1 – The turning point of my life

20 Jun 2022

There are events that radically change our lives. For me, it was the diagnosis of Pseudomyxoma in this greyish month of January, in the heart of the French winter that turned my life upside down. This is how I found myself in less than 3 weeks, sitting on a plane heading to Bali, with one issue, my health, my life.

January 10, 2014 is the day when, without knowing it, I started to live my real life. A little despite myself, I admit. It all starts with that long-awaited phone call from the surgeon who performed the exploratory laparoscopy a few weeks earlier. The objective was to establish a diagnosis of the digestive disorders which were mine at that time.

I knew this surgeon, he had followed me during my previous illness, endometriosis. But this is another story.

It was therefore by telephone (super class), that that evening, this surgeon told me that I had an incurable disease, a Pseudomyxoma or in other words “the gelatinous disease of the peritoneum”. Actually, a tumor in the appendix.

And he hangs up, without much explanation: the psychology of the announcement of the diagnosis was to be an option in his medical studies.

My first instinct is to tell myself that something gelatinous can’t be really bad. Wrong, mistake.

My sister looks on the internet, just to have a little more details to take a little more the temperature of the news. She talks to me about chemo, (ha anyway!) and will shut up that night, the part that talks about the chance of survival.

The stage is set, doctors will take a year to use the term cancer, lucky for me! But the shock is there. Hard to believe at that moment that this is perhaps the best thing that has happened to me in my life.

I had met a cellist 10 days earlier, who had shared with me her experience of a stay in an Ashram in Bali, where you could cure everything, even cancer. I had at that time, carefully recorded this information in the head without knowing that it was going to be useful to me very quickly.

To be honest, my first impulse was to go through the medical process first and then go for a trip to Bali. My friends at the time suggested I do the opposite.

I go home, tell my cat Illiaster about it, who for the first time (he wasn’t very ‘cuddly’) comes on his own on my stomach to ‘work’. I have the feeling that he is preparing me for the trip. So, it’s decided, I’m going.

It’s decided, yes, but I’m not too confident in my choice, and still doubt a little. So, I asked the opinion of my relatives. This is officially my first crazy idea. Many more will follow, much to my parents’ dismay !

I talk about my project to my office colleague. I was working at that time, in addition to my reflexology practice, in a small study office, a family structure. His response: oh no, if you go there, you’ll heal and then you won’t stay working with us. He wasn’t wrong.

Then, I test the waters with my sister: oh no, if you go there, not only will you heal but in addition, you will advance faster than me on your spiritual path. Same, not wrong, even if this notion of spiritual path is very relative for me now.

And finally, my mother! On the phone, I didn’t even have time to tell her about my crazy idea, she already knew, her antennae were all out: “I’m sure you want to go to Bali”. I still don’t understand how she knew…

And I was going to forget the advice of the doctors, well yes. At that time, when a diagnosis of a serious (and rare) disease was made, a council of doctors met to propose appropriate solutions. I felt like half guinea pig, half trophy. The surgeon assigned to me seemed delighted as he explained to me how he planned to open my belly from top to bottom, telling me all the organs he wanted to remove and of course, the final little touch, a good chemo before to close. A whole program, I let go when the size of the scar was announced, it didn’t fit with my bikini tanning program.

My sister, who was more attentive, came out green from this consultation. We sat in a public garden to digest all that. I admit that it motivated me a lot to get on the plane and during my difficult moments at the Ashram.

Before leaving, I postponed my medical appointments for a month. Of course, I had the right to be blamed by the medical secretary: “In your condition, it is not reasonable to take this time for reflection”. I can’t imagine her reaction if she had known my true intentions !

So, I summarize: decision ok, entourage ok, work ok, cat ok, doctor ok, money… oups. Because it is not given this crazy idea, the trip, the Ashram… problem. Especially since someone told me at the end of 2013, “you will be traveling a lot next year”. I remained skeptical, I had in my bank account more the budget for a tramway ticket than for a world tour.

But chance of life, the apartment I shared with my sister had been sold a year earlier and the new owner had still not asked us for the rent money. I dutifully poured it into my booklet since this moment. It’s decided, I’ll rob the bank! It’s my health and my life that are at stake, if things go wrong I could always negotiate.

And that’s how on January 28, 2014, I’m sitting on a plane leaving for a month in Bali. I just left my couch and my comfort zone that I’m not sure I’ve seen since.

I begin to live !


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