No one in my family or even any of my friends realized it but today was one year since my surgery to remove the cancer.
Its been quite the journey. Not a bad journey, not really a good journey but a life changing journey to be sure. There were devastating moments and there were some sick moments and a few pain filled moments but the things that I thought were going to be the worst weren't and the things I thought would be no big deal turned out to be bigger than I thought. Most moments were ok. I guess that is the surprise in this cancer journey. I had little physical pain....mostly overwhelming exhaustion.
My prognosis is good, my tumor markers are good, I'm almost done with going to the chemo room and getting my infusions....I have two sessions left. I'm so happy to hear the great news and yet.......There are still moments where my heart freezes and my eyes get wide, a flush of searing heat goes through me and I'm filled with terror. Terror of the 'what if'. Then the moment passes and life goes on just like a swift river and I have to run to catch up and I forget about the terror. I have been really redirecting my mind when it wants to dwell on the what ifs. I cant live a life filled with terror.
But mostly......mostly this journey has filled me with the power to voice my desires, my wants, my needs and to speak up when I feel slighted, or wronged and that is the surprise to me. I used to be filled with gumption as they used to say in the old days.......then I got passive and became almost a martyr with my overwhelming desire to avoid confrontation. Over the years I changed from brazen to whispy voiced and then I carried life's responsibilities like burdens; well more like stones upon my back.
Weary with the crushing responsibility to do everything for everyone every day and all the time. Rushing here and there, going and doing and then running and rushing and just running myself ragged all in the unrealistic wish to be the perfect wife, mom, manager, bookkeeper, cleaner, washer, volunteer, working woman, partner, lover, listener, and woman. I juggled so many things like cooking old fashioned meals every night and yet rushing home to excersize to look well and being a cool mom and have
good balanced homelife and a house with with discipline and yet wholesome attention doing all the work stuff and school stuff and still be that old fashioned wife who was above reproach. And I did it all very well.
I was proud of how I managed it all.
Proud of my crazy blurry life.
This journey into the world of cancer has halted all that in its tracks and made me voice to others that that life I led is just ridiculous and got me NOWHERE and if the risk is to loose my life than I want to live life in a relaxed normal manner that lets me BREATH. Do you know that sometimes I wouldn't even get a chance to go to the bathroom all day or two days until I'd crawl into bed at night and be sick to my lower stomach and realize I really needed to use the restroom? That kind of living is nuts. And I lived like that and STILL felt like I wasn't doing enough.
Its taken one year for my family to realize that I'm not like before. They still want me to be. But I'm not going to do that again.
Do you know what it was like? It was like I was in one of those whirlpooly things in the drain when you let the wash water out in the sink and its twirling down the drain. But cancer was the stopper and it stopped me from draining away and now I have a chance to live life nicely. In pace. With grace and peace.
I've been painting and relaxing and taking naps and watching TV and cooking and meeting friends for coffee and lunch and taking time with my son. I even signed up for a class at the local craft store and paid for it and went and thoroughly enjoyed myself. I've gone to a jazz music night with a friend. I went and had a makeover in a department store cosmetic counter. I have been easing back into real living and I don't intend to stop. I will even insist on growing some vegetables this summer!
Next on the agenda is to get my son properly graduated, enjoy the summer properly and then see him off to school and then figure out what I want to do with the rest of my life.