I approached this anticipating only a good outcome. Having been a holistic therapist I understood the value of their work. In contrast to my anticipation, the first appointment proved hard for me, because therapists of any kind make bad clients. We know too much. I spent my first appointment saying constantly to myself, let her take the lead.
The difference between the other listeners and her focused on her expertise at reading my body. It didn’t need any words from me for her to pick up on my physical tension. I could in this hour with her let the words go and instead rest in her care. Having worked many years with all kinds of cancers and other terminal illnesses, her skill in that area outstripped my experience. Throughout all our sessions the placing of her hands on my feet became a signal for me to let go.
Outside of these safe places what relationship did I have with my ET?
As I’ve said before, each person approaches and reacts to a major diagnosis differently. My practical nature tried to work out when and where the cause of this might lie. Useless really because apart from a date of 2011 when the platelet level showed up within normal range, no medical professional could tell me when the mutation had kicked off or why it had done so.
This group of cancers, known as myeloproliterative neoplasms, affect more people over 60 than under, affect more women than men and as yet research hasn’t made any connections to why they suddenly occur.
Life events then?
Between 2011 and this year I’d certainly had plenty of stressors through work and personal matters, but I certainly couldn’t pick out any one event that might have caused it.
I then thought, okay let’s talk to this ET. See if I can start a conversation to work out a strategy going forward. Given the thundering silence, ET must be rather shy except I kept receiving the distinct impression that I needed to be stopped in my tracks. A fanciful idea possibly but it became stronger.
Did it help me to read how others had decided to fight their cancers?
Not really because this wasn’t a problem they could burn or cut out for me. As the consultant had emphasised at that first meeting, ET and I were yoked together for the duration. It didn’t seem useful to accuse it. After all the finding of it had either saved (worst case scenario) or prolonged my life by who knows how long.
I watched one of Dr Michael Mosley’s programmes; this one about the wonderful world of blood. During it I saw a magnification of platelet cells, armour activated during an attack he provoked by pricking his finger with a needle.
Awesome is an overused word, but in this instance I think awesome has to be an accurate description of blood and its marvels.
I’ve taken to blessing my mutation along with all the other trillions of cells in my body which by and large work without complaint every second of every day. May not do any good but I reason it can't do any harm.
The exhaustion though continues to baffle and thwart me most days.