Sunday, July 5, 2009

Some Distance


I haven't been able to write in awhile. Not because I haven't had time, but because I just couldn't write. I wasn't sure why until recently. I believe I need to put some distance between the hell of cancer and my life now. Writing this blog, even though I had hoped to focus on my recovery, reminds me too much of the cancer blog. Honestly right now I'd like to forget everything about having had cancer. Not the great, sweet lessons of course, but all the other stuff. I need some time to just focus on being in my life without writing about it as an observer. In the middle of the cancer I think I kept my sanity by separating myself enough to be an observer of myself. I don't want to observe my life right now- I want to be IN my life. Right in the thick of things feeling my feelings right as they're happening, rather than writing about them later. I'm not sure if this makes sense or not, but stopping the blog is the right thing for me to do. Of course I reserve the right to change my mind, but as of now this will be the last entry.

I've continued to take pictures of all our fun summer activities. I may share them on facebook sometimes. The girls and I continue to get better and better with each day. We are connecting together as a family beautifully. I am getting my strength and energy back, and at the same time I can feel that my physical body is not what it used to be. I continue to try to find balance between being active and resting. I often start the day out feeling great, then do too much and get over-exhausted. My sleep patterns continue to suck- still not sleeping well most nights. I'm considering having a sleep study done. I have some brand new goals that I'm working on. One of which is to become a strong swimmer. I've started lap swimming and I am so clumsy at it but I love it anyway. I'm also biking more and running less since it still hurts my breast when I run. I'm still playing soccer. I will still write, but in my journal and just for myself for now. My emotions are smoothing out- not such intense highs and lows. I still get sad and I still get scared when I think about cancer. But I have more and more moments of pure joy that last longer and are more frequent. My scars are fading quickly and my hair is growing. My arm continues to trouble me, but I can feel that it is getting stronger each day. I still get overwhelmed easily by too many things happening at once and I have not gotten back my ability to be good at multi-tasking. I continue to struggle with my appetite and with figuring out what to make for meals.

My big gift from cancer that I believe will be with me for life is the sense that each moment of each day is a precious gift to be noticed and cherished. I notice my life more than ever before and I love each bit of it. My soul is left marked with a deep sadness and an immense joy.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Summer Day


Today was nice and relaxing. I started the day off with an Alanon meeting, then had a long, slow lunch with the girls on the back porch, then went kayaking in the canoe canal. That turned out to be way more tiring that I thought. Last summer I could paddle for a few hours without getting tired. Today I didn't make it too far before my arms were burning. As I'm still sore from soccer a few nights ago, now my whole body is sore! I had to rest at home for a few hours before being able to get to the evening chores. Ah, this is the life- play, rest, play, rest!

I've got great pictures, but somehow can't remember how to get them on here! Maybe tomorrow.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Summer Vacation


Today was our first full day of summer vacation at home. We spent it sleeping in, picking strawberries, swimming, and picking and shelling peas from our garden. I am determined to be done with needing sleeping pills, so I went without last night. I fell asleep sometime around 12:30 and woke up at 2:30. I fell back to sleep somewhere around 6:30. Oh how I dread the wee hours of the morning when I'm wide awake and no one else is. The nice thing, though, is that I can sleep in as long as I want so I'm not too grumpy during the day. I played a full game of soccer last night as there were no subs- two 45 minute halves and I am so sore today! But it feels great that I was able to play that much. I'm getting my mojo back!

The girls are so happy and relaxed and today they were a joy to be around. Kaycee picked all the peas from the garden and she and I sat on the porch and shelled them and chatted. It was very sweet. Karina is trying to earn extra money so she weeded the flower beds. Who are these children!!?? I can especially see the change in Karina as she is so relaxed and happy now. She is big enough now to ride in the front seat with me, and on the trip she talked and talked about so many things. She hasn't talked like that in a long, long time. I think I haven't been so available to listen, and she has been stressed the last few months of school.

I also spent some time changing my bedroom from a sick room into a recovery room. I'm not quite done yet, but almost. I love summer!

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Last Day in Vancouver

It was our last full day in Vancouver yesterday. We spent it exploring different beaches. I was looking for a certain beach that I thought looked good on a map I had. It ended up being near the University of BC. To get to it we had to park, then walk a few blocks along the side of a narrow road, then down 550 steps through a beautiful forest. We discovered that the beach was a “clothing optional” beach, but didn’t want to turn back after all the walking to get there. I tried explaining to my puritan daughters that going nude is no big deal for many people, but they were horrified at the nude people. I couldn’t stop laughing at the way they would get a glimpse of someone, then quickly look down and pretend not to see them. This trip has been so good for them to be exposed to different cultures, customs, and languages. They’ve been pretty sheltered and isolated from the rest of the world in Eugene, and it’s so exciting to see them experiencing a different country.

As always for us, it can be hard being on vacation because we are all three together all the time. The girls don’t get along too well, so it finally got on my nerves yesterday. I struggled with how to get them to quit bickering with each other, and I finally decided that the consequence for insulting each other was that for each insult, they had to then turn around and give a complement. They wouldn’t stop with the constant bickering and insults, even with this new rule. So, since we were on vacation and had all the time in the world, when it got really bad I stopped what we were doing and returned to the apartment. I had the girls write down 50 things to be grateful for and 10 things they liked about each other. I went across the street and ate a chocolate pastry in the park while they worked on their assignment. When I got back, they had actually completed their tasks and they had a good gratitude list. I had them each read their compliment list to each other and it turned out to be very sweet. Today went much better and they got along very well and we were all happy and relaxed.

My energy level has been steadily increasing. I still get tired in the middle of the day, but with a break and a rest I’m ok for the rest of the day. It feels so good to be getting active again!