I have been thinking about this question a lot lately. Since I was diagnosed with cancer I have been more open and real about questions like this. I make every effort to be current, to be truthful and to be loving to friends, family and strangers. I have so far to go. Who do I love?
I have had an opportunity to face some truths about myself over the course of having terminal cancer. These truths have not always been pleasant or comfortable. I believe each day I have on this earth is an opportunity to do better. To show and practice love and respect for others. It’s the only path towards peace and tranquility. I see my faults and I am conquering them though compassion.
I have been plugged in to politics, 30 Rock, HGTV and other assorted things on television. I spent almost two weeks in bed with side effects from this oral chemo and used television as a pacifier, entertainer and pal. What I have learned through this is I need to give my brain and my soul time to breathe. To decompress. To think about God, faith and healing. A good lesson and reminder to slow down and to tune in.
Changed it up a bit since eating has let me down. I am scared today because waiting on results from scans. Hoping not to get call from doctor because that is always bad news. Just hoping to get results tomorrow at regular doctor visit. It has been difficult…every ache and pain or new side effect is scary. I have many more things I want to do. Not ready yet. I am reaching out to God and trying to establish a closer relationship. Every day I hope it’s getting stronger.
It occurred to me that I have received one thing that I have asked for and struggled with my whole life. I wanted to lose weight, break my obsession with food, dieting and change my negative body image. Now taking the oral chemo drugs and the brain radiation has changed the taste and smell of food. My old favorites have no appeal. I have to force myself to eat now. Now that I have what I always wanted I don’t want it anymore. Another lesson in being OK in the present. Wasted years of not being happy or OK with the present.
I am finally coming out of the radiation and chemo fog. It was the worst I have felt since I was first diagnosed in October 2013. Being that physically sick definitely puts things in perspective. I am grateful that I feel like getting out of bed. That I can walk unassisted into the kitchen. That I can enjoy a cup of coffee. That I have allowed myself to have a mocha frappuccino from Starbucks when I feel like it. Back to paying attention and being grateful for the little things. Every day is a new day with another lesson. I just need to pay attention.
I got the news yesterday that another fellow metastatic breast cancer friend has died. There has been so much death lately among friends that I met at in Boston, Philadelphia, Chapel Hill, Wind River Retreats and Little Pink Houses of Hope Lake Tahoe. So many children, husbands, parents, brothers and sisters left behind. Strikes fear in my heart. It is a devastating disease. No getting around that. I will hold them close in my heart.
The side effects from the Whole Brain Radiation and the new oral chemo drugs have been brutal. I have been house bound and actually bed bound for about 3 weeks. I would never have gotten through all of this without my friends and you know who you are! I am finally feeling better. Low potassium levels were making me weak, confused and unsteady on my feet. I have learned to graciously accept help and look towards the the future to happier days.
I believe that the silver lining or the blessing that I have received since my cancer diagnosis in October 2013 is all the new friends I have made. The other blessing has been how much deeper the friendships I already have have become. I feel very comforted and supported through this difficult time. It makes my heart full to accept the help and support I have received over this time. The take away is reach out to others. Be kind. Show love.
I truly don’t know what my future is going to look like. Up until a few days ago I was existing – one foot in the grave. Serious and solemn all the time. Everything run through the filter of now I have cancer in my brain. I have slowly pulled myself away from the brink and I am doing my best to stay in the moment. To keep my spirits up and to be as light as possible. It is a true reminder that all anyone has is today. And we are to live as fully and as earnestly as we can.