You would think that after all I have been through with diagnosis, cancer treatments and surgery I would not be at a loss of words when someone tells me about a cancer.
Well, I still have no words. What do you tell someone who’s aunt just finished her fight with breast cancer and was doing so well only to find out now she has a completely different cancer in her lungs.
You sit there dumbfounded and selfishly thankful that it hasn’t happened to you yet. You spit out words of how they have really made great strides with immunotherapy for lung cancer and not to give up hope. That she fought before she can fight again. Words I say knowing that I would probably not fight the next time. Words that really bring no comfort to anyone. Words that make me feel like I am making it worse.
I just stopped talking. It is safer that way. I know this from my own experiences of people trying to comfort me with their words. I stop and hug. I cry with her. That has to be better than the words, it has to because that is all I truly can give.
After all this time..
I participated in a fundraiser event today for a woman hit by cancer. Her friend wanted to help with some of the out-of-pocket expenses. I was honored to be asked to come instruct a few songs. It has been soooo long. I am rusty. I practiced and practiced and practiced.
I should have practiced better words to share with her. Better words of encouragement. A better game face of how lucky I was in all of my treatments. How lucky I am to be on this end of it.
After all this time I still have so much to learn.
Driving home the plan in my head:
Make dinner maybe a salad or scrambled eggs with veggies.
Make the pie for the bake sale tomorrow.
Practice songs for the Zumba fundraiser.
Water the yard.
Open a bottle of sparkling hard water, blood orange flavor
Proceed to eat handful after handful of those veggie fry stick things.
Take cool whip out of freezer to defrost.
Eat a whole entire row of Oreo’s while dancing to your playlist.
Lick all the cool whip off your hands and spoon when done.
Now I lay here in bed drinking all the water to try and flush my dinner out of my system.
At least I got the yard watered.
The other night I was at my son’s apartment helping him clean before his move. We were listening to 80’s music in the background and chatting. I was savoring every moment since I knew they will be few and far between now.
Then I hit my wall. I was exhausted and just couldn’t push myself through it. I needed to reserve enough energy and alertness to drive home.
I explained to him that no matter how healthy and energetic I am getting I still have a limited amount. When it is gone, it is gone.
He paused and shared a story with me that resonated with him.
A woman shared about spoons. We wake up in the morning with twelve spoons. We eat breakfast that uses one spoon. We drive to work that uses a spoon. We spend eight hours at work, that uses 3 spoons. At the end of the day we are out of spoons and we start over.
The woman explained that people who have had a life altering trauma or struggle with something like depression may wake up with twelve spoons or wake up with five spoons and try to make them stretch. Once the spoons are gone they are gone.
I tell you that I was so glad I didn’t have to explain it to him. That he just got it.
I am gonna miss that kid.
WordPress I come before you now. It has been twelve days since my last confession. I have been saving up.
I do not know if I have the passion or motivation to ever run, wog or jog again.
In fact I have no idea what my passion is anymore, if I even have passion.
I can not even recall when my last walk was. I am still working out. Lifting weights, dancing, and controlled cardio workouts. Just not wogging.
I do know this (here is comes, word vomit) :
I used CBD cream for the first time for the achy bones and it seems to help. The bones really hurt more and more now. Stupid Arimidex.
I somehow got poop on my favorite sweatshirt. My own poop and I am not even that flexible.
When you have menopause things change. Like the hair on your chin. You actually have hard coarse hair on your chin. Your sex life. It is pretty much non-existent. Not that we don’t want to, it is just harder. Bad choice of words there. Sex is painful. Not to mention I am very self-aware of my scars and misshapen body.
It has been so hot here that nothing seems possible. We finally had a break from the heat and I started taking care of the house and yard again.
My 30th class reunion is in October and I am excited to see some old friends. That was planned.
I haven’t washed my sheets since I moved into my house.
I have been basically blogging on Facebook instead of here. (cheating on WP)
Truth is my energy levels are still recovering. I only have so much energy per day and I spend it running around in circles looking for passion. Oops obviously not running, see earlier confession…chasing around in circles? spinning around in circles? chicken with her head cut off circles? I think you get it.. I just can’t seem to remember what it is I like.
Did I mention the poop? I definitely know I don’t like that.
In this picture you may just see stairs. I see so much more.
When I was released from the hospital after the seven hour double mastectomy/reconstruction surgery I had to face stairs. It is funny to me that you could have such an intense surgery that basically is an amputation and they send you home the very next day. But that is not what I want to talk about today. I want to talk about the stairs.
We had two short flights of stairs to get to our apartment. My sister and husband were on each side of me. My son and his girlfriend were behind me. I was drugged, and tired and full of drainage tubes and bandages. Yet I had to get up those stairs to get to my home.
I remember my husband’s voice so clearly when we got to the top. He was so impressed and proud of me for taking the stairs like a champ. I guess I walked up them like a ‘normal’ person would. You know one foot on one step at a time. He was so proud of me. It has been over a year and I can still hear him saying that in my head.
