In the in-between

Monday and Tuesday – my first two days of chemo – have come and gone, and I find myself waiting, curious to see what lies ahead and when “it” is going to hit.

Physically – aside from bouts of tiredness and nausea – I don’t feel much different, although mentally and emotionally, little feels the same. I find myself caught between what was and what is, reaching to do the usual – work, email, cooking, cleaning, walking etc. – while simultaneously trying to resist and do things differently. It’s as if I’m holding on and letting go all at the same time.

In the last couple days I have taken some small steps to change my habits or patterns: I no longer receive emails to my phone, I don’t set an alarm clock, I sleep when I’m tired, and I’ve set meditation and relaxation dates with myself. I’m also working on letting go of plans and lists, although given there are still some time sensitive items on my “to-do” list, this may take some time. In many ways this makes sense, and I would be concerned if the process of letting go and unravelling happened too quickly, because it is, and has been, a part of me.

I see this process of unravelling as an important part of my treatment and healing, and I’m excited (and let’s be honest, a wee bit scared) to allow it to unfurl and unfold. Over the next several weeks and months I want to spend some more time with myself; to reflect, question, and be. I want to try new things, rediscover my desires and passions, and challenge myself to prioritize “me” first without feeling guilty and ashamed. I want to create space for the true me to emerge.

Yet for now I find myself in the in-between. I’m neither here nor there; holding on and letting go; in the moment.



  1. Heather Vowles

    Cheryl, we should all strive to work toward the mindfulness in our daily lives that you are working on. Well-done and love!

  2. Kevin Vowles

    Yup I’m in full agreement. While this sounds tremendously difficult and is very sad to hear about, I am happy that you are living as your body needs you to, and as your mind wants you to. You are in our thoughts. Kevin

  3. Isabel

    Oh dear Cheryl …. I know this journey so well… still becoming, still in between, still needing to let go here and there, still working on consistently finding that ‘space’ and integrating what I know. You’ve said it so beautifully, so honestly. Thank you for sharing where you are at.

    Enjoy the ‘dates’ with yourself! You are a marvellous person to be with!!!!!! I feel lucky to have you in my life. XO!!!!!!!

  4. Suzanne

    Beautiful courage! To disengage from the old and prepare for the new. It is a unique liminality, a rare opportunity to step out of the box and into a realm of self discovery and exploration. I wish you much strength and patience on this journey.

  5. Crysta

    Cheryl, although we have not spoken in years, I am following your journey. Next Sunday at church, I promise to send you a prayer for good health. Keep Your positive nature girlie!!!!


    1. Cheryl (Post author)

      Thank you Crysta!

  6. Michael Cox

    I have found in my journey (not cancer: separation and divorce after a long time married) that mindfulness, being attentive to where one is at, not necessarily trying to change things but just being “here” rather than “there” or “somewhere” in your head, is healing. Not always healing, but, well, I guess it is revealing. And in those moments of clarity come some compassion for myself and for the other. I don’t think one can have compassion for cancer, but for your body, yes, of course. Not fighting, but working with.

    1. Cheryl (Post author)

      I agree Michael! I’m also learning that healing doesn’t simply happen, it is an ongoing, unknown process. Thank you for sharing your insights!


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