Saturday, October 25, 2014


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

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Thank You For Encouraging My Joy of Writing

Shannon E. Kennedy


Photo by Joan Harrison