Day 18 – Grateful
Today once again I woke to my alarm. It may very well be an alarm to remind me to take my morning chemotherapy drugs but an alarm to wake none the less.
In he back of my mind there is a little voice. It is a nagging voice (aren’t they all) that mimics those who in passing have given advice that I should not think about my cancer too much. That I am too defined by my disease. Thankfully, it has not been many but it is amazing how it sticks with you in the back of your mind.
On some days, that can be much harder to achieve than it is to say but this is how I try to approach it. I want to share just a little bit as when I “look so well” it is even hard for me to understand the time it takes me to achieve many of the little things these days. The old me never ever stopped and worked at full noise all the time with no thought to stopping until it was done. I believe I was much more obsessed in many ways then than I am now.
Each day I need to consider my medication timetable and work around it to ensure everything is taken in a timely manner to hopefully give the best effect on my body.
Each day as I wake, I need to assess where it hurts and is stiff and not wanting to play. You see, if my feet are cranky I actually place my feet on the floor too quickly it can be all bad if not totally funny.
Each day as I get moving I sort my princess food requirements out so my tummy does not scream too loudly at me. Not something I used to have to do, but treatment has changed my tummy forever I am afraid.
Each day I try to target just a small thing around the house or garden so I can endeavour to finish it. I tried to spring clean 3 drawers last week and that turned into six drawers and needless to say I needed a cup of tea and a lay down and did not finish it all as my brick wall snuck up on me and stopped me in my tracks.
Each day, I no longer fight needing a ‘nanna nap’ as on the days I need this it is important to listen to my body and it helps for later in the day and cooking dinner is right up there.
Each day I check if I have appointments or somewhere to visit or am getting a visitor and ensure (if possible) that I have had enough rest. (mmm this is a great idea but does not always work but it is always fun trying to arrange it !!)
So as you can see, there are indeed some things in my day that are not terribly negotiable. If I had the choice I would not do any of them really but I have learned that ‘it is what it is’ and fighting it and trying to ignore it really does not play out terribly well in the end.
Now if you consider that a day has many hours in it, even sorting all of these things out does not take up my entire day (most days, there is the occasional one that is just a write off but that is OK).
The fact is that there is lots of time that if I have sorted all the little things above that I have time to not think about my cancer very much at all.
I do not write this for pity, sympathy or puppy dog eyes. My life may become crowded by cancer related things and some days become more crowded than others but there is so much more to my life and I am certainly not defined by my squatters.
I am still me. I still love photography, writing, nature in all shapes and forms, mini adventures, my dogs, my fish, my husband, my son, my parents, my family, my friends, my volunteer work, helping others and the list goes on.
There is so much to still do and achieve and experience and for me it just means that my cancer and managing it are intertwined with it. I cannot change this and on most days no longer try to wish it away.
I live with hope and believe that I am doing the best I can do.
So to the little voice in my head telling me to conform to those who believe that living with an incurable cancer that needs to be ignored and just get on with it, I shake my head and feel sad as it cannot be any different to this and it is OK.
I am grateful that I woke to the alarm and am out of bed.
I am grateful that the day is a beautiful sunny day with amazing blue skies.
I am grateful that I have been able to potter about and tidy the kitchen and do not need a snooze after doing it.
I am grateful that my fish, dogs and chooks have made me smile today.
I am grateful that right now, today, I can deal with all the requirements that cancer has landed at my door and still have the time, energy and willingness to live with love and wonder in my heart.
Every day is amazing, rain, hail or shine.
Never let the joy of life be missing for too long. This is something I am glad that little nagging voice in my head continues to tell me.