When the "Teacher" gets Cancer

When I first designed my website I created a Blog and I even made a few entries (which you can find below). Within a few months I hid the link and I never looked back. Blogging did not come naturally to me and now I know why. Up until now I was not able to write freely. I didn't realize it at the time, but I wrote with a filter of "how do I want to present myself to people?" versus "what is true for me?".

Well that was then and this is now. On November 8, 2017 my world changed pretty dramatically. In July I found a lump in my breast while on vacation, I had a doctor look at it and she said it presented like a benign cyst but I should book a mammogram when I get back to Calgary.  So on September 15, I took my 46 year old breasts in for their first ever mammogram (as I have no risk factors for breast cancer I had never been recommended for a pre-screening mammogramI had a mammogram followed by a biopsy of the lump, I also had a second biopsy scheduled for another area of my breast.  date results were completely benign  I got the dreaded phone call "the doctor wants you to come in tomorrow to review the results of your biopsy" - you know that cannot be good news. 

Qigong has played a key role in my journey towards peace with my cancer and my surgical treatments. Each day my practice of qigong deepens and as I practice feel connected to each of you. I also find myself reflecting on my experience and role as a teacher which has been challenged by my diagnosis. When I first hear the words “you have cancer” I was overwhelmed by the shame I felt. Sadly, I have since learned that shame is one of the most common emotions experienced by cancer patients - we often feel ashamed for having a disease that we think we should have been able to prevent. Of course this is ridiculous, but its real nonetheless.

As a teacher of a modality that is intended to improve health and vibrancy, I especially struggled with the fact that I got cancer. I honestly felt like a failure and I even began to doubt the power of qigong as well as my abilities/worthiness as a teacher. Fortunately, I had the insight, courage and will to sit with these emotions and to recognize the conditioned patterns that were behind them. It was not easy (and it still isn’t), but I can honestly say that I no longer feel any shame or failure - in fact, I feel quite the opposite!  As I let go of the illusion of control that I have been clinging to for years, I find myself giggling and smiling at the sensation of freedom that has overcome me. It is as if I am finally free to fully step into my authentic self, and to do so unconditionally! It is this focus that I wish to bring into my blessing ceremony.