Seven ago today I began a process of deliberately poisoning my body; in the medical profession this is called chemotherapy.
It was the toughest thing I have ever done in my life. Partly because it wasn’t a one time even, but a whole series of sessions. And it got worse as time went on.
It also completely remade me.
I lost the hair all over my body (yes, even there). It thrust me into menopause almost overnight, so my process was accompanied by night sweats, hot flashes, and other symptoms from the body’s estrogen supply being suddenly shut off. I had physical reactions that included terrific bone and joint pain and had to take opiates just to cope. My nails turned marmalade yellow and rotted from my body and didn’t heal for more than three years. (They are still thin and peeling, despite supplements of calcium, biotin, and D3.)
I lost my mind.
I did not, however, die.
Nor did the cancer it was treating return.
Being me, it also turned into a spiritual and professional outpouring. My article at Sagewoman, “Keep Walking” chronicled a piece of the journey, the changes made to my beloved coven, JaguarMoon reflect still other things I learned along the way.
I still have the hair that fell from my scalp on March 19th, just a few days before my second chemo session. It has waited patiently for me to be ready to do the ritual I’ve always know needed to be done.
And so, at the coming full moon, a Virgo moon, I will walk in the wooded area near to my home. I will open the silk scarf I wrapped my hair within and let it loose into the fields, and trees. As I do, I will be offering it up, a last sacrifice, so that the birds may use it for their nests.