Don’t we all have times like this? Haven’t we all said this or heard someone say these very words, haven’t we all looked at someone and thought “glad it’s not me”? Well, what happens when it is? What happens when those dark times come to you or someone you love?
My Diagnosis and Journey
I had breast cancer, stage 3, a year ago. I opted for a double mastectomy with no reconstructive surgery. When I got home a couple of days after, I thought now I could either live my life going “why me” and being scared that I would succumb to cancer, or I could submit to the process and be as happy as I could be and live life. I thought of my kids and my friends, and how this choice would effect them. I’m not talking about being a martyr; I’m talking about being truly happy, embracing the things that make me happy, and/or changing my life to provide a larger avenue for the happy to flow to me. So, that’s it in a nut shell. But the other side of the coin was that at the same time I was going through this, my Benevolent Dictator (my best friend and husband) was also diagnosed with defuse B-cell lymphoma. We were diagnosed within a matter of weeks apart. So that was an adventure within its self, and it brings me to this road that I am going to now tell you about.
My Benevolent Dictator, just 2 months ago, went in for his scan and they said all clear, except for a bit of a swollen lymph node. Just 3 weeks ago, he went into our oncologist, he had a lump in the same spot as the previous cancer. We quickly moved up the appointment at M.D. Anderson 2 months. In for a biopsy we go and, 4 days later, it confirmed our concerns. It is now a Double Hit Defuse B-cell lymphoma. This happens in about 5% to 10% of patients with this disease. Their prognosis is poor. But with that said, there are some that recover it’s about a 50 – 50 chance. But isn’t that the same chance with any of these issues?
Living with Intention
This brings me back to yesterdays post: living with intention. Just taking things day by day, choosing what is my main objective today, what my focus is. Life doesn’t stop. It doesn’t slow down. If I keep my eye on his death, then I live in grief. He lives in grief. If I keep my eye on hope, then he lives in hope and things are hopeful. Don’t think for a moment that I am hardened or that I don’t care. I care; I am empathic. I feel and see things on people. It is a constant struggle, but it can be done. It can be accomplished. Perhaps not everyday, but the majority of the days.
So today my intention is to work, to paint, to sketch and prepare for my trip to Germany. You see, that is my happy place, that gives me strength to deal with these issues. My time is limited as well, but I don’t dwell there. I dwell in the time right now, and right now my husband is on a conference call and I am in my studio. We are alive and well. I can tell him I love him; I can show him my art; we can share a cup of tea; we can laugh or see a movie together. Those things I have just mentioned don’t need to have grief or sorrow mixed in. I can’t remember these wonderful moments with the erosion of sorrow or pain. I want to remember them and draw strength from them. Sorrow and pain drains.
A Season for Everything
When the time comes for sorrow and pain, and believe me it will, then I will embrace it and be in that moment, but I will not call it forward to me now. When the time comes for anger, then I will be angry. I have made note that when you allow seasons for emotions and feelings then they don’t take over your life. When you try to mask them and burry them, then they rot whatever you plant on top of them.
So Until Next Time
I am going to paint now, to be in that moment. I hope that I have given you some inspiration. I also wanted people to know that I am talking from a place that I must keep lit with light, and I am responsible for that light. No one else. So until next time, all my love.