Here I am…
Might seem like a simple enough statement. But, it’s something I’ve been thinking a lot about recently. Today, our sons finished up 3rd and 6th grade. It was an… amazingly normal school year. No health concerns apart from regular maintenance treatments and the anxiety that accompanies scans. Feelings we’ve come to accept as part of our “normal.” Annoying side effects that cause me a roller coaster of anxiety and discomfort… but I can totally live with. Mostly, we just had experiences like other families not in crisis – soccer games, travels, school projects, first girlfriends, broken glasses, arguing over screen time… It was amazing(ly normal).
And, here I am. Living life to the fullest… on a plane traveling to Florida for an annual girls trip with my Alabama besties. A trip we’ve taken for over 10 years. One of which I attended with a buzz cut after my hair just started to grow back from chemo. Others I’ve spent crying myself to sleep feeling isolated and alone, with a room full of dear friends just a closed door away. A door I couldn’t open.
Here I am, this year – feeling pretty much “normal.” I’m grateful. Daily I think about the reality other friends face with this disease. I pause in prayer and send my love to them. Today thinking about a family mourning this weekend as they say goodbye to their daughter taken from them by MBC much too soon. Tears never far behind my gratitude. I think about how I cried behind that closed door never imagining that just a couple years later I would walk with a light skip in my step. Giddy to play and laugh and simply be with friends on the shore of the ocean. What a crazy ride this is.
I was invited to spend this weekend at ASCO in Chicago (the worlds largest oncology conference). A great chance to network with national partners and share Hope Scarves. I considered it, for about 5 minutes. But, decided the beach was where I needed to be. Often I don’t feel like I am doing enough in the advocacy world. As I try to balance my passion with my life. I want to scream from the rooftops about the injustices in the funding and understanding of metastatic breast cancer research. I tell everyone I know about Hope Scarves and how it can be a resource for someone facing cancer. (Seriously, I told my uber driver on the way to the airport.) I have so much I want to write about. I want to tell my story and that of so many of my friends to anyone who will listen. My to do list is never ending.
But, today, here I am on a plane to see my friends. Letting it all go…
No matter what you are facing in life, we are all challenged with this pull to do more or different. I spend a good deal of time reading or looking at doing more for my health and wellness. To the extent that sometimes it adds more stress to my life. I should be drinking lemon water each morning when I get up. I shouldn’t eat grilled meat. I should try XYZ supplement or use oils, etc… So many “shoulds.” So many “shouldn’ts.”
Here I am. I try things that bring me joy and let go of things I can’t manage. One day this might be the same thing. (HA!) I am giving myself a break. And, I am encouraging you to do the same.
Teo Drank, An HIV/AIDS Activist & Yoga teacher explained to me, “remember that one is never balanced, one is always balancing. Balance is not achieved, it’s momentarily held; the losing and regaining balance is the essence of the pose. For children, the joy is in the inevitability of losing their balance, of falling and getting back up. Where adults strive for perfection, children delight in imperfection.”
In this crazy life of living well with metastatic breast cancer – I fall in and out of balance constantly. I’m sure you can relate in your daily life as well.
Here I am… balancing… learning to delight in my imperfections.
Peace & hope,