You can take the girl from Massachusetts, but you can't take the Massachusetts out of the girl. The pace of life for most people up there is extremely fast. Too fast. I've tried all of my life to relax, but I can hardly grasp the meaning of the word. I've traveled around a bit, but its mostly been business trips and not to relax. These days it's tough to catch my breath. I just want to get that good breath, but sometimes it takes awhile before I can get that satisfying, deep breath.
Last night I was worried that I wasn't going to have coverage for the day when my husband and mother and law were going to be at work. I freaked out a little bit, but all I had to do was make some phone calls, texts, and posts. Viola the help was arranged within a couple of hours. I stressed about it, but it's ok now in hindsight. That's the way I feel about this cancer. I don't want to worry that much, and I don't that much consciously anymore. However it manifests itself in anxiety attacks. I suppose that's what they are. Even after we took these pictures and I got to see them, I got that feeling and inability to breath.
Too often I hold on to things from the past. The good, the bad, and the ugly. I want to let go. Once with another woman named Tegan on New Years Eve, we made worry dolls from newspaper. Then we lit them on fire. When I put mine in the fireplace, there was a shrieking sound. I felt as if that was a sign that I had too many worries. They weren't all released then.
I believe in the mind/body connection. If the mind isn't well, then body will manifest disease. Of course diet, exercise, environment, and genes have an effect on well being too. There you have it. I must let go of the past and not worry about the future. It's so hard to teach old dogs new tricks. I can do this strict diet, but I still have a difficult time letting go. Perhaps I must do something symbolic again to move on.
These pictures make me so happy because my kids are what make me tick these days. Although the four year old is somewhat difficult when he's over tired or hungry. So I just try and keep him well rested and fed. My son turned 4 years old yesterday, and I was happy to tell him the day before that was his last day he would ever be 3. His birthday, 8/8/8 was one of the best days of my life; and I tell him that from time to time. The first time I told him, the look on his face was priceless. It was pure happiness. It was similar to his lit up face when I brought him his birthday whoopie pie last night with 5 candles in it. In case you don't know one of the very few old school superstitions I use is to put an extra candle in the cake for good luck. His smile beamed and was from ear to ear. Joslyn's birthday was another one of the best days of my life so far. I'll be happy to tell her that when she gets older and can understand it.
As I lay my eyes upon these pictures today, happiness overtook me. I love those kids. I feel beautiful. I haven't felt beautiful for quite some time now. Being pregnant and breast feeding life kind of becomes all about the kids. At least that is how I've known it. I eat, breath, cook, clean, and work to support my family. I lost myself in it. Now I'm taking care of myself. I wanted time for myself , and this is how it manifested itself. I urge you to always take care of number one first. Don't suppress it because if you want it that badly, then it will happen whether you like how it becomes reality or not.
Nothing is forever. In the past two months since the diagnosis, I've lost all the baby weight from both babies. I feel beautiful again. I don't even need anyone to tell me that, however it does feel good to hear it. Chemotherapy will most likely make my hair fall out (and hopefully in all of the wanted areas and NOT my head), but it won't make me lose my desire to live, and I will rock that bald head and wig when I feel like it. Sometimes I might be too weak so maybe you can help me out. I will feel beautiful again or even during. The hair will grow back. Life will go on.
I got a letter in the mail today from a 15 year survivor of breast cancer I first spoke with the night before my surgery. She was diagnosed at age 34. Her kids were about the same age or maybe I'm just getting confused with another woman because I'm connecting with many survivor's that I have so much in common with. Even things like dates are the same. It's uncanny. What struck a chord the most in her letter is "after you move through these initial stages you will arrive at a 'new normal'. The better you become at accepting the new normal, the more successful you will be as you cope. Right now, life and all its demands on you are felt very acutely. As you move out in your survivorship, you shall find yourself being returned to the mortal world little by little, until one day this will be just a distant memory."
Photos courtesy of John Ziomek/Courier-Post in Cherry Hill, NJ.