Have the ability…

I think this may be my last post for the year.  Even though 2011 has been a year of positive yet nerve testing experiences it has been a great year.

I am eager to plan ahead and look forward to what 2012 will bring.

(now there is a sentence that took a lot of assumption and positive spirit to compose)

I think I have finally reached a point mentally where I can admit, yes, I am strong, I just may be able to keep this beast away for awhile.   This may just be a year where I will be surgery and medicine free, completely.  Sure three operations, chemo, etc was very difficult but when you’re opponent has the upper hand and is holding you under water it is a natural human response to fight like hell to be able to take that next breath.   So all the medical stuff is the first part of the fight for life.  It was an automatic response, I just had to kick my legs and swim like crazy and will myself to not let my lungs crush with the weight of the stress on them, I just had to reach the surface of the water, I could see the sun rays beaming down through the surface of the water guiding me toward the light where life was waiting for me.  I kept fighting to swim up there, I just had to reach the surface.

So last week when my oncologist delivered the news of my last scans, I felt like I was able to let out the biggest, deepest, exhale humanly possible.  It took me a couple of days to actually allow myself to breath, but I did it.  I reached the surface and the heat and brightness of the warm sunny air surrounds my soul and energizes my drive to keep swimming.  However instead of wondering if I will ever breathe again, I am now doing the butterfly stroke.  It’s a difficult swim, yes for sure, but I am able to breathe and take breaks when needed and just keep doing laps, without a time clock.

 Now 2012 brings a whole new different kind of fight.  The maintenance.  Yes I really don’t like that word but I have to suck in as much air on inhale as possible in order to keep this journey heading in the right direction…. above water.  I feel like I am treading water at this point.  Sure my arms get tired sometimes so I allow myself to just float for a bit and allow both my mind and body to re-group because we are a much better team when we work with each other.  I am not stupid or ignorant of my situation.  I know I really have no control when and if cancer will swim faster than me again, however I have to belief that if I take care of myself physically, mentally and emotionally, it has to help.  It’s working for me so far.

Last Christmas Rick offered to have all my family members together for Christmas.  We had no idea whether it would be my last Christmas or not.   I celebrated with everyone with the thought in the back of my mind that it would indeed be my last Christmas.  It wasn’t a negative experience for me though.  It forced me to be present and experience each moment as they came.  It allowed me to make sure I spoke with everyone, played with all the kids, endulged in some goodies, hugged everyone, thanked everyone.  Christmas was so meaningful then and I am approaching this year’s family get-together with the same thought, to be present.  We should all enjoy this special holiday the same way whether cancer is in our lives or not.  It truly isn’t about the gifts, the way the house is decorated, whether the kitchen is clean or whatever other stuff normally stresses us out about the holidays.  It’s about being together, it’s about breathing.

I want to take a moment to thank you for being with me along this journey.  Thank you for inspiring me to keep moving on and thank you for allowing me to be open and share my deepest feelings and thoughts with you.  I wish you a very Merry Christmas and a Happy Healthy New Year! 

I am going to close this post with the words from a fortune cookie that I ate the other day.  I think this was the point where I was able to actually exhale and then start breathing normally again…….

“You have the ability to accomplish great things.”