Where do I begin with a title like that? Oh, there are so many instances that come to mind. I often fantasize about what it would be like to be wealthy in this situation. Flying off to some remote spa location where I’d do whirlpool therapies, avocado facials, mud baths and hot yoga in teepees (I don’t if that even exists, but it sounds cool) and I’d look into the mirror and begin to recognize myself more and more with each passing day. Instead, I’m looking at the deep creases in my wrists as I write this and mentally knocking my head against the wall asking myself what makes them (and my feet/legs) swell up like balloons? Why are my joints so achy this week? Why do I feel in one minute that I’ve made great progress and then feel it come undone within hours?
It’s got me cranky. Just a bit. I need to focus on something good for a second here. You know those recurring daydreams you have? I have countless, but one is coming to mind. For probably more than two decades I have dreamt of retiring in my 50’s, living in a quaint little beach front cottage and looking out at the sea while I write the next great screenplay. Well, I haven’t gotten close to the screenplay, but I am looking out at the ocean from where I write these blogs, etc. Okay, so it’s not on the beach, but it’s only a block away. I’d say that’s a marvelous tribute to the old “Ask and ye shall receive” saying. How I scored such a great place on my budget is beyond me, but I’ll take it. You’ll get no complaints from me on my (not so) humble abode~
One really frustrating thing about the recovery process from cancer is that there aren’t a lot of people lining up to explain away your issues, or offering a time tested checklist on how to resolve them. I’ve been doing some serious googling and asking around, believe you me. It’s as if no one really expects anyone to recover, or at least not enough of us do to create a market for it like there is for drug recovery. Oh, if only Betty Ford had been a cancer survivor. I’m just saying…
I recently met up with a very thin woman (I say that because I’m quite roley poley still and it irks me) who told me that she’d gained over 30 lbs during the brief time she was on steroids and that it took a few months, but then it came off. She’s around my age if not a bit older so that made me feel a lot better. I’m not aiming to be thin. It doesn’t suit me or my food lovin ways, but I keep staring at my pile of size 11/12 jeans and my drawer full of 36B’s and swear we will be reunited one day soon. If just to further prove to cancer that it may have gotten in some punches, but none that I can’t/won’t recover from.
Lesson in humility number one: life goes on and I must attend whether I can fit into my jeans or not. I’ve been pretty camera shy around the open mics and all, but sometimes it happens, lately, a lot (since they all know my story) and it just won’t do to put my hand up in grand gesture anytime someone turns one on me. One of the guys was good enough to hand me a DVD of my latest performance. I cringed as I watched it. Then, I turned the screensaver on and just listened to it, then I cringed at the imperfections in my voice. Aha, my ex was right. I am never satisfied~ the point is, I am learning to accept my current physical state as temporary and trying very hard not to put unrealistic timelines on the meaning of “temporary”.
Lesson number two: I cannot leap right back into an active life. I know this one throws off everyone (including me), but you know the saying that the more you exercise, the better you feel? It’s not the case with me right now. I know how to exercise and I know the difference between stiff muscles that need a good stretch and pain from just getting up from your chair and trying to cross the room. The tendons. They don’t work like they used to. Kind of stifled and I’m not sure how to get them to get all nice n stretchy again. I did find something on Netflix I like to call “Yoga for Gimps” that seems to help. It’s not the title. I’ll find the title, hold on…okay, I found it and the other thing. It’s called Yoga for Aches and Pains. They have another one out too, but that involves sitting on your legs and some other things my body won’t do right now, so I’m sticking with this one for now and one of my friends is willing to give hot yoga a try with me next week. I’m really curious if adding heat will help even more. My instincts say yes. We shall see…
Lesson Three: My brain is not running at 100%, closer to 50/50. Half the time it works, and half the time it doesn’t. Writing blogs isn’t that hard when you’ve got a whole day to do them, auto spell and grammar check. If I can’t think then I go off and work on something else and come back to it when I can. Most companies don’t really consider that good value for their money, so excepting that my brain and body aren’t in working order is a difficult one for me because it also means that I remain on medical leave which is hard on my pride. I was raised with the belief that if you can get out of bed, you can go to work or school or whatever awaits you. While I was waiting in the doctor’s office the other day I read an article about boosting your brain and in it it said that dancing was one of the best things to do to prevent Alzheimers. Since I refer to chemo brain as Alzheimery and I love to dance (I used to be quite good at it) I decided to give it a try again. Not in public. I’m humbled enough these days. I decided to try my luck with Netflix since I seem to have found just about everything else I needed there and well, they didn’t have much of a selection and this is the very humbling part of it all, but they did have this one…
Yes yes, I know…it’s meant for real 12 year olds, not a woman who’s 40-something on the outside and 12 on the inside. Yes, I even draw the shades. so none of my neighbors can get a glimpse of the atrocity. What’s even more pathetic is I can’t even keep up with the little buggers and their silly, pre-pubescent moves, but one things for sure…it is definitely engaging my brain and body and making them work together again. If I don’t fall and break a hip it might just be a success. I only just discovered it today so I’ll keep you posted on the progress of it.
So, my job right now is to take as many small steps as I can, to be creative within my budget and to fill you all in on everything that I discover to smooth the way for whoever comes next down this road. I get it. I’m happy to. One of my friends also pointed out that my current state meant I had more time to promote the book and the message I’m trying to get out there. If I can get this book into the hands of 1,000,000 readers and in turn they are all less afraid and more prepared to deal with cancer then it will all be worth it. The reviews and reader comments that are coming in are so encouraging and followers from all walks are showing up on facebook and twitter. As a matter of fact as I was writing this a professional boxer from Spain (holy crap he’s hot) started following The C Card and Me on twitter. I have no idea how, maybe it’s the latest campaign on youtube?
It’s pretty new, I’m not sure but I’m taking it as a sign that the message is spreading globally and that I should also take it as a cue to get my ass back into the living room for another session with Kidz Bop dance moves~
Till the next one, live, love, laugh more than the day before~