Ring the Bell

I was embarrassed. But now I’m done.

I finished radiation on Friday. I asked Jess to join me—the only time anyone has joined me during any of this but surgery days—so he could see the intensity of what radiation was like. I wanted to be witnessed. I wanted someone, and for me that someone is Jess, to understand that this was filled with cool sciencey contraptions. That it was harrowing and uncomfortable. That it was vulnerable and intense. That it was impossible to not have some feelings about.

So he came and watched them set me up. There’s so little modesty I had at this point in the process, male tech or female tech, only a little curtain blocking from the hallway…who cares. I got undressed each time with the two techs in the room and lay on this table. They put the pillow under my legs that held each leg perfectly (the most comfortable thing in the world and I want one now for yoga), and I put my arms up in this foam block that was made to my exact me-ness. Now it’s probably destroyed, and good riddance.

The machine is a trip.
Loving my longer hair.

I didn’t realize until Jess told me how he watched that there is a MASSIVE DOOR that closes me in there. I didn’t realize! I thought it was just a normal steel door like in a school. Nope. It’s like 18″-24″ thick and closed me in there alone like a bank vault. I was kinda impressed. This whole month of doing this and it was the last visit before I realized that.

There were opaque light gels in the lighting above the table. They were four of clouds and below four of mountains. I watched them while being radiated. There were two panels on the left of the lazer and two on the right for each. The mountain lake with giant pine trees were lovely, but because I’m me…I noticed that the left two were transposed and incorrect and the treeline and mountain were all fucked up. It made me simultaneously love myself for being a noticer, and feel irritated at the person that put them in there at each treatment. I mentioned it to the tech on my second day, and she said in all her years there no one had noticed.

Here’s to being one of the Hunter children. If you are not a human with ADHD you are not part of this neurological subset. WE RULE. Because we are evolutionarily NECESSARY for the species to survive. We notice everything. That is why we are so obnoxious. (You love us anyway.) And this is also why we are so incredible. Here’s more on this theory from Thom Hartmann.

One of my fellow Hunter children in my classroom is making me batshit crazy lately. They just have to say something about everything. (Oh I get it.) I know the child cannot help it. They are not only a person with probable ADHD, but also a person with exceptional intelligence. (Oh I get this, too.) It’s a ridiculous double whammy that makes it really hard to deal. I remind my students that it’s okay to make mistakes, but seeing as how I’ve had 42 years more on the planet than they have, well, they don’t really get it or appreciate the comment.

Some days I really wish I could lend people my wisdom. I’ve learned enough about how I work that lending them my heart and holding their pain for them doesn’t work. I can sit with them while they’re in pain and make space for them to feel. But I don’t have to feel it for them. BUT. I do wish I could lend people the understanding behind my wisdom sometimes. It is usually for my students that this occurs. I can see 15 steps ahead on the track they are choosing, and sometimes no matter what I offer…they end up crashing the car.


I’m learning, or maybe just now as I type this, that it is okay to see the train wreck someone is heading for and to not save them from it. We all need the grace of our own mistakes.

I need to say that again, louder and with italics.

It is okay to notice other people’s disasters coming, and to give them the grace of their own mistakes. No one that was preemptively saved is grateful for the “saving,” ever.

-Jennifer Fogerty

Sigh. Sigh on a stack of Bibles sigh. I mean…how many Bible stories come up when you think about that idea? The people don’t always want the messages of the prophets. So many times the seer/shaman/wise one in world cultures heeds a warning, and no one gives a rat’s ass.

No one cares until it is personal.

So, in the kindest and gentlest and most loving way, I am letting myself notice the mistakes of those I love coming, and to simply make space inside my heart to be there for them if things don’t turn out the way they want. I have no idea if it will or will not work out, besides my finely honed intuition. But, I am not God. So. I’ll let you experience your own life and not keep you from living it.

This sounds simple, but this is a big thing for me. It’s been growing, this understanding, for the last few years, and I feel like I can finally sit with the knowledge and not try to save.

My life is full enough with just showing up for myself and my blistered and irradiated boob.

(OH mama. It’s wacky. But temporary. BUH BYE Cancer cells. Bite the dust.)



  1. I can’t tell you how poignant this post is for me right now. 😳 I am watching people very close to me do things that I know are going to haunt them for the rest of their lives. I can see exactly what’s happening, what to do to make things easier for them now AND prevent future heartache. Yet… No matter how hard it is on them, no matter how much I know they will regret later, they will not listen to me or ask for help. They insist on taking the hardest road, putting themselves through the most tremendous pain and I stand here in horror as I watch the train wreck happening inch by terrible inch. 🥺
    I need to take your sage advice and try to learn to let it go. I wish I knew how.

    • It is so hard to let go of trying to save others. All I can offer is to remember that ALL WE CAN CONTROL IS OURSELVES. No matter what, that’s what we’ve got. You can let them know you love them. You can say you’re worried for them, and you will be here for them to celebrate or hold them as needed. I struggle with this with my family of origin, especially. BUT. It’s their lives. All we have is our own story, in the end. <3

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