Monday, March 10, 2008

WoYoPracMo | What Am I Supposed to Learn Here?

It's amazing how things can change within a day.

Yesterday, I was happy.

Yesterday, I was making plans to meet up with friends to celebrate my birthday (my birthday is in March). My manager just informed me I would be sent on an overseas business trip (I have been clamouring for more overseas assignments for a very long time. I really wanted this assignment)

Then this morning I had my ultrasound and they found a 7.3 cm (about 2.87 inches) wide dermoid cyst. (I can't get over the figure. Even my doctor was surprised) I suddenly found myself scheduling the surgery to remove the cyst, and looking through applications for government subsidies on my medical bills. The surgery will mean I have to forfeit the business trip.

Most of all, I will be on convalescence leave for at least 4 weeks after the surgery. That means I will not be able to practice yoga for at least a month. The incision will be right below the navel, so to allow the wound to heal, I will not be able to practice pranayama that would activate the belly. No core work, no deep abdomen breathing.

What am I going to do in April for yoga?

I'm trying to stay positive but I'm wondering why this has to happen? They say nothing happens without a reason, but why now? Why do I have to spend my birthday worrying about my surgery in April, and to have the overseas assignment I have been looking forward to snatched away like this. What am I supposed to learn here?

I am trying to keep myself grounded during Hotflow class tonight -- but it was difficult. I keep replaying "ovarian cancer" in my head -- even though it's NOT cancer. (Well, dermoid cysts are RARELY cancerous -- but they don't know for sure until they operate) Somehow the mind just fixates on the negative and it wouldn't stop. My balance poses are totally off tonight, and I feel sapped after the drama this morning at the Women's Clinic.

I know March is the month for "grounding" -- but I wasn't expecting the need for "grounding" to hit home so hard.

And what am I going to do in April when I can't move around after the surgery? This is going to be challenging.

What am I supposed to learn here?

I think I'm going to skip the 108 Sun Salutations for March mornings and work on my sitting meditation instead. I'll need that peace of mind right now.

But I'm still going to meet my friends to celebration my birthday this month. I'm still alive, so I am going to celebrate.


Yogamum said...

Gosh, I am sorry to hear about the cyst, but glad that it is treatable and quite unlikely to be cancerous.

I'm sure you will find a way to integrate something "yogic" into your convalescence. Gentle breathing with meditation...shoulder stretches... reading yoga texts... It's *all* yoga. Be gentle with yourself and you will find a way that works for you.

Anonymous said...

Don't worry about yoga, just make sure you get lots of rest after the surgery. As for the cyst, just breathe (like in yoga) and don't think too much of it. You'll just be fine. I'm sure you'll find something to keep yourself occupied, like books, dvds, and talking with friends.


Anonymous said...

First of all, I'd just like to say that 3 inches is freakin' huge!

B. I believe that you are strong, and smart, and possibly stubborn in addition to being a nice person. All of these things are going to work in your favor.

Thirdly -- although I understand that losing the trip and a month of yoga will suck, I am strangely reassured that those are the things you are worrying about.

4) Not! Cancer! The vast majority of these cysts are benign. I googled it, so don't worry too much.

Fifth, the scar could be an interesting conversation piece, in the right setting.

And last, please know that lots of people are wishing you well. You'll get through this whatever happens, so try not to stress too much.

And did I mention that 3 inches is freakin' huge? If they give you pictures, I hope you will share.

Anonymous said...

Nothing happens without a reason.

You may not see the reason now, nor even in the near future, but i think some day when you look back, you may just realise what that elusive reason is.

At least that's what i tell myself for all those things that i just cannot rationalise.

Don't go back to yoga or any slightly strenuous activity after your op, because the wound needs time to heal. Even if you are feeling restless and frustrated, don't push it. That 4 weeks of leave is meant for you to rest.

Take care, and i'll be there to visit and irritate you.

darkorpheus said...

Yogamum Thank you for the encouragement -- and the reminder that it's *all* yoga.