I like to make my husband proud of me. I catch myself doing things around the house hoping he will be impressed with what I got done. Like unpacking.
We recently moved from the cutest apartment in the world to a house. A house that will be our home. It has stairs leading to the master suite. This is a picture of those stairs. They creak on every step. They are steep. Yet none of that bothers me. Every time I walk up or down those stairs I think how far I have come from that day. How proud Keith is of me for walking up stairs. How thankful I am that I am capable and able to walk up and down stairs every day. That my knees and legs are strong enough. That I have balance and sure footedness. That I have strength and energy to go up and down these stairs several times a day.
My husband told me that when we get old we will have to convert the main floor into our living space because we won’t be able to make it up the stairs someday! I told him that if we keep going up and down the stairs our bodies will only get stronger and we won’t have to do that for a very long time. They are like a built-in treadmill/stairmaster.
These are my stairs. My victories. My motivations. My source of pride. One step at a time.
I wanted to call this ‘Shift Your Thinking!’ Shift your thinking has been rambling in my head for about a week now. It is concept that I am struggling to grasp. Oh I know so many people who have figured it out and mastered it. I am not one of those enlightened people. Truth is as this point in time I may never grasp it.
Round and round I go in my head. I want more, I need more. Just getting by is enough, just getting by is all I can do.
I went and did Bloomsday 2017. I have the Finisher shirt to prove it. Trouble is I am unhappy with my time. I am unhappy with my lack of training. I am unhappy that I didn’t do better. I am unhappy that I got sunburnt. I just can’t seem to find the joy.
SHIFT YOUR THINKING RENEE!!
YOU DID BLOOMSDAY! You had freaking cancer and did chemo and surgeries and still set your mind to it and did f’n BLOOMSDAY! You finished on your feet jogging the last mile of it! You have run it slower twice before! You have had a long, dark, and cold winter and you got to do Bloomsday in the sun!!!!!!!!
I snapped a picture of me on a walk the other day and sent it to my friend. I said this “when I see this picture all I see is ‘even my boobs look fat’. When I should shift my thinking and say ‘wow, my boobs look huge!'” (it’s funny because my boobs are fake and will always be this size)
Why do I let myself tell myself such awful things? Is it our upbringing that if you say something good about yourself you must be conceited? That if you are not being humble then you are being a bitch? Shift your thinking. You can be humble and lift yourself up. You can see that you are worth the effort without being conceited. You can shift your thoughts to find the positive the productive the purpose. Shift.
I want to do better, yes. Is it wrong that I want to do better? No. Can I be proud of where I am at and what I want to do? Yes. Shift your thinking! Tell yourself you are a finisher. A finisher! Shift.
You learn to build walls to protect yourself from others words, yet we often let our own thoughts break us down swiftly. Shift.
Finisher. Finisher. Finisher. Shift.
In case you were wondering I did the 12k in 1:57 not bad for a newly 48-year-old who has only ever driven an automatic 😉 Shift.
I don’t follow instructions that have more than 1 step very well, so I think I’ll go with the latter. Except the child is now old enough to feed himself, so I’m good.
One last milestone today. I feel like the cancer has taken so much from me. It has taken so much OF me. I am not the same person I was before. Truthfully I will never be that person again. I fight hard against myself. My…
Last night I prepared my stuff. Roast is in the crock pot with a special ingredients for the bacon taste testing going on this afternoon. Coffee maker filled with water ready to go at a touch of a button. Workout clothes and shoes laid out on the bathroom floor for easy access.
My intention was this I was going to get up and have my own Sunrise aka SON rise service this morning while on a one mile wog. One mile of worship music. One mile of slight dark yet prospect of the morning sun coming. One mile of training for a seven mile race that will be here in three weeks. One mile to make myself feel like I had accomplished something. One mile.
The result: sitting here typing about going for a simple wog and how I have already talked myself out of it.
#1 it is still too cold. I went out yesterday afternoon because the sun was out and I was too cold
#2 things are blooming. I came home yesterday with a runny nose and itchy eyes. This morning I could barely get them open because they were sealed shut with all that allergy gooey buildup! Eww and ow!
#3 my knee is really not well. Seriously stairs are hard without using a support and going slow. Yesterday in my walk I noticed that any type of incline is hard on it.
#4 we are going to church today so having my own commune time isn’t really necessary.
#5 the coffee pot is full so I should really drink that and warm up first before attempting any outdoor activity
#6 the roast needed attending too. I had to take time to shred it and check the seasoning.
#7 I can’t find any of my knit hats to cover my ears.
I have really good intentions. I really do! I have terrible, terrible follow through and as you can see will come up with any excuse to justify why I haven’t gotten out. Revenge will have to wait until I can figure out how to trick my mind into it too!
PS The picture I used was from our little tulip trip. It is a picture I took through the front window of the car because it was ‘too cold’ to go out and get a closer look. I think there is a sea otter in there somewhere..or maybe an eagle? This is my failure at lazy photo taking! Ha ha
Happy Easter to you all! And to my friends on here who get out and run Kudos to you! Now send some of the stick- to- it- ness to me!!