It Wasn’t Supposed To Be Like This

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 Love

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.

Doing What I Love

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Dear friends,

Finding that one thing that you love is fulfilling, but what if you don’t know what that is?How can you find it with all the things that life throws at you? Between kids, food prep, errands, jobs, friends, family, health, how can you dig through all the chaos and find the things that make you happy? Believe me if I can, you can too. 

I used to go through life with blinders on; you know what I am talking about. You get so intrenched in a rut that you can’t see anything but the despair, or the chaos of the day. Time gets away and soon years have past and life is just something I was getting through. Just like when I was waiting to “get through” my children’s potty training stage or “get through” the holidays.

How can time slow down and we just start enjoying life? How can we just get a break from all the upheaval? You just have to start a little at a time. 

Waking up. 

I guess it was pretty late in life when I did wake up. When I stopped playing by the rules of others. I took a long look in the mirror and at the world around me, and decided not to play that game anymore. I only have one life and I am the one living it, and I wanted to be happy doing it. I wanted to look back at my life and say that I did make myself happy. You see, I figured out that people change the rules of what is acceptable to them, and that if you aren’t liked then chances are that is just how that is going to be. So how to start doing what I want and not what others think I should be doing? It all starts with me in the morning. I started waking up with one question. What do I want to do today? The want turned into intention and intention turned into action. I didn’t want to let myself down so I was constantly moving forward each day.

Writing it down.

Writing or blogging or making a list, journaling, whatever your niche is, do it. Just do it. Start to let those ideas flow. Get that minutia out of your head and on to the paper. Start removing that which doesn’t serve you, that which clogs your brain. Do it each and every day. After a while, you will see patterns and trails. You will start to form something that will eventually take shape. 

Celebrate the small things.

I celebrate the small things, things like a bath. I cater to the child in me; I serve her treats. I take time to listen to that inner-voice and make it stronger each day with meditation. I practice lucid dreaming before I even get out of the bed. I crave that time to hear my own thoughts and let them lead me to another adventure. 

Don’t let fear be in the driver seat. 

Don’t ever let fear be the dictator of you. Fear makes you do things you would NEVER, as a creative person, do. And yes, we are ALL creative. If you have ever decorated a house or bought a favorite shirt, you are creating. Fear steals your breath, your thoughts, and eventually your life. Worry is the mate of fear and regret follows. These are major obstacles. They should be in your writings, you should examine these like you would examine a rock when your panning for gold. That is what you’re doing, isn’t it? Looking for the value inside yourself. And if you expect to find that, you have to look INSIDE.

When you find your value… 

When you find your value, then what you’re going to do is celebrate and bring it to the outside, to a place that you can see it daily, that you can enjoy. What is that you ask? Well, it can be objects or photos, a journal or paintings. It can be clothing placed on your body a certain way, make up applied or hair fixed. It’s anything.

 

Don’t belittle yourself. 

One of the major things that I hear from others is the tearing down of one’s self. The constant “I’m sorry”; the “I have no formal education”, “people would laugh”, etc. [Insert excuse here]. Build yourself up instead. Look in the mirror and pay yourself a compliment a day, tell yourself that you love yourself, say something positive or grateful over your food, pour yourself an herbal tea and tell yourself that this is for a job well done. Thank your body for another day. Thank your memory for that joke or that remembered love.

I hope that you will think on yourself this week and that something may inspire you. Brew yourself some creative magic and share your light with the world. Until next time, stay awake and creative.