I imagine this is one of those moments when there is much to say but the words cannot be found.On March 1st, 2021 I was diagnosed with Stage 4 Metastatic Breast Cancer.I had no indication or inclination. I did not feel ill. It made no sense to me. It was not real.It became real very quickly. In the next few weeks, I was referred to an Oncologist, Radiologist, and Urologist. My Primary Care Physician was part of my Treatment Team as well.Cancer was found in my clavicle, spine, pelvis, scapula, sternum, left kidney, and right breast.
Several years ago, I helped a gentleman transition in his final days. It was an honor, but very challenging. His body had been destroyed by this disease. He had previously been through treatment and was in remission. Sadly, his Cancer returned. At that point, he refused further treatment. I completely understood.
After that experience, I made a decision to never agree to treatment should I be diagnosed with Cancer. Perhaps that seems selfish, but I refused to suffer as he did. I would have preferred to be permitted to die with dignity and grace.
When I saw my Mother and Father and their fear, tears, helplessness, confusion, and determination, I knew I had to take measures to address my illness. If not for myself, for them. I prepared myself for the challenge of my lifetime.
I found myself tucked into a little world of pseudo denial. If I did not think about it, it was not real. When I shared my diagnosis with my friends and other family members, I felt as if I were speaking of a dream I had or a book I read. I was numb.
I went to my medical appointments, completed all of my tests, took my medications, and everything else which was asked of me. All the while, I had one intrusive thought. What did I do in my lifetime to make me deserve this?
That was tough. I looked back and saw all of the mistakes I had made, and things for which I felt regret. I could see nothing positive. Just a path of destruction. I was told, by several others, this could happen to anyone. No matter their lifestyle. No matter their choices. It was not my fault.
Initially, the treatments were not kind. It was a rough few months. But I shall say, I was clearly not as sick as many of the patients at my Oncologist’s office. It was heartbreaking, and there were moments I felt guilty. I wished no one would ever be sick. Not like that. If I could have taken away their pain, I would have without hesitation.
I began to reach out and embrace my Faith system. I have practiced the Native American belief tradition for many years. I created an Altar which included Sacreds which were offered to me. I began to gather a collection of stones and crystals to which I was drawn as well. I purchased a Saint Jude pendant and a Labradorite pendent. Both of which I wear all of the time, even as I sleep. When I feel fear, I hold them in my hand and offer them a kiss of thankfulness for their connection to Spirit.
I spent time with a Spiritual Healer and absorbed every moment I had with her. It was an honor and privilege she joined me in my home. I could add her “titles” but I choose to call her an Enlightened Human Being. She prayed over me to help remove the toxins from my Chemotherapy Treatments which have remained in my body. We prayed together for things we felt in our hearts, both said and unsaid.
I was told by my Oncologist my chemo will stop working at some point. I was also told there are dozens and dozens of other options available should that occur. I have no concept of when or how that will come to pass. Palliative Care has taken care of me as well. The common goal is for me to be as comfortable as possible for as long as possible.
It has taken roughly 16 months for me to come to a point wherein I am asking for outside assistance other than medication and co-pays. I am in this for the long term. I cannot possibly do it alone, and I learned very quickly I do not have to. There are many, many folk who are willing to share their stories, perhaps to help or perhaps to be heard.
As well, there are numerous Agencies and Organizations which offer assistance and the most impactful, practical, lovely gifts which have touched my Soul, and I cannot thank them enough. I would encourage those who are diagnosed to be your greatest advocate. Make the phone calls, find the resources, ask the questions, write notations regarding to whom you spoke and what was said.
Feel angry. Feel afraid. Just feel. It is perfectly natural. One does not have to be “brave” and “strong”. Lean on those who surround you. Allow those who love you to take part in your journey. It is of benefit to them as well. Their feelings of helplessness can be paralyzing. They may not know what to do, and that is okay.
I was recently informed I am in remission at this time and wish to “live my life”, as my Oncologist suggested. I will be on some form of treatment for the remainder of my existence, but I have been given the gift of time. How long? I do not know. Therefore I must treat every moment of every day with the deepest respect of that which I have been so freely given.
When I began this process, I created a list of wishes. They are endeavors I may not be able to accomplish should my Cancer “wake up”. They are all very simple, not extravagant whatsoever, only little dreams I have or events in which I wish to partake. I am thankful for those who are helping me fulfill the dreams I have, I do not have the words.
I have other conditions I am beginning to focus upon aside from my Cancer. They cause limitations in my ability to embrace that which I wish to accomplish. As I hope for continued healing, I will have more freedom and strength to accomplish the “little things”. I am experimenting with creating pieces of art, albeit slowly. It has been quite some time since I felt so inclined. I am beginning to put my fingers to keys and write. I am now in possession of a camera and intend to take photographs once again.
I have processed my diagnosis and asked myself, “What have I learned from this ?” I believe the greatest gift is a deep sense of compassion for others and a far more profound ability to be grateful for even the smallest of things. My ability to communicate has improved as well as I embrace honesty and openness with myself and others.
Despite having been diagnosed with Stage IV Metastatic Breast Cancer, I embrace being far more than a physical Entity. I am finding a deep sense of the Universal Life Source which exists and flows freely through my veins. Each breath I have inhaled has gifted me with the ability to speak, and use my energy to touch another through my words. May you find comfort, peace, and healing on your journey into the Sacred.
In closing, I know in my heart everything is going to be alright. No matter what, it will be okay. Should I begin to transition, I will feel great sorrow for those I love, including my canine companion, Gracie Mae. It is my hope she will be presented with a kind, loving home which will take good care of her and love her as I do.
All I ask is that I be remembered. That my Legacy is not forgotten. I have offered the best I can do throughout my lifetime. I have made mistakes, poor choices, and not thrived in a manner of which is possible for me.
It is with great love and thankfulness to those who have offered their never-ending support and graciousness.
My heart to all.
About A.C Fernandez
AC was born in Seville, Spain and spent the majority of her formative years in Germany and Texas. After having lived in Illinois for 17 years, she made her way back to Texas, where her family resides. She is a published Author, Poet, Artist, and Photographer. She lives in her little home with her Canine Companion, Gracie, and her two Feline Compan-ions, Armande and Sophie. Her life path has led her to challenge harmful Energies which, both silently and overtly, attempt to destroy Humanity and the Animal Nations. She seeks peace and all that implies. She finds her greatest solace in Father Sky. He is her strength, and the keeper of her Spirit. Feel free to connect with her on Facebook A.C Fernandez
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