugs to all three of you. ♥

  5. Myra Levy says:

    My heart is standing alongside yours!

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

  6. Steph says:

    Sooo happy about your scans, yahoo!!! Good luck today, I’ll be thinking about you. It’ll all be over before you know it. xoxo

  7. Naomi Alboim says:

    We are standing with you today, tomorrow and for many years to come!
    May all go well.
    Lots of love,
    Naomi and david

  8. annepetrie says:

    Thinking this day of your standing, fighting, embracing heart. What a beautiful post. How brave and strong you are! Love, Anne.

  9. Chocho T says:

    I am very happy to read your updates today. I am very proud of your strength & courage. I wish you all the best for today! I will be thinking and praying for you. Nice family photo! xoxo

  10. joy kellman says:

    sending you light love and healing energy and my prayers for this to be the end of the cancer ordeal for you and your family

  11. Dillon says:

    Delighted to read your post this morning. I’ll be thinking of you today. ❤

  12. Linda Kessler says:

    Great news! And as I type this email, it is almost mid-day and I hope the procedure is behind you. Zap that one spot forever 🙂 Sending you lots of huge hugs and healthy thoughts. xoxo Linda

  13. Ellen says:

    A big hug from Paul and I. Stay strong.

  14. That is such wonderful news to hear. I am so glad for you. The fear is there, and it is a challenge – but there is so much to embrace. I’m wishing you loads of healing, health and love. ~Catherine

  15. From Sharon Hollander… I admire your strength and courage. Sending love and healing thoughts. My dad and I always share a joke, whenever he gets news from a doctor: I say, “Well it could be worse.” and he says, “Ya it could be happening to you.” and then we laugh. XOXOXO

  16. Glad to hear the procedure is over and everything went well. The pictures are gorgeous. Love to all. Arlene

  17. Naomi says:

    Thanks, everyone. It’s great to know that our hearts are standing together! xoxo

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