Wednesday, February 08, 2006

NOT giving my power away

Yikes. Today I was at an al anon meeting and I had a feeling. Not that I have been trying to avoid having a feeling, just that it took me a bit by surprise. You know, I thought I was just skipping along, everything fine, as fine as things can be, under the circumstances. Then WHAM, there it was, staring me in the face, all energetic and dramatic, like feelings can be (or my feelings anyway).

I was feeling scared. But not scared about the possibility of cancer, not even scared about the surgery. I was feeling scared that I might give my power away during these medical procedures. I hate that. I hate when I do that. I hate that I even spend time thinking about that.

Partly I am scared of this because I have done it before, this given my power away, especially to people in authority. Five years ago, when I was diagnosed with cancer I was sent to a surgeon who was startlingly condescending and uncompassionate, rolling her eyes as I asked the kinds of questions that anyone might ask having just received the news that they have cancer. It took me a couple of weeks and two cancelled surgeries to recognize that I was not comfortable putting my body in the care of this person. Mostly I hesitated to find a new surgeon because lots of onlookers to my process said things like “That is just what surgeons are like, you can’t expect them to have people skills, when they are dealing with unconscious bodies all day long”. Well in the end, that wasn’t good enough for me. But I needed to realize it. I needed to discover what was true for me and not worry about what other people thought of me or my decisions. I reclaimed my power the day I finally stood up to the surgeon. And the process of my taking responsibility for myself and my health continued throughout the cancer road.

It is up to me to get my needs met. No one else can do it. Bernie Siegel talks about the kind of patient that survives cancer. He says it is the person who fights, and fights back. These fighters will take on the disease head first, and face off against it and stare it down. Guess what, there are also the kinds of people that will fight their doctors, on something they don’t like about the surgery or whatever. These are the people that stand up for themselves.

And here I am again. On Feb 24th, these are people who can really mess with me if I am not “careful” (that is what I tell myself). “I don’t want to piss them off. What if I rock the boat, or annoy them or make their life more difficult and they decide to punish me. Punish me in a place I can’t fight back, when I am all unconscious and vulnerable.”

I can’t afford to look at it that way. I need to keep going into Cancer World, as many times as it takes, and not worry about being a squeaky wheel or a pain in the ass, and not worry about asking for too much. I need to do it because I need to do to it. And I get to do it because I am a child of god and I deserve to be well cared for. But making sure I get my needs met, that has to start with me. Ain’t no one else going to take the lead on this one. And, let’s face it, if they did, I would be annoyed at them for being “in charge”. Double yikes.


At 7:25 PM PST, Anonymous Fiona said...

Ha! Look out cancer - Signy just put a firecracker up your ass.

Signy, I understand exactly what you meant about your fear, about being punished when you are vulnerable. And about your need to do what you need to do, regardless of others' convenience, eye-rollings, etc. Roll away, mo-fo's. I also relate to that - God forbid I should actually WANT anything, NEED anything, especially when I am in care! Heavens!

It's great that you realized it now, when you are vertical! You are going to continue to blast through those fears and those "wish I'd done it differently last times".

I love your blog, it's a beautiful space, peaceful colours. Wonderful picture, too.
love and giggles

At 12:54 PM PST, Blogger Signy said...

You are a splash of colour on a beige wall.

Thank you for your wildness, it reminds me that there is room for it.

Love you!


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