What's Normal?May 02, 2023
Anyone who has gone through a life changing experience will eventually ask "When will life be normal again?" Then of course they realize life will never be "normal"-there will be a new normal. This is where I am. My motivation, energy, enthusism for life has been so different. But right now I am so excited to say I have a month off treatment and I haven't felt this good since November, 2022.
You have been on my mind for months. So many of you have reached out asking me to let you know how I am! I so appreciate that and honestly during the 5 weeks of radiation and oral chemo I just hibernated from my computer! I wrote to you in my head over and over. For you that really know me, you know how unlike me this is.
To help you understand further. I am the type that likes a clean organized home-never a plate left in the sink or an unwashed pot. These last two months-I will walk by the sink, see pots that my husband used and say "Look at that. Dirty pots." Then I either lay down, sit in my chair and read and don't bother doing anything.
I can't stand dirty cabinet handles, dirty refrigerator handles, messy counters-same reaction. Oh look at that. Then I say "Thank goodness Irma (our wonderful housecleaner) is coming next week." I even filed for an extension on doing my taxes. I realize this may not seem like a big deal to many of you, but for me this is like being a big failure. My hyperachiever doesn't tolerate dirt, messiness, and not completing tasks. Right now this is the way it is.
So I realized I invited you on this journey with me and then left you hanging. My pleaser wanted to "please you," but my energy, motivation, and sense of urgency have "left the building!" I will lie for hours without sleeping or doing anything-even no thoughts-just lying there. So unlike me-but the me for now. This does not diminish the great appreciation and respect I have for you.
All the cards, texts, emails, and gifts touched my heart. I have kept every card, every flower notice, and every text to reread and lift my spirits when I feel overwhelmed with how long this is taking! It just has been a long 6 months with two more to go.
The radiation and oral chemo was not as bad as I had imagined but side effects did build and The Radiation Oncologist stopped early as I started to lose 3 pounds a week. He now says I am on the skinny side! I sure am. My bones hurt when I sit since I am so boney! But I found out I can eat more now that I am chemo free. I had to force food into my mouth for weeks as I had no appetite.
This break will end this week as I start my last round of infusions on May 8. I honestly can say that I am not looking forward to this last stage. I now know what to expect which isn't fun! I have needed help to get my mind under control as I have been allowing myself to be hijacked by how awful this is! Dear friends and family listen to me and let me work out my feelings until I get peaceful again!
Here are some current learnings I am having.
Be totally honest with yourself at all times. Some days I am sad, frustrated with my body, and just plain feel lousy. I don't pretend to be anything except how I am. If I want to nap, I do. If I want to hibernate, I do. If I am asked how I am doing, I tell the truth (not all the details, but I don't pretend to be great if I am not.) It is so freeing. It still is surprising every time I see myself in a mirror with no hair! I honestly don't recognize me and I appreciate that my husband has to see this all the time!
Be peaceful no matter what is happening. During radiation, I just laid there, not moving, and praying the whole time. I felt so peaceful. This week, I will find out if any tumors are detected in my body. Whatever shows up will be something I will face. Worrying does nothing but disrupt my present moment. I know I have a choice in every moment and know that this will all just be a memory some time. My daughter reminds me of this as she remembers her experience and today I see her beautiful long hair!
Do what gives you purpose and joy. The one thing I continue to do is support clients. I have groups I am facilitating and individual clients that are reaching out for sessions. Only a few times have I had to cancel. Usually I gather a lot of energy and have very rewarding sessions. The joy I get from supporting others has added tremendously to my healing. I also do my Positive Intelligence program which some of you know and the rest of you I will share in the future. This is a life changer. It makes all the difference in quieting that voice that says things are not okay.
Each of you on this list is someone I met, who sat through a workshop with me, or are a dear friend. I so appreciate and value you. Soon I will share the end of this journey with you and more of the gift that this period of my life is offering. Please love yourself and quiet any voice that wants to tell you otherwise. Know that I think and pray for this group often.
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