Ocean — A Wildfire Story

My life is like the ocean.

In my meditation app I was doing two days ago, I really heard the narrator when they said, “If the ocean can calm itself, so can I. We are both made of salt water and air after all.” And that has really stuck with me.

Some moments this week I find it difficult to catch my breath and I come back to thinking about the ocean, and this soothes me.

Inhale — the waves are rolling up to the beach.

Usually, it’s Mexico in my brain since this is where I’ve spent the most time staring at the ocean.

Exhale — crashing and rolling back into the sea. Inhale. Exhale. Inhale. Exhale.

My beloved yoga teacher, Tamara, in her classes used to always quote Sarah Key in that “there’s nothing more beautiful than the way the ocean refuses to stop kissing the shoreline, no matter how many times it’s sent away” and this is how I try to keep living my life in the messy suffocating metastatic life: I keep coming up to the shore, no matter how many times I’ve been told the treatments haven’t worked or the cancer is spreading.

The ocean has crippling depths and blackness and despair but it also thrives on routine; in and out, kissing the shore line.

Inhale, exhale, inhale, exhale.

Constant and never changing. Full of just as much beauty and stability as it is cold darkness and mystery.

Leslie Rayment • Registered dietitian and mom. Diagnosed at 33. IDC, Stage IV de novo, ER+, PR+. Leslie was weaning her 1-year-old daughter from breastfeeding when she realized the lump she had long dismissed as a clogged milk duct could be something else and that she should have it looked at. Initially and briefly diagnosed as Stage II IDC, a MRI quickly confirmed the disease had already spread to her liver before she started any therapy. Leslie is currently about to start her fifth line of treatment in just over a year and has widespread metastatic disease to her bones and liver now. Leslie enjoyed a career as a registered dietitian with a passion for seniors’ health and nutrition prior to her diagnosis, which she misses immensely. She lives in Edmonton AB with her husband Cody, 5-year-old son Elliot, and 2-year- old daughter Alicia, and tries to spend as much time as possible each day living in the moment and enjoying the slow, small moments with them. @leslie.ann.r

Header photograph credit to Tawni of @flytographer

This piece has been republished with permission from WILDFIRE Magazine, the “Canada’s Young Survivors” issue, published originally April 16, 2022. More information available at  wildfirecommunity.org    

WILDFIRE Magazine is the only magazine for young women survivors and fighters of breast cancer under 45 years old. Headquartered in Santa Cruz, California, WILDFIRE is a beautiful, story-based bi-monthly magazine published on different themes relevant to young women survivors, from stage 0 to stage IV. Beautiful and ad-free! Visit  wildfirecommunity.org for more info.

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