Give Thanks for Body Talk.

16 Jan

I was thinking about something earlier today when Olivia Newton John butted in and started singing “Let’s get physical, physical; I wanna get physical…let me hear your body talk, body talk…”  Funny how one random thought can connect to another random thought and then create the mental equivalent of a skipping record.  (How old are you?  Should I explain records, needles and RPMs? )

Usually, I don’t have a motive for writing a post but tonight I do.  I want to purge Olivia’s song from it’s mental loop and remind you how important it is to listen to your body talk.  Really, listening and questioning could save your life, it did mine.

I began the summer of 2009  happily working as a professional gardener.  It was my third season and I was buff-ish (for a 50 year old).  I had built some real stamina and could keep pace with my 20 year old assistant.  Right On!

Things changed early that season.  Slowly, and then rapidly, I began to loose stamina.  I couldn’t lift as much as the season before. I was sweating too much.  Carrying my baby grandson or walking up stairs left me breathing harder than usual. Depression was dogged.  How much louder could a body talk?  Reluctantly, I listened and started questioning what it was saying. Looking for answers, I went to the Gyno to check in on my ol’ ovarian cysts and have my breasts looked at because the left  seemed heavier than the right.

Here’s an important background story:  4 years earlier an older woman, fitting me for a new bra, told me that my breasts would fill out after I finished menopause. I casually accepted this and looked forward to my dripping little boobs filling up a bit.  DON’T YOU BELIEVE IT!  IF YOUR BREAST EVER START TO FEEL SLIGHTLY HEAVIER INSIST ON AN EXAM!  ASAP! (Unless you’re having a period, of course.) Breast cancer does not always feel like a lump, a pea or even a mass.  The cells can be so dispersed that extra weight may be your red flag.  My cancer mass was measured at roughly the size of a ping-pong ball. “Why the hell didn’t I notice a ping-pong ball sized mass?”  Should be obvious, hugh?  Well, that’s just a doctor’s measurement description.  I did self-breast exams, especially when the weight appeared and I damn sure didn’t feel a ping-pong ball!  Later, after two lumpectomies, the surgeon described it another way “the cancer was spread like buckshot.”  Now that made more sense, a ping-pong ball sized area of buckshot.  I was not trained to look for that!!!  Were You?

Back to the OBGYN where I was mistakenly told to wait for my next scheduled mammogram  because “even if it is something bad, cancer cells don’t divide very fast.”   Sooo, thinking that I was clear on breast and ovarian cancer I began to look at another preexisting body flaw.  I have a mitral valve prolapse (heart murmur) and the body talk I was hearing could have been symptoms of that heart defect getting worse.  Long story short, a date was set for a mitral valve repair – frickin heart surgery!!!!  Pre-surgery catheterization and other tests were done and I was good to go.  Heart surgery in 3 weeks.

But, luckily, just before that was done I had my annual mammogram.  Bingo!  My body was telling me that I had stage 2B breast cancer, not heart problems!!!!

“Let me hear my body talk, body talk…let me hear my body talk.”  Today I was listening to what my body was saying.  I was snowshoeing when I checked in and heard: “breathing easy, stamina up, legs strong, no lymphodema, heart humming, spirits high.”  Do you think I’m giving thanks for that body talk, or what?

Hello, are you listening?  What’s your body saying…”let’s get physical, physical!”  Give thanks for body talk by getting your’s to sing all year long.

Hugs of encouragement calling out to you.


This body says WOW!  Mine says MOM.

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