Friday, March 22, 2013

Family Obligations :)

Well spring is here....or at least that is what the calendar claims.   If I look outside it certainly doesn't look like spring to me.    Snow, cold, gray......oh I 'do love Canada'....must keep saying this!!!!

One of the advantages of not working anymore is that periodically I can do humanitarian actions for other people.  The free time has allowed me to be able to help out family and friends with their daily tasks.    Tomorrow I will do that again.   I am travelling to Florida in order to help a family member drive back to Canada.   Oh, what a difficult life I live....dedicated to others!!!!!

So in the midst of this bleary winter, I get a to sun, heat and swimming.....  I am looking forward to it in many ways because I have found this winter exceptionally difficult.  I think the past year has taken a toll on me and I need to regroup, revive, and re-evaluate and what better way to do that than sitting by the pool reading.   I do not apologize for my windfall....and I know I am not expected to.   

So my next post might be from Florida, or it might not be till I get back........

Sunday, March 10, 2013

Thanks .......:))

This is a bit of an unusual missive but I felt it needed to be written.

Over the past two years and four months I have been blessed to share this journey with many many people.   People I have never met and yet are interested in what I am thinking and feeling.  People who I know but also know that I am not the most forthcoming with how I feel in person.  I like to keep things positive and upbeat because whatever I am doing I want to enjoy it. ....also early on I found the 'puppy dog' eyes I would get from some people absolutely drove me crazy.    It is not that I don't want to share my true feelings it is just when I am out and about I want to have fun and not be focusing on my illness.  I learnt that from my daughter ......there are times w hen you just have to feel that the illness is not a part of the package.....a respite from reality while living in reality!!!!

Anyways as usual I digress.......what I wanted to say here is that I appreciate everyone who reads my blog and I love to read the comments too.    I don't usually respond to comments mainly due to the fact that once I have written the blog I am usually past the feelings that I have expressed.   It is very cathartic for me.....I am in the moment and then I can move to the next moment.  Also, I am often so humbled by the words of wisdom, support, care and compassion that so many have offered, I am at a loss for words (yes really!!!!) most times.

So thank you....thank you for your humanity in allowing me to share a journey that is not always easy, I don't believe to be a blessing, but has certainly brought many blessings into my life.....and this has been one of them......what did we do before the Internet.   I have been privileged to have so many people from so many lands share in my story.....that to me is the miracle that I am living.....

So please feel free to follow me publicly or privately, comment or not, but send me positive energy into the universe and I too will send it back multiple times again......

Thursday, March 7, 2013

Courage vs. Fear

A few days ago I went shopping for a gift for friends who celebrated 50 years of marriage.   I wanted to get them something that would resonate with them and so I went to the Catholic Book Store which is not one of my usual shopping venues.   I did find something appropriate , but I also found something for myself as well.   At the time I don't think I realized the significance of it, I just knew that it jumped out at me and I had to pick it up.   It is a beautiful coffee mug, a Wedgwood blue (my favorite colour), and perfect size and shape for a GOOD cup of coffee....all the things I believe necessary when buying a coffee mug! :) 

It had one other characteristic....a beautiful quote about courage.   Courage has been one of the words that many people have  used to describe me and I have never really felt completely comfortable with that description.   I have always believed that courage implied a could do something or you couldn't do wasn't something you had when you had no choice.  Cancer was never a choice in my life.   I didn't have the choice of being healthy and chose to be sick...I didn't have the choice of death and chose is something that happened to me.   So for me there was nothing courageous about it.   The quote on the mug says:  "Courage is not the absence of fear, but the presence of faith"
OK.   That definition makes sense to me.   So I bought the mug......end of story right?

No, not at all.   It has been churning in my mind ever since I bought it.   Why?   Why did I feel the need to buy it....I am not normally an impulse buyer, unless it concerns yarn, so why did I feel without even a hesitation to pick it up and buy it.   I have used it everyday since.....and read the quote each time, thinking Yes that is what I believe.   Then I realized it...........I have been afraid lately for the first time in years.    Fear is not something I like to acknowledge, and it is really not something I like to talk about.    But lately my life has been ruled by  fear......the events of last August have left me in a state of fear.......

