I haven't written in a couple of weeks. Radiation was exhausting, and I feel like it has taken me a good month to get my energy back. On top of this, the family went on a much needed vacation to Santa Fe. We stopped off at the Grand Canyon - where I hoped to check in with the universe: share all that I was grateful for, shed some tears about the last year,- but at 108 degrees, it was just too hot. I did take some nice pictures and enjoyed my family.
Eleven months ago, I found out I had cancer. Ten months ago, I said goodbye to co-workers and took time off from work to focus on healing. I knew that cancer treatment was going to leave me with limited energy. I wanted to spend the little energy that I had on my family and my spirit. I feel like all in all, I did a very good job of taking care of myself. I have been present with the emotional reality but also allowed myself to laugh and stay grateful. One of the most challenging parts of having cancer was the thing I hadn't even considered - how it would impact my relationships. Some relationships have become stronger. Others have almost disappeared. I read a wonderful article on just this thing yesterday and thought I would share it here. Someone in my support group the other day said that she has been able to find ways to become friends again with some of those that she lost. At this point, that seems unimaginable... but I guess only time will tell. I know I don't want to hold on to being angry. Not for anyone else -but for myself. Anger and hurt can feel like poison. But I am struggling with this. Maybe it is just too soon.
On Monday, I started back to work. It felt awkward... but how would it not. I think there are ways in which many of us live our lives in a state of denial - like we are sleeping. We think we have unlimited time to make our lives what we want them to be. We have amazing dreams but put them aside as impossibility. We think we are fine just existing in situations that no longer feel fulfilling because we are fearful of change or think it could be worse. For many people they live their whole life this way... and then it is over. Some of us are lucky enough that something happens. We get shaken out of this sleepy state and are forced to look at the stark reality of what it means to be human. Our lives are finite. Postponing happiness creates sadness in the present. Cancer has given me the gift of clarity ... and I hope that I never fall back to sleep.
Treatment is by no means over for me. I still have infusions and surgeries and doctor's appointments... but life is returning to normal. I just hope that I can find a way to create a new more wonderful normal than I ever had before.