I woke up this morning to a sense of anxiety and overwhelm. Over the last couple of months, I’ve been sick a few times and have experienced bouts of neck pain; I’ve been holding tight with anticipation and worry. As I drove into Victoria for my oncology appointment today I felt the waves of grief washing through me. I could feel my body tensing and releasing and the tears ebbing and flowing. The emotions were intensely fierce, and while I’m not entirely sure why they surfaced today, I’m incredibly grateful I could feel them.
It’s been just over two years since my diagnosis with cancer, and it’s certainly been a life transforming time. There have been ups and downs, struggles and breakthroughs, and through it all I’ve come to discover who I am and what I value most. I’m learning to realize the importance of listening to my body, sleep, taking care of myself, and saying no even if it means that I may disappoint someone. I’m learning to be clearer about my how I feel and to articulate what my needs and boundaries are. I’m becoming more comfortable with uncertainty and am excited (and somewhat nervous) about the possibilities that await. I’m also learning how to be more present in each moment, to deeply value and treasure connections with others, and to more fully give and receive love. It’s all a work in progress; however, I find comfort in this continued unfurling and feel incredibly blessed to be alive!
Today as I sat with my oncologist and discussed my current and future prognosis, I shared with him how grateful I am of him and the work he does. Over the past two years, he has been such an incredible gift: checking in to see how I am feeling, how life is, and ensuring I have voice and agency in my treatment. He has always treated me as a human being first and foremost, rather than simply as a patient, and for that, I feel extremely lucky and grateful! Today sitting together, he and I also decided that, for now, my treatment is complete (happy dance)!! Moving forward we will continue to monitor things, check in as needed via email and phone, and connect again in another eight months. As we hugged and said good-bye, he again expressed that he is there if/when I need. My heart is overflowing with feelings of overwhelm, relief, and gratitude! Thank you!
While today started with waves of grief, I’m going to bed now with a happy, grateful, and incredibly full heart. Over the past two years, I’ve come to learn that experiencing this range of emotions, sensings, and feelings IS what life is all about—this is what it means to feel alive! I feel deeply blessed!
As I lay here in my hammock, listening to the crickets and frogs sing, a hummingbird circles overhead…AND I just received a gift from a friend: a skydiving session to celebrate and relish in this thing called life! How lucky am I!