|Fall Colors on the Angel's Rest Trail|
I was perusing some sites today, trying to pinpoint exactly what has been bugging me. It is actually not one single thing I discovered, but a multitude of things stemming from one cause.
|A fitting metaphor|
I have been asked by some "Hey, you aren't getting treatment anymore so that means you can re-enter the work force again, right?"
How about if I were to ask this, "Hey, the tornado is gone and your house is leveled to the ground so you are going to move back in though, right?"
It isn't that easy. I wish it were. But if everything were just that easy then it wouldn't be worth fighting for would it?
It is pretty awakening to find out just how close death can be. Once you are told that you could die soon you realize just how much of an emotional burden this is to carry around with you. Believe me I think about it every single day and appreciate just how fragile life is. It is traumatic! Adjusting to that at first was all about fighting for my life. I have put many days into this fight and am now emerging from the wreckage with most of myself still intact sorting through it all, piecing things back together little by little, slowly but surely getting there bit by bit. The emotional roller coaster doesn't have as many loops, twists and turns as it once did but it is still a ride.
Fatigue has been a common companion for years now. The fatigue brought on by chemo was debilitating but I powered through a lot of it by refusing to let it limit my life to my bed or sofa. I still went skiing, hiking, climbing and did the things I loved. My attitude was that if I might die it will be in the woods doing something I love and not in a bed hooked up to an IV. This is also what kept things real for me. Being outside has always been my favorite form of meditation, soul searching and head clearing. Now fatigue still haunts me but in a different way. Not so much in the way that I am physically slammed and glued to my bed or sofa although that happens about once a week still too. More so in the way that comes and goes unexpectedly. There are sometimes days on end where I am feeling pretty good overall and one day I hit the wall and am slumbering all day long with not even enough energy to cook a meal (can you say smoothie). Some days I feel good, the next day bad. There are days when I feel good for half the day and crappy for the other half. It is really a mixed bag. You never know what is going to happen. I have been learning to just cope with it and not to feel bad if I didn't get to whatever it was I had planned to do that day.
|The simple pleasures in life|
I am giving myself a present. I am giving myself time to fight my cancer and time to heal from it. I am so happy to be able to give thanks for all of the things in my life that are so good and right and healthy and loving instead of only seeing what is wrong or what I am missing because of my situation. I am choosing to focus on everything good and put my attention and energy there so that I get good in return. The very day I was diagnosed I remember sitting in my back yard watching the trees and birds and thinking to myself "I may never see this again" and then instantly thinking to myself "NO! I will never see this again because this is one moment in my life and it has no equal." This is when I changed my thought process from what I might not get to have/do to focusing on everything that I do have and can do. This is another reason why it was so hard for me to write this post today. It is why I have been kind of quiet on my blog for a while. I really feel like I have no right to complain about anything, even though life is still quite the struggle. I am not one to complain, especially since my perspective has been changed so drastically. Today I had to get it out. It felt like the thing to do.
In the meantime I am continuing to volunteer at various places, getting my feet wet again so to speak so I am prepared for a full time job when I have the opportunity and ability. I am looking forward to ski season and getting to use my awesome birthday/early Christmas present from my mom and dad of a midweek pass to my favorite local mountain. I get out and hike as much as I can when I can (even in the rain) when I feel good, fresh air is medicine for my soul. I don't leave my house much except to occasionally meet a friend for tea or to see family as every time I leave my house it costs money (either money for gas to get there or money for wherever you go) and living on $7 a day will quickly teach you how to become self entertaining and resourceful and that staying home is often the best entertainment. I continue to make mobiles to help pay for medical expenses at my naturopath and for a little extra gas money so if you want one please let me know. They make great Christmas presents (hint, hint) :)
Here is a great article about cancer survivorship and issues cancer survivors face. Many of these really hit a chord in me. It felt good to find a sort of validation for the many feelings I have been having both emotionally and physically. You may find some enlightenment in it as well.
I have also been thinking a lot about self love lately. Doesn't it make sense that if we loved ourselves more, we would make better choices about our health/food/life etc, be nicer and more loving toward other people and animals and to our environment, ultimately leading to a shift in consciousness that could radiate out and become a revolution?