I am currently staying at an off site location in the countryside of Virginia. I’m working with a client. I'm used to traveling for work and schlepping my stuff on trains, planes and in automobiles, not anything too unusual. The place where I am staying is an old manor house built in the early 1800’s, beautifully set, wonderful architecture and steeped in history. There are only a few sleeping rooms in the house, 3 to be exact. I am in one room; my colleague in another and then the last room is empty. I could’ve had that room. I declined. Why you ask? Well it’s said to be haunted. I’m not sure where I stand on the believer scale, but I decided to pass, better to get a good night’s sleep, then risk some interruptions.
Instead in my room, I have another kind of visitor, not the supernatural kind, the kind of visitor very much alive, colorful and active. Ladybugs! Not just one or two for good luck. Those, you can gently scoop up and shoo out the window. NO, I have 40, 50 or more dancing their way across my mirror, floor, bathtub and vanity. The ceiling in the bathroom is about 15 feet high—even if I want to, I couldn’t get rid of them.
What’s a girl to do? Well, I’ve decided to coexist. Those who fall over with their little legs frantically moving upside down, I hold out my hand, right them and let them on their way. The others covering my mirror and vanity, I have conversations with them... “Hello ladies, please don’t get in to my tooth brush or my hair brush…please, that’s all I ask." I think of them as some sort of good luck talisman, perhaps keeping the wondering ghost at bad (O God, don’t think I’m crazy!)
Where is this blog going? So what could possible connect a ladybug infestation to cancer? Here it is…
My life now is coexisting with cancer and the aftermath of cancer. Yes, my cancer was evicted through surgery and radiation two years ago and yet I have to live with all the implication so that. Multiple doctors, drugs, risks, scars, pain…. all constant companions in my life saying to me “you are a survivor and yet you are still at risk.” Little, niggly things that crawl around in my daily life and psyche.
So how do I coexist? Ney, embrace life with cancer? Reframe it baby! Talk in a different language. Mold my head and heart around my body now. It would do me know good to curse having a room with ladybugs, what would that serve? No, better to see the luck they have brought me, the opportunity to see things differently. I mean, I didn't get too much disturbance from the ghost, just a smidge. Just sayin'.
How about you? How do you coexist with your diagnosis? Life after?