Saturday, October 25, 2014

Living



Four months of NOTHING from an otherwise outspoken monkey. Where have I been?

I am here.

I am guilty of enjoying a stoma free, cancer free life.

I am living it up in all the right places, most of it fueled by music and my love of the dance.

I am enjoying my choice of work. I am helpful instead of helpless. This is wonderful medicine.

I am relishing the relationships that cushioned me from the isolation of a merciless illness.

I am revamping the ones that cause me to question every aspect of myself.

And I am releasing the ones that no longer wish me well.

I continue to explore my souls true purpose and strive for a life lived beyond fear.

After a visit to the Omega Institute, where I basked in the healing energy of John of God, I discovered that I have not forgiven myself for my son's death. The guilt is there, buried beneath my bravado and unshakable resilience. Guilt festers and feeds my dis-ease.

It is always my fault, especially when it isn't. If you sit across the table from me and spill your drink, I will blame myself for off-balancing the table. This is my way of punishing myself.

I am learning how to forgive myself, how to find peace within myself. It is an ongoing process and for me, a difficult one.

I am learning how to love myself, celebrate the goodness that governs most of what I do (when I am good) and accept my shortcomings.

When I am high, I make plans. I expect wellness. I fix my gaze on radiant abundance and I rejoice in the magnificence of the moment.

When I am low, I go to the colorectal cancer boards and count the ones who have advanced to stage 4, or worse, are dead. I recap their decline and envision their suffering. I have yet to find someone who died without pain. I fear the pain.

I am quick to correct people when they declare that I have "beaten cancer" when in fact, the best that I can tell you is that my body shows "no evidence of disease."

I am one of the lucky ones. I have been granted the luxury of clear scans and "within normal range" tumor markers. I can now stop fighting and adjust to the permanent side effects of chemotherapy, radiation, and surgery.

Instead of following my doctors directive of scans every three months, I opted to have scans every six months. It's been six months. Now I'm thinking I'll wait until November.

In celebration of Halloween, I am headed to New Orleans with my beautiful daughter and several wonderful friends. We will be joining other wonderful friends. There will be an abundance of merriment coupled with sassy silliness and tales so scandalous your heads will spin. Because this is what I do when I release the fear and focus on the joy. There is so much joy.



Burning Man 2014. 
Vamp Camp's staged (fully functional) bidet.
Again and again, the playa provides.


xo, MonkeyME


24 comments:

  1. I was just thinking about you on Thursday, wondering how you were! This was a very welcome post. Just amazing.

    Enjoy New Orleans.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Will do! I love any excuse to wear a wig and costume.

      Delete
  2. Monkey JOY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!



    ALOHA from Honolulu
    ComfortSpiral
    =^..^= . <3 . >< } } (°>

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. :() thank you Cloudia! next stop.... Hawaii!

      Delete
  3. So glad to hear that you are grabbing Life by the hands and dancing, dancing, DANCING! May you succeed in letting go of all that needs to be released.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Deb! letting go of fear... its a big one but so crippling.

      Delete
  4. Replies
    1. me on a good day.... if nothing else, I am honest.

      Delete
  5. I am so glad to hear from you. Your writing has a different essence, a flow of tranquility, which I interpret as healing happening. I've thought of you often. Have a great time in New Orleans and enjoy your renewed self.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Myrna. Time spent with my daughter is extra special and then to also be with good friends.... it feel like a reward.

      Delete
  6. "The single overriding objective in wellness is creating constant personal renewal where we recognize and act on the truth that each day is a miraculous gift, and our job is to untie the ribbons."-Greg Anderson (The 22 Non-Negotiable Laws of Wellness)

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. a new must read for me! ...time to untie those ribbons ~

      Delete
  7. Hi Shannon,

    Your post brought a surge of joyful release to my breast. Thank you for the message of revival, and please remember that there are many out in the blog-o-sphere that are reluctant to pester you but yearn for your prose. I count myself among them.

    I went to the Jimmy Buffett concert in Portland, Oregon last week, and immersed myself into the music. For me there is nothing like singing along with 16,000 other people in a faux-beach fantasia. I imagine that your pilgrimage to New Orleans may feel similar for you?

