As I walk this new path one message that has resonated so loudly is SLOW DOWN AND PAY ATTENTION. Life seems ot whip by so fast with kids, work, the house, the yard, friends, hobbies, and all the things. I have noticed sice I have had to literally slow down to heal from a big surgery I am taking the time to notice more details of mylife. I watch the mischevious squirrels taunt any dog that hangs out in our yard, I sat with my friends 10 month old baby and watch her just sit for quite awhile as she moved her hands and arms is a jerky ringing motion observing all the happenings around her until she decided she wanted her mother whom she eventually crawled over to.
Today I sat on the very edge of the water in a lawn chair that I hiked in a mile through the woods to a beach on the coast of Lake Michigan. The water brushed over my feet as the sand slowly buried them. It was early evening and the suns rippled reflection came at us in a peak. My sunglasses were on and the sunhat that has come with me to many bodies of water was on my head and my wife was sitting besides me. This moment was perfect.
My head needed to get out of town this weekend. I love our home. I love our community. But – I needed an escape. Jenn needed an escape. We as us needed an escape.
Visiting my oldest friend who is really my family. Float in the small lake. RIde in the pontoon. Watch my friends daughter get senior pictures taken. Have lovely conversation over a lazy breakfast. Yummy lunch. Watching boats. HIking to the beach. Swimming in lake Michigan. Papa Romanos for dinner with enough for late night left overs and my 5am breakfast before I fast for my 1pm Monday proeedure. And doing it all with my best friend.
Its not that I wanted to get out of town. I needed to get out of town. Sometimes people need to just step away from life. Either to breathe, get perspective, to think, to feel, to heal, to reconnect…… or all of it.
Just before lunch today Jenn asked me today “Have you ever considered not doing chemo?” One of the things I am working on is to pause before answering. My mind can pop with answers very quickly and I am realizing they may not be the best answers to share so, I paused and really thought about the question. I weighed the fact that the cancer was removed with surgery, the fact it was stage three, the side effects, the fact I am about to bombard my body with chemicals, that I am young and healthy, that I am a mother, that I am blessed eough to have found my person, and really no matter which path I chose neither one will I feel totally comfortable with. Honestly I tried to research and bargain my way out of having to do chemo about two days before my first oncology appointment. After a minute or two my answer was “probably not”. I asked her in reply if she were in my shoes would she consider not doing chemo? With out pause she knowingly said “No. I am just sorry that you have to. It makes me angry that you have to do this.” We shared a teary moment in the car in the middle of downtown Saugatuck with people bustling around us on both sides. Regardless of what we have going on or where we are, the world still keeps going.
I am thankful for having this cancer experience, especially having it so young, because:
I am getting a perspective on what is important.
I am slowing down for whats important.
I am growing a greater appreciation of friendship and love.
That it is important for me to ask for what I need.
And I am realising I don’t have energy for bullshit.
Tonight we are back home. Tomorrow I get my port and the following day I start chemo. Escapes are wonderful but life still keeps going. I am smiling and feeling full of life and love but I am still human – I am scared.