Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Self Love

Have you ever faced the criticism of others, especially when it comes to your outer appearance?  Have you been faced with being labeled too thin, too fat, too black, too white, too sick, too healthy, too tall, too short?  By nature, we are judgmental beings.  Even worse than judgment felt from others, is the judgment we face from within.   To quote Marianne Williamson, “Until we have met the monsters in ourselves, we keep trying to slay them in the outer world.”  Mastery of this beast from within is a true key to allowing life to come from a place of joy.

I’ve felt that achieving a greater acceptance and love from within, alone, can be miraculously healing.  In the past few weeks the universe has tested me, and I’m afraid to admit that at first I failed to a certain degree.  

I know many of you can relate to the struggles of weight.  With my first bout of cancer I gained considerable weight with the chemotherapy and steroids.  I slowly lost all that I gained, and even more, over the past year and half.  Well, now I’m on chemo and steroids again and have seen the scale rise in a short amount of time.  In one week I gained 7-8 pounds.  More than just the number on the scale, the weight gain has been uncomfortable in my body.  

The weight gain was a mystery at first and I became critical wondering what I was doing wrong.  I held stressful thoughts because I’ve had a belief that I’m healthier when I’m thinner.  I’m willing to accept this is only a belief and that it isn’t necessarily always true.  I was thinner and at a comfortable weight while lying in a hospital bed with a bowel obstruction and my abdomen full of cancer.  There is no doubt I’m healthier now than four months ago when that was happening.  When I questioned my oncologist about the weight gain his answer was simple, “It’s the chemo.”  He was not concerned.  It was relieving to have the weight gain completely excused away by my doctor but it didn’t change the struggle in my mind of self-acceptance.  

Those close to me have been very quick to remind me of how well I feel and how well I’m doing because of the chemo.  AND how alive I am as a result of the chemo, alive enough to just lose the weight later on and stop stressing about it.  Too true!!!  So again, it’s in how I view the situation and how I accept who I am now that will ultimately heal (what I believe needs healing). 

Another quote from Marianne Williamson: “The mystic path is a journey of personal transformation, and while the goal of the journey is to become our true selves, we can only do this by letting go of who we are not.”  I’m not my thin self anymore, but I’m also NOT the sick person that I was.  I am me, in all my glory of loving life and all that is offered to me through the Divine.  Not only my second chance, but my third chance to heed the guidance and inspiration from Spirit to transform.  

Medical Update:  I have now finished 5 rounds of chemo.  The dosage on the chemo was reduced the past two rounds because my liver enzymes became elevated.  I continue to use Neupogen injections the week after chemo to try to stimulate my bone marrow that is suppressed with the chemo.  I still have hair!  Yea!!!  It has thinned, but I have great hope that it will survive this current round and the next.  I am also able to eat again.  

The best news is that my CA125 tumor marker is now at 5.  This is the lowest I’ve ever been, even after chemo the first time around.  At my last appointment, my oncologist was so impressed with the numbers that he said he could hardly wait to do another scan on me to see how well things would look internally.  He looked like a kid waiting for an ice cream cone.  It was cute.  

He is discussing the option of some sort of long term chemo or hormone blocker medication after the 6 rounds of IV chemo.  This discussion will depend on the results of the scan after chemo.  I’m feeling well, for the most part.  I have a lot more bone aches from day to day and my energy/stamina is still quite low, but I can definitely deal/live with these things.  I feel very fortunate and happy with my life.  And just writing that last sentence chokes me up.  I know the reality of this disease and truly feel blessed with where I’m at in my healing.  I carry with me a deep sense of knowing that there is much love for me to still give and experience on earth and I make this my purpose every day.  Thank you, to each of you, for being a part of my journey and transformation.  

In love and health,


Dr. Oliver