But one month of gentleness -- that's a real test of being still.

Matt Thank you -- I'm actually looking forward to 1 month of no-work. Imagine the reading time! But I'll probably be horizon for at least 1~2 months. *sigh*

WoYo Chris Oh yes, it's big. I never do anything in moderation. :|

The doctor actually asked if I would like to donate the cyst to research. I said, "Go ahead." What am I going to do with it? Put it in a jar and bring it home?

Apparently dermoid cyst sometimes grow hair and teeth. (I kid you not. I googled) Which, if you think about it, is plain "Eewwww"

Ah Leng I totally intend to obey doc's orders and stay in bed.

But I'm a little sore about the business trip. I really want to see Dubai!

Ana S. said...

Don't worry too much about what you will learn from this just now. It often takes time for those things to become clear. It's only after the situation has been dealt with that you can see how it made you grow as a person.

It's too bad that you won't be able to do yoga, but try not too worry too much about that you said, you can still do meditation.

Heather said...

This totally sucks! Believe me, I know that is an understatement. I sympathize because I am myself waiting on biopsy results. You will be ok! Things happen for a reason - I never know what reason. Mental Yoga - do mental yoga.

Melwyk said...

I'm sorry that you have to go through this. But it is not cancerous! Keep thinking of the 'good' part... it IS really hard to see any reason for things, though, I agree.

darkorpheus said...

Nymeth Mental yoga is hard. Just trying to get all the paperwork done for the op is a Herculean task in itself. Who needs all these forms?

Heather Enough about me -- when is your biopsy result due? I know it's a stupid question -- but it is serious?

Iliana said...

So sorry you have to go through this. Not just the surgery but then the medical costs too. Argh. I hope you'll be able to use all of your yoga knowledge to still your mind. I know I'm a worrier and that's the hardest thing to do. Sending you lots of good wishes and vibes for a successful surgery.

Anonymous said...

I am so very sorry to hear this. I had to have a cyst removed that was on my right ovary. Lost the ovary too. So, yeah, great big hugs to you, my dear, and if you need to talk, I'm here.

Yoga off the mat is underrated. Not enough people do it. I know being still will be hard for you but after awhile perhaps you'll come to enjoy meditation?

I'm sorry about the trip. :(

darkorpheus said...

Melanie Thank you -- I'm wondering if it's the world forcing me to lie still because I've been in a whirlwind of restlessness these days.

I've been trying very hard to think on the positive side. But that usually means being ironic in the face of unpleasant situation. :)

Iliana Thank you for the good wishes -- I really wonder if I have any yoga knowledge/wisdom left. Just have to muddle my way through this.

Anonymous said...

i am sure you will be alright and sad to hear that you have to gone through this experience and the trip. It's usually strange as i realised that much things happened around birthday months, either hit by a sense of reality check, wondering what to do with my life or something happened. i believed that things happened for a reason though i am still searching for the answer. i had a lump removed last year. scared the hell out of it.googled alot. googled for fact but pls dun let your imagination went wild. think factual and best to take things one at a time. Rest of the stuff will falls into places. you will do fine. Do rest well. the daily routine might breaks alittle, it will be good if you take the chance to try something different and you might discover something. you could take the chance to catch up on your books, movies, music ... anything. There's always a chance to be in any part of the world when you are well and ready. Take care ; ) quietletters

darkorpheus said...

Ailuros I'm so sorry about that. The doctor did say if things don't go well, they might have to remove the ovary. That's out of my hands though, so.

You're right. Yoga off the mat is under-rated -- probably because it's so much harder.

Thank you for the concern. I think I just need to let go of the trip. One of my colleague told me I'm not missing much.

Still, it would be cool to have a Dubai custom stamp on my passport. :)

darkorpheus said...

quietletters I just realised there was one time I asked the universe for some quiet reading time.

Now I'm looking at 4 weeks of bed rest. Is that an answer, you think? :)

Thank you for the good thoughts. I will try to take care.

