Shahara | CaringBridge

Shahara’s Story
Welcome to Shahara's caring bridge website.  As many of you know,  Shahara was diagnosed with multiple myeloma in 2016 and went through extensive treatment at UC Davis Medical Center.   Your support, prayers and metta were so vital to Shahara and her daughter, Seree during the crisis in her treatment.   Shahara has been in  remission and returned to teaching.  The last couple of months  Shahara  has been feeling a lot of pain in the body and she has learned that the  cancer has come back.   So, we are starting a new caring bridge website to share updates and to provide one place where we can connect with Shahara during this next phase of treatment and healing.   We appreciate all of your support and words of hope and encouragement for Shahara.  Thank you for visiting this site.   with much gratitude, Shahara's support team

Newest Update

Journal entry by Shahara Godfrey

Hi everyone,

 

Thank you for your ongoing support. I appreciate the calls, visits, wonderful cards, prayers, drumming, smiles and laughter…keep them coming it works -:) Once this chemo cycle is complete, I hope to visit with folks more often in May and June.

 

Sometimes writing can be an easy task and sometimes it is unbearably hard.  When I have these moments of deep thoughts (sometimes morbid) about my back, the multiple myeloma and the physical reality of what it is…I tend to experience different variances of vulnerability. I wonder if there are different stages for that like the 5 stages of death and dying?

 

Lately, what I have noticed is that sometimes, just sometimes I don’t want to be in the present moment.  The concept “spiritual bypass” comes to mind. I don’t want to know how I feel in this moment, what the body is aware of right now…what I m thinking or paying attention to…can I just say I don’t care…at least in this moment? Having a complete and intentional avoidance experience (s) suits me fine…thank you very much.

 

I can only imagine that having moments of vulnerability  are par for the course for any person living with a life threatening illness…they come and they go. It’s when they are here and seem like they are never leaving that the meltdown and feelings of tenderness can leave a person feeling raw…like me. I make a distinction between having a pity party and feeling overwhelmed and helpless.  Sometimes language works well to describe these random moments of hell and sometimes they don’t.  One thing for sure I get to practice being kinder to myself and to those around me. Not that I succeed much, but it is always worth the effort.

 

Sharon Salzberg, has said, that, “doubt, in Buddhist teaching, is a very interesting quality because there are many ways in which doubt is highly prized. We need to question, we need to wonder, we need to investigate. We need to insist on seeing the truth for ourselves…There’s also a quality of doubt that is considered a hindrance. This is more like what we sometimes call “speculative doubt.” It’s doubt about our ca- pacity to learn. It’s a doubt that is a form of cynicism, where instead of div- ing deep into a process to let it speak to us so that we can understand it for ourselves, we step aside and are frozen and disdainful, which is often a kind of mask for fear…”

What am I afraid of? 

I am afraid of dying and my affairs will not be in order.

I am afraid that I will leave a whopping mess for my family to figure out about finances and my belongings.

I am afraid this iteration of the myeloma will kill me before I get to finish my endless tasks…creative or otherwise.

I am afraid that I will not see my daughter and grandchildren in 5 years watching them grow and flourish.

I am afraid I will not wake up in my right mind and not know who I am.

I am afraid the body is getting weaker and not stronger.

I am afraid that I have lost my capacity to care for others.

I am afraid I will wake up and not know my family.

I am afraid that I will die alone, lonely and scared.

I am afraid, afraid and very scared.

I am afraid that these thoughts and feeling will be with me always.

I am afraid that I forget there is joy in moments.

And then I remember there is mercy and grace and the fear goes away too.

When they are with me, the intensity / vulnerability of the moment feels insurmountable. And then I remember there is mercy and grace; those feelings goes away too.

Gratitude is what I practice and live with such beauty and such grace.

Until then with a deep bow of appreciation,

Shahara

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