grateful amazement

finding wonder…everywhere.


on January 26, 2013
The note I took as I received the Happy News Phone Call *smile

The note I took as I received the Happy News Phone Call *smile

**Funny that the last post here was about butterflies and today’s is about cocooning. But, if I really think about it, I have always tended to approach things a bit differently than expected. Even backwards, sometimes.**

In nature, the cocoon comes before the butterfly. In my world (yes, it’s pretty and glittery here *wink), it seems that the butterfly sometimes comes first.

You see, as I waited to be informed of the CT scan results, I was ‘peaceful like a butterfly’ – flitting and fluttering, but peaceful. And since Tuesday’s phone call revealed that there was No Evidence of Disease on the scan, I’ve found myself cocooning. And I’ve spent the last day or so trying to pull apart the reasons why.

Here’s what I’ve come up with:

  • I didn’t realize, until after the Happy News Phone Call (HNPC) from the oncologist’s office, that I had been holding my breath – at least emotionally – for six weeks. You can imagine that being deprived of a full, deep breath – even emotionally – for so many days might result in a certain level of fatigue. For me, spending all day Wednesday (the day after the HNPC) in my jammies was a way to ‘catch my breath.’


  • While I give myself credit for doing a lot of work over the last several years to maintain a healthy level of self-awareness, it seems that sometimes worry/fear go underground and kick in the adrenaline that comes with being in Fight-or-Flight mode, and I’m not able to recognize the fact that my adrenal glands are pumping out all kinds of Keep Going Juice until the poor things have been wrung dry…and I crash. Since Wednesday, I’ve used what little Juice that was left to drive kids around (a lot!) and make certain there is a yummy, healthy supper on the table each evening. I’m learning that there are seasons in which ‘doing what you can’ may not look like much — figuring out how to be okay with that is also part of the curriculum for me.


  • In sharing all the Ups and Downs along this path, I get concerned that there are times I may appear to be The Boy in Aesop’s The Boy Who Cried Wolf. I never, ever want it to seem as if I take likely the support, prayers, and happy vibes I receive! (oooo….feeling so vulnerable right now! But I have to remember that I’ve committed to record it all — the good, the bad, the ugly.)


  • As I’ve tried to process the HNPC and all that it means, I have felt a kind of overwhelmed by so many thoughts and feelings that I haven’t yet been able to catch them, pin them all down, and identify them. A behavior I really want to redefine is my tendency to withdraw (cocoon) when this kind of overwhelm happens. I was born a ‘verbal processor’ but have recently been exposed (in some benign as well as some not-so-benign ways) to the fact that not everything needs to be lived (or processed) ‘out loud.’ And, as I find is typical in situations in which character traits/behaviors are being reshaped, the Pendulum Swing has taken me from processing almost everything ‘out loud’ to processing almost nothing ‘out loud.’ I hope someday soon to find that the Swing has become a tiny, almost imperceptible back-and-forth versus the wide arc it is now.

There you have it. A cocoon pulled apart – a little bit. The air and sunshine finding their way through the cracks to shine on the incredible, intensely beautiful pattern inside, to start the wing-drying process. Just think, someday there will be some real flying (and more flitting and fluttering) going on around here! *smile

As I regain my strength – emotionally and physically – from holding my breath and wringing my adrenals dry, I may need to cocoon again off and on. This Business of Recovery is taking more outta me (and granting me more inner strength) than I ever thought possible! But, with our Chief Butterfly Painter in charge of the final product, I need not grow weary. He is with me – inside the cocoon, and out.

And, for that, I am gratefully amazed.

What the caterpillar calls the end of the world, the master calls a butterfly.  ~Richard Bach

We delight in the beauty of the butterfly, but rarely admit the changes it has gone through to achieve that beauty.  ~Author Unknown

Just like the butterfly, I too will awaken in my own time.  ~Deborah Chaskin


2 responses to “Cocooning

  1. A very touching post Laura. Thank you for sharing your journey. I’m so glad to hear the good news of no disease from your CT scan results. Love how you compare it to cocooning.

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