Bybee said...

Three inches IS's a wonder you weren't writhing in pain twenty-four/seven. I'm still reeling about your company doctor being such an idiot. Hooray for you for being proactive, but you shouldn't have had to take it into your own hands! Did I mention that your doctor was a careless idiot? Grrr.
Be good to yourself, Dark Orpheus. I'm sending warm thoughts that the time will pass quickly and you'll be back to yoga almost before you know it.

darkorpheus said...

Bybee Really appreciate the warm thoughts. Please send them my way!

I told all my colleagues about the dismissive attitude of the company doctor. At one point we were really agitated and we talked about how we should throw pig's blood at her office door. (It's an Asian thing)

Then I remember I'm vegetarian and trying to be Buddhist, so that's bad. ;p

Ovidia said...

Gosh--horrible--but one (small) comfort nugget. I had a growth cut out of me too, years ago--they called it a 'Mickey Mouse' because it was a lump with lumps like ears growing out of it... but the 'comfort' part is--thanks largely to yoga (I believe) even though I had 4 inches of stitches down my front abdomen I found I felt pretty good the next day, in fact I got out of bed & walked to the windows. You may find the recovery/ convalescence time is greatly over-estimated. No, don't push it but the time off may turn out great... & yes--it will be benign will be benign will be benign... good health, protection & blessings to you, dear!

& the Richard Freeman Studio Talks I ordered just arrived 2 sets of 2 CDs each, if you want them (sorry but I'm talking loan not gift!) I will get them to you somehow? You can shut your eyes & just listen?

& for the pig's blood substitute... strawberry myoplex?

Anonymous said...

oh no!!!! oh no.

and i totally understand about you being upset about that with regards to your birthday. its like you can't really enjoy it when you know thats coming up. it would almost be better to have it done before your birthday, so that even though you're in discomfort, you'd at least have the worry over...

darkorpheus said...

Ovidia Strawberry myoplex? You are a bad influence. ;p

Wow. Thank you for offering to loan me the Richard Freeman CDs. That's a lot of trust for a stranger you've never met. I might be REALLY irresponsible and shameless and you will never get them back. (That said -- I am the responsible sort that always make sure I return stuff to people in good condition)

But it's okay -- thank you -- I've enough stuff in the house to keep me busy. Maybe I might even try to finish reading Proust. I'm down to the last 3 books, so it's a good time to pick up where I left off.

And would you have pictures of your "Mickey Mouse"? I heard they take pictures of these things and we can actually request for a copy from the hospital.

We're now calling my cyst the "Kiwi Fruit" -- it's about that size afterall. And it puts the thing in perspective.

JP Exactly! If I can get it done today, I would. But then again, it would mean I have to lie in bed on my birthday. At least I get to move around and party before the surgery.

Give and take, yeah?

Downside is: I have tickets to watch Cate Blanchett play a manifestation of Bob Dylan (the film "I'm Not There") and I will be in bed!

Anonymous said...

I never get the supposed "character building" quality of such developments either. I am late to send you my good wishes and thoughts but I really do hope you come out of this A-OK with another opportunity to take that overseas buying trip, too!

darkorpheus said...

ImaniThank you. I'm still around so it's never too late. ;p

I guess that overseas trip is just not meant to be. But I have just been informed there are changes to that overseas assignment. Again. So, let's see.

Anonymous said...

oh no, cate blanchett...!

well, thats brilliant the way you're thinking about it, thinking that at least on your birthday you can be up and about!

i suppose one can think that there's nothing to do, so kind of not think about it. but thats far easier said than done - and i definitely can't do that. but i suppose thats what one has to try to do...

darkorpheus said...

JP I once had a birthday right after removing a wisdom tooth. It was horrible!

So it's always important to give thanks for the little things.

You know that game where you tell someone NOT to think about the Pink Elephant? Trying to suppress it is useless, so at least I can try to think about it in a less scary way -- like Kiwi Fruit.