As I have said before in this blog, having cancer makes you very aware of living in the moment, appreciating every good day, enjoying life, your family and friends and not worrying about the small stuff. For me, this means when a friend wants me to meet for lunch, I go. When a friend offers me a massage, I say yes and go. When I am invited to someone’s home for drinks and snacks, I go and enjoy myself. At work, I gave away a lot of work when I was diagnosed, but I stay involved, and now am ready for more. I stay away from situations that would bring only stress and pain. I am focusing on nurturing myself and de-stressing. That helps me fight this cancer. I quickly say no, when someone calls to ask for something in which I am not interested, and I definitely am avoiding ALL political calls, although the ads are unbelievably numerous on my e-mail. Life is too short for these things.
I am also living for my future, healthy, cancer free self. What does this mean? It means not putting off things I meant to do and have not. I am going through my closet to pick out business clothes that I do not wear to give to Dress for Success. This is something I thought about doing numerous times, but now I do it. A diamond from my aunt Em, that my uncle gave me which I have planned for a year to make into a necklace. Finally, last month I went to a jeweler, designed the necklace and had it made. I am wearing it now. I think of my aunt every time I see it, and it is no longer hidden in a drawer. My car was six years old and ready to be sold. Last week I bought a new one; my first luxury vehicle. In the past, I would have said to my husband, lets not bother getting me such a nice vehicle, I can just get the normal sedan. This time I thought why not – I want to feel comfortable and have the bells and whistles. I do not see this as selfish. I see it as planning my future, and making it as stress free and comfortable as I can.
I reach out to friends I have not seen in some time to make plans, and do the same with my family, keeping much in contact regularly. I all my aunt Marie and Uncle Sam regularly. They are my second parents, and are worrying about me, so I call to let them know when I am feeling good. My friends and family are important to me, and I want to make the time to be with them. I enjoy my husband and kids more deeply, appreciating the time with them. Every time my kids come over, I thank them for visiting.
We also are making plans for travel. It will not be out of the country but we have two trips planned already, one to a wedding in California and another trip to Utah with Judy and Deb and their husbands so they can finally see our house there. Again, we will hike, do yoga, eat good meals and enjoy our time away. In the winter, long weekends in warm weather are the plan each month to get a break from the weather. Instead of letting a busy schedule get in the way of planning, the plans will be made and we will go. There will be warm walks on the beach away from the snow and cold. Although my time to travel is limited due to my every other week chemo schedule, I will go.
Yoga remains very important to my health and de-stressing. This week, I have done yoga every day, and on days I am too tired to do my whole practice, I do part, do not worry about it, and simply enjoy the practice. If I am slow one day, it is not a big deal. Practice is different every day, and that is fine.
I told my kids that I envision myself twenty years from now, hiking in the mountains with Alan and them. Alan and I are slower, the kids have to sometimes wait for us to catch up, but we are all healthy, enjoying the outdoors and the cancer and chemo are a distant memory. I live my life with that vision. My mantra, today when I practiced yoga, and every day is “I am strong, I am healthy, I am beating this cancer.”