We are quick to make resolutions come January 1. Eat better, exercise more, reduce stress – but I like to think that most of us take care of our mind, body and soul each day without conflict.
I’ve decided to spent today reflecting on all that was great about my past year. I’ll start with My Top Ten Moments of 2013:
- City trips to SF and Oakland with special friends
- Relaying For Life with my favorite people on the planet
- Numerous visits and parties with friends and family near and far
- Starting this blog
- Beach house days
- Holding my son’s hand
- Welcoming our beautiful niece Gia AND my dear friend’s baby Naomi
- Spending three days in the Happiest Place On Earth with my Sydney
- Relaxing in Maui with my husband
And the #1 moment of 2013… REMISSION! Kiss my ass, cancer.
The past three years have been ‘Hell In A Handbasket’ (literally gave my bladder and colon to the cause). Yet with every treatment, scan, surgery, poking & prodding, I remind myself that this bullshit is a pothole on my otherwise scenic life. And the potholes make me appreciate the beauty of my road.
I know each day will continue to bring joy and a pothole or two. So I am abundantly grateful to have love in my house; friends and family that mean more to me than they will ever know. May the New Year bring you all that is good and that your challenges keep you grateful and grounded.
I am ready for 2014.
I love the weekends. Who doesn’t? When I was on leave, I lost track of the days but even then, the world felt different come the weekend. And fall weekends are some of my favorites.
Saturday mornings might bring the sounds of leaf blowers, sawing/hammering, children’s laughter (because they are outside playing, yes!) and even when the sun isn’t shinning, the day seems bright and warm, full of possibilities.
Our household moves slower on these weekends; lingering over coffee, listening to my husband toot his flugelhorn (not a metaphor) and reading some good stuff or Pinteresting. Then we start to move. Market shopping = delicious ingredients that will produce yummy slow cooked meals. Autumn smells are exceptionally lovely.
We might visit our favorite neighborhood winery, take Ace for a run on the beach, dinner with family/friends or spend the day tinkering at home. Plans or no plans, I love it all.
Then Monday rears it’s somewhat unloved head. Poor Monday gets a bad rap just because it starts the work/school week for most of us. For me, ChemoMonday™ has proven to be painless (thanks to my PowerPort) and even a time for meditation (thank you meriko for Headspace).
So let’s ‘take back’ Mondays and embrace the start of another week… another week we add to our dash. Happy Monday!
Back to work. Working out (why did I start with a Bikram yoga class??). Not throwing up. Not being so tired I don’t leave my bed. Cooking dinner with my husband. Drinking some wine.
I prefer this daily life. You can call it ‘the grind’ but its heaven to me.
My first round of a solo flight of Avastin was a mere 30 minute infusion – I barely had time to admire the new PAMF Infusion Center. Remote controlled seat warmer and massage chair – I seriously wished my six hour sessions could have been here! Four days later I have only one side effect, dry nose. “Coke nose” as I unaffectionately call it.
My cancer has never been something I could feel. No pain. Nada. I will not label this a blessing or a curse, just a fact. It was the side effects from the chemo treatments that gave me ‘bad days’. And now that I wear the remission crown, will I be *more* anxious when my six month CT scan comes around in January? All I can say right now is ‘bring it on’. I want to hold on to that sentiment as long as I can.
Each person living with cancer is on a different journey. Even if you share the same cancer diagnosis, the cancer is different in every body. Because of this, cancer seems bigger than the word ‘disease’. Through my journey, I have met many people – some I know personally and some through blogs. I have sat beside their pain, I have peaked into their coping strategies and most of all I have head nodded to just about every word they have said or written. It’s a community that no one wishes they were a member of but grateful nonetheless.
Living the dash, the grind… we all just want to be here longer; to love, laugh, cry and witness the gifts.
“Life is what happens when you are busy making other plans” ~ John Lennon
Yesterday I closed out my fourteenth (cumulative over two years) chemo treatment.
After my third treatment in 2011, I declared that my last treatment was indeed my last. Then I found myself doing five more treatments and adding 28 rounds of radiation too.
I decided that this time I should choose a different word to mark the occasion. Closure. Closing a chapter. Closing time. Then my infusion nurse Shelley starts singing, “closing time, you don’t have to go home but ya can’t stay here.” Song lyrics have always spoken the words in my heart and those couldn’t have felt truer.
I do need to celebrate milestones. If I’ve learned something from cancer, it’s that every good day is meant to be cherished and celebrated. And the ‘bad days’ get held with love and compassion.
So I put away my chemo bag for now and since my insomnia kicks in heavily the night of treatment, I joined a couple girlfriends for dinner and a concert. We ate a delicious meal and danced a little salsa to the Gypsy Kings at a beautiful venue overlooking the valley below. I am happiest dancing to beautiful music with beautiful friends.
“… I still know quite certainly that just to be alive is a grand thing.” ~Agatha Christie