This morning I had an appointment at Wellwood. Wellwood is an excellent cancer care centre in Hamilton that takes care of things other than the medical diagnostic bits. They take care of people on the whole, offering yoga, tai chi, meditation, together with support for cancer survivors, their families and caregivers.
A few days after I was diagnosed, I starting searching for a place where I could get information. You see, I am an information junkie. For those of you who know me personally, you know that I have worked in bookstores for over 20 years. My house is full of books, too many books, maybe, but that's okay. Because I love books. To me, they are friends, sources of information, as well as inspirations. I have books on lots of things. Books for kids, books for creativity, books on books and books with information. It's the way that I figure out what i don't know what to do. I read, and read and read. I look for places to go, for things to do, I look for resources.
I was told by a handful of friends, that Wellwood had those resources and more. So off I went.
The first time I visited I drove up to the new building on Sanatorium Rd. I sat outside and cried in my car. I just didn't want to have cancer. I really felt like, it just wasn't fair. I have a 5 year old, and an amazing husband, and I have a lot of art to create. Cancer should happen to old people, not to people like me. Of course, I know that cancer hits everyone, regardless of age, gender, religion. This stupid horrible disease gets everyone.
When I walked in, I was greeted by a wonderful woman. She sat me down and talked with me. Not about the specifics of my diagnosis, but about how I was feeling. She told me about the center, and more than anything, she made me feel better. She calmed me and reminded me to breathe. At the end of our talking, I found myself sitting on the floor in their library surrounded by books. I was in my happy place. Books about coping, books about health and books about cancer. Of course. I signed out a few books and left feeling hopeful.
|Today's stash of books on cancer along with a pillow for my post surgery healing!|
This morning I went for a reiki appointment. I was a bit skeptical at first, because I am someone who likes hard, deep massage, not little fluffy touches. I am slightly allergic to hooky dooky new agey music, but I am aware that I need to be open to as many options as possible. When the session started my monkey mind was active and negative. As she placed her hands on my eyes, my arms and my hands, voices in my head were telling me how this is such a waste of time. By the end of the session, I was calmed, with visualizations of blues behind my eyes and energy flowing. On my face was a smile.
Before I left, I went to the library. I returned some books and took out some new titles. I talked with another one of the workers at the centre. She gave me more information, about programs and groups, and she did so in a way that wasn't scary or overwhelming.
After I left, I was struck by the amount of care I had felt in this centre. The kindness of those who worked and volunteered there. I do still wonder why this cancer found me, hadn't I had enough hardship in the past few years? But now, I realize that it isn't personal, and that even though it hits us all, that there are resources, and places, and most importantly people who can help.