Jun 05 2010
A good friend of mine recently returned home from a weekend trip with her husband and found that someone had broken into their house and stolen several pieces of expensive jewelry, including her wedding rings. At first she cried, but very quickly she shifted into acceptance and told me that I was the reason why. She said she thought about me and reasoned that she didn’t have cancer, and no one died — that put things into perspective for her. She learned the lesson from the experience and was able to let it go.
That is a great illustration that how we choose to think about things affects our sense of wellbeing. It inspired me to focus on what I’m grateful for on this cancer journey, and I’d like to share some of it with you in this update.
About two weeks ago I had a CT scan which showed that my tumor is responding to treatment. After four weeks, the 2” x 3” tumor shrunk to one fourth its original size. It’s gone from an egg to a grape. That is good news!
I am also grateful that for the last 2 weeks I haven’t had chemo because my blood counts have been low. I needed a break from the relentless nausea and I got it. I’m using this reprieve to eat better, exercise more, and fortify my body.
This treatment could have been far worse. I haven’t lost any hair! I haven’t had to take narcotics as they’d said I might — Ibuprofen is handling the pain and discomfort.
I’m grateful that I’m in the homestretch — there is just three more days of radiation treatment (and possibly one more chemo session, depending on my blood count). During these weeks of treatment, time has crawled like a snail. Now there is an end in sight. Yay!
Occasionally the fear comes up for me, what if this doesn’t work? The doctor said that if the tumor doesn’t completely disappear, it will grow back. When this fear appears, I’ve been doing the only thing I have control over — I’ve been training myself to come into the present. Throughout the day I say to myself, “Present moment, only moment.” It is a blessing to be strengthening my ability to be fully present in the moment. It’s a goal of mine in this lifetime, and feels like a huge accomplishment.
I am grateful for Tom who is taking such good care of me, and also himself and not letting himself become burned out. I am grateful for friends and family and the people who have been on this journey with me, giving me so much love and support. Thank you!
I feel blessed that my cancer experience is of service to some people, like my friend who put her loss into perspective and was able to let it go. People have told me that it has reminded them that life is precious and has inspired them to get more focused on what it is they’re here to do, and what it is they really want. I feel honored and grateful to be of service in this way.
I am counting my many blessings. I am Here and Now. I am happy to be alive. There’s always someone who has it worse off than us. My heart fills with compassion for them, and gratitude that I’m not them! It’s all relative.
How about you? Counted your blessings lately? They really are plentiful when we look for them.