Learnings: Lumps and Bumps

What a Cancer Scare Taught Me

“Mom? I found a lump in my armpit.”

Lucky for me, I have one of the most sensible moms on the planet, who also happens to know a lot about medical care–and a lot about the way my brain works. “It’s probably just a cyst. I know that Grandma and Grandpa both had breast cancer, but that’s probably because of all the old-fashioned chest x-rays they had when they were both sick. I don’t think you need to worry about that. Call your doctor, book an appointment, and see what she says.”

Also lucky for me, I have a doctor who’s pretty quick to get you in when it might be something serious…but I still had to wait until the next day.

And, yeah, I used every yoga trick in the book to stay present, to drop out of my head, to live from my heart instead of my mind—but it still ran rampant. “Oh my God, I have cancer! What am I going to do?! What if it’s bad?! What if they have to operate?! What if they can’t get it all out?! What if I really do have cancer!”

In those moments, a part of me said, “Well, yeah, say you do have cancer. Say you only have one year to live. In what way would that free you?”

I began to envision a life with no focus on the future—since there wouldn’t be one. I began to make a mental list of everything that’s really, truly important to me. I operated, for a moment, from a truly yogic, truly present foundation.

My Top 3
1. Being of service to others through yoga
2. Telling those I love how much I love them
3. Spending time with family and friends

The next day, my doc told me it is just a cyst. Hallelujah!

But I’m going to remember this experience, and what I learned. (Yes, that means even more vacations for you, Ms. Over-Protective, Worry Wart Mind.)

Take-Away Tip: What would you change if you found out you had only one year to live?

Oct 30, 2008 · Comment

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