From the very beginning of this journey, I have never really felt that there wasn't anything I couldn't handle.   I would do what was necessary but I also wasn't going to change much about how I lived my life.   I remember early on, when I would plan a trip many people would say "what if you get sick when you are away, what will happen" and I would shake my head and say, "what if I don't get sick".  I really believed that I wasn't suppose to live my life in the world of 'what if's'.   That is exactly what I have been doing since August.   I think the events of last August which were so out of my control have made me feel very vulnerable.   A state I don't think I ever really considered myself to be.

First going home to visit my mom for two weeks....even though she was in the hospital it never occurred to me that she would die.   It never occurred to me that this would be my last visit with her.  That did throw me for a loop I admit.....but then to end up in hospital and have to have surgery I think was just too much for my psyche.    The worst case scenario had mother died and I got sick while away, and it was very very scary.   I remember being absolutely terrified just before the surgery, something I had never before felt.   When the nurse was rolling me into the OR I asked her if people were usually afraid and I will never forget what she said "usually when it's their first time, but not as scared when they have been through it before"....I looked at her and said, "well this isn't my first rodeo and I am absolutely terrified"....she took my hand and said "I will hold your hand until you go to sleep"....

When I woke up I remember being so relieved!   But I will never forget how frightened I was.  I had never felt that way before.   In many ways I think it was because my daughter wasn't there this time.  It was like I might not get a chance to say good - bye, give her all the advice I need to, make sure she understood I loved her ......    Yet I survived and am still here but the fear has yet to subside.

I think this has come home to roost lately because I am going to go away for the first time since last August.   I am having the what ifs, and I am not used to them.    I will be fine, and I will still go away....I am not one to miss a trip.   Maybe, the mug was God's way of reminding me that although I don't think of myself as courageous, that maybe this new way of looking at courage will give me some.

So, I might be afraid but I must remind myself I also have much faith.....and it will see me through!

Monday, March 4, 2013

Fatigue!!!!! YUK

It has been sometime since I felt the urge to write.  I go through these moments where I think maybe I don't need to blog anymore and try and continue my journey without venting, writing, or just letting things out.  It isn't a good thing, but like anything we all come to a point where we believe we are doing better than we think.   Isn't this why some people go off their medication because they think that they are cured and don't need it?   Well in many ways that is how it works with me and blogging.

Then something happens and I am reminded that I am not completely healthy and the world is not exactly as I would like it to be.   This weekend was one of those times.   I had an extremely busy weekend, with lots of positive events.   The only thing is that for the entire weekend, I struggled to keep my energy up in order that I could participate in them.   Not everything I wanted to do got done but it was still a busy busy time.  I made it too most events, but the whole time I knew that I was going to be exhausted after...worrying if I would be able to do the next.  Trying to figure out how much I could do and still enjoy myself and still have energy to do the next thing.   I am not very good at saying no, and of course love a good party!!!   The fallout came in the end though.   I hit a wall last night and was reminded of when I was on chemo and I would go until I literally fell down.  You would think that after almost twelve years I had figured this part of my character out ...but no....and also.....

You would think since it has been over six years since my last round of chemo that I would feel normal again.   The fact that I have a tumour growing may be one reason why I can't get energy when I need it.   Well when I hit the wall it all came flying back, the fatigue, the sore muscles, the headaches everything.   I went to bed early last night, slept fitfully all night, and then spent the day in bed trying to get some sleep. I was right back at the beginning of when cancer hit!  Twenty-four hours of doing absolutely nothing and I am just beginning to feel human again.  I hate this.   I know this isn't getting old.....I would have to be 80 to feel this way.   My mother only started to feel like this in her mid-eighties and even then she was able to read when she went to bed.   I couldn't even do that last night.   I hate the fatigue, it is such a reminder of my cancer.   Fatigue really is the biggest symptom of cancer.    The cancer just sucks the energy right out of you and leaves you feeling empty and limp.

So I have been reminded of two things.   One I am really not healthy in a normal way, and secondly I still need to have a venue to vent my frustrations....alas I will be continuing to blog!!!!!! as for the first one.....still on a learning curve there :)