    Not sure that you want post-survivalist trivia here on your blog - but you know how to contact me if you want to hear/read my experiences in that department.

    I am still grinning to read that you are fine and dancing. Made my entire month.

    Namaste.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Ed! good to hear from you too. YES, I do want the post-survivalist trivia. will message you. Music is so healing. Yes, New Orleans jazz feeds me on many levels. we are also going to a festival that will include all different types genres (trombone shorty and foo fighters being at the top of my list) Glad you enjoyed Jimmy. The image you painted sound like a blast!

      Delete
  8. Let me get my tickets, charge up my camera. I'll join you there.

    ReplyDelete
  9. I am so glad to see you are doing well. Sadly, I am off to search your back posts, as a dear friend's wife has entered the "experimental treatment" stages for her colon cancer. It's the little I can do... offer an option they may not know of. *sigh* Their kids are younger than mine. She's not even 50.

    Enjoy New Orleans. Ironically it was one of my destination thoughts for my 40th birthday last weekend, which, clearly did not turn out as expected. Maybe for 41...

    ReplyDelete
  10. LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE this post. Send me this mojo. OK?

    ReplyDelete
  11. Monkey,
    Love this joyous post, And one of these days I am going to meet you in New Orleans. xoxoxo Let the good times roll!! xoxox DB Give Monkeygurl a huge bunny hug. <3

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think of you every time I hear a mention of Burning Man, and I was hoping you were there again this year, reconnecting with the energy and joy and freedom you seemed to find there the first time you wrote about it. (Or maybe just the first time I read what you wrote.) And now New Orleans, which has energy and joy plus good hotels and amazing food and music! Laissez les bons temps roulez. Have some crawfish etouffe for me, okay?

    ReplyDelete
  13. Shannon!!!!!! So, so pleased to see this post. I think of you often and wonder how you are and if you are monkeying around (which I hope you are). Have fun in New Orleans and hope to read about your escapades when you return. We could all use an infusion of beignets and jazz!

    ReplyDelete
  14. oh, Shannon,

    I could not be happier to see this long awaited post from you, I loved the list you wrote - the good, the bad, the good that you are aspiring to in spades, taking in the good, purging the bad, the celebrating more good with your customary living out loud.

    I am sad that you have unearthed the truth about not being able to forgive yourself over your dear Son, Kerry's death, and for the pervasive guilt you feel. I hope so much that you have had the help, the insight, and the comfort you so deserve from your visit to the Omega Institute and the healing energy of John of God. I hope, too, that you felt Kerry's presence, his arms firmly holding you close to reassure you and help ease the pain in your heart. Dear Shannon, you have an extraordinary capacity to open up the channels of receptivity to you mind, body, and heart. it's a huge part of who you are, how far you have come through so much heart break, loss, and grief. so many of us offer our effort and time and cooperation with healing, but oftentimes forget to open ourselves up to being receptive to believing that the Universe is on our side, and to actively believe it will provide us with what we need - that what we need is right there within ourselves - and it always has been. I send you much love, compassion, and confidence, and abiding hope that you will find a peaceful and safe place to land, far, far away from the grips of regret and guilt - and far, far removed from what festers and feeds your dis-ease.

    much love and light,

    Karen OOXXOO

    ReplyDelete
  15. Wonderful!
    No better goal than a life lived without fear. I'm a seeker too!
    Love your burning man dedication!

    Thank you for filling my day with hope!

    ReplyDelete
  16. My dear Shannon,
    So glad to see you writing again, and so happy for you that you're basking in health and finding happiness. Embrace it; best of luck with finding peace and continued joy in the journey!
    ~D.

    ReplyDelete
  17. Happy Thanksgiving, Shannon. I am thankful for you and for your energy.

    Namaste.

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for encouraging my JOY of writing. By reading and commenting you are feeding my soul, stroking my heart, and in the end...making me a better writer.

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing
greenmonkeytales@live.com

Shannon E. Kennedy

***

Photo by Joan Harrison