If cancer has taught me anything it is that we must bend and sway before we break. As I mentioned in my prior blog post, November is not an easy month for me yet as I schedule things I smile. I think it’s me swaying. There are certain things that have been scheduled for me this month that fall on milestone days and I think that it is God winking at me. Perhaps he’s telling me, “chin up lady, I’ve got this.”
Tonight in my cancer support group I could smile at just how far I have come and also help someone else. Helping someone else in a place where you can instantly recall yourself being is beyond therapeutic. I also laughed this evening, apparently I am the only one with a shirt that says, “I pay my oncologist big bucks for this hairstyle.” The group totally got my humor! While I believe the shirt should be laced in gold it’s a nice cotton blend. Group is also helping me to grow with intention. “Change is inevitable. Growth is intentional.” -Glenda Cloud Never would I have ever placed myself in group at the beginning of this journey, yet today I have the wisdom to take care of myself and focus in on me. Change truly is inevitable and we can’t be stagnant, not even with cancer. We also must be intentional about growth, we can fight the path or we can choose to see it, learn from it, and grow with it. Choose to grow with it, you will never regret it.
Another wisdom that I am learning is to not let anyone steal my joy, not even myself. As a mom there are times when I feel the mom guilt of needing to spend every waking moment with my kids. We don’t grab a sitter nearly enough but we likely should more often. I am in the baby steps of learning to do things just for ME, MYSELF, and I. Truth be told, I used to think the whole love yourself first was a load of crap. Now I get it, totally get it. Stop explaining yourself to others (yourself included) because explaining to someone else is stealing your joy. This is not an easy lesson, at least for me it hasn’t been an easy one. This is a lesson that is on going for me and will take me some time to really get down.
Find your passion and passion the crap out of it. I am going to be wrapping up in some art this month, ceramics and oil painting to be exact and I am going to throw my whole self into them. I am going to lose myself in them. This is part of the swaying, the joy parade. Grab the ticket, don’t ask questions, don’t jump off, and let your passion speak to you. Everyone (cancer or not) needs a healthy vice, find it. When you find it, don’t apologize for it. Women especially (raising my hand high on this one) apologize for everything, stop it. Your passion is often times what grounds you, never apologize for what keeps you grounded. I have learned that I need more of what keeps me grounded and less of all the other “stuff” life gives us. Grocery shopping will happen whether that is you or your spouse, everyone gets hungry (even the spouse that doesn’t regularly grocery shop).
You’d think after an hour and thirty minute group session that I would rush right home to my family. Both times I have gone to group Trader Joe’s has called my name afterwards. I have been lost in my thoughts and I randomly have found myself at Trader Joe’s. This might be a thing for me, normally it’s off the beaten path for me but not when I am at group! Luckily it’s fairly healthy, minus the amazing bread I had last time. I am just letting it be my place after group. I will not fight this one. I’m letting it happen.
I am blissfully happy this evening. I would not have guessed having that feeling this month. I am just more and more at peace as I get into this month. I have my anxiety for sure, my look backs are tough, but I am blissfully happy with where I am at. At the end of 2016 I was not looking forward to this year because it was literally going to be the toughest year of my entire life. What I didn’t realize then that I do now is the amazing, genuine, and caring people cancer would bring into my life. I truly am thankful for cancer. I would not have said that a year ago. Today nothing has ever rang truer for me. The friendships, faith, and life lessons could never have been matched or taught without cancer.
As I reflect on my one year marker month, there was a quote at group that summed up my year perfectly. “I have endured, I have been broken, I have known hardship, I have lost myself. But here I stand still moving forward, growing stronger each day.” -Unknown Author. Amen. Amen. Amen. I will bend and I will sway, I will fight to stand up straight when trouble winds blow my way, I won’t break. Hope, love, and give with all that you have, it’s what has made me stand up straight.
Raise those cabernet glasses with me to cancer! Cheers to milestones whether we were looking forward to them or not, bend and sway!