Getting Back to ME

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Hello, hello world! It’s been quite some time since I last blogged. Okay, realistically, maybe only a month or so since my last post? Getting toward the end of the semester, which means lots of papers are due and final projects are in need of being worked on. Discovered a few music artists (SoMo, Hozier, Alesso) and began listening to country. Yes, I said it, I’m no longer a closet country fan…between Luke Bryan and Lee Brice, don’t know why it took me so long to catch on!

Anywho, this moment of reflection hit me the other night and felt like sharing 🙂

Last fall, my son played basketball through his school. It was absolutely exhausting for me. I didn’t know it at the time, but cancer had been growing within the cells of my body for who knows how long. I knew I was fatigued. But hello, I was (and still am) the single mom of two high-energy children,  a college student and a young woman with a very active social life. Who wouldn’t be tired?

I would bring my daughter’s stroller along, walking her up and down the hallways of the elementary school, while my son played ball in the gymnasium. Back and forth we’d go, until she fell asleep, usually not until practice was just about ending. It was tiresome gathering the energy to keep up with my children.

This past Tuesday was my son’s first basketball practice. It was more of an introductory session. Get the kiddos together, run some drills, arrange the teams. As usual, my daughter wasn’t remotely about to sit still while all this was going on. I made an executive decision to walk with her out in the hall while my son played in the gym.

“Mommy, let’s have a race! On your mark, get set…go!” She took off own that corridor so fast her curly, brown, ringlets couldn’t help but bounce from shoulder to shoulder. Her raspy giggle echoed through the hall as I ensued; not needing to catch my breath, not feeling that rhythmic pounding lump of anxiety because I couldn’t keep up. In fact, I was running circles around her! My three-year-old had to stop to catch her breath. A few more times, up the hall, back down, she was exhausted but I was ready to run a marathon! Okay, so maybe not a marathon. But I could have taken on at least another lap or two.

This was about the time I had an epiphany. My body is getting stronger everyday. I feel healthier and happier as more time passes. It’s been two months now since my final chemo treatment. In that moment, as all these thoughts passed through my mind, I was overwhelmed with gratitude. My health isn’t just returning to me, it’s being renewed. I feel healthier now, for the most part, than I have in over a decade. I have the energy to run circles around my children and it feels INCREDIBLE!

No more sitting on the couch for hours on end, barely able to move from utter exhaustion. No more staying inside during the winter, unable to play in the snow with my children. The harsh cold causing excruciating pain against my chemo infused skin. No more asking relatives to bring my children to basketball, martial arts, baseball or gymnastics. Because now I’m energized to a point that I can do it again on my own.

How empowering! I have my life back. My health is being regained little by little. Each day I become stronger, more motivated to thrive than ever before. Cancer taught me to be brave. But survivorship is teaching me the power of perseverance. Lack of good health gave me the emotional tools needed to evolve as a soul. Surviving gives me the opportunity to use those tools, to implement so much of what I learned into my life. There are no words for that kind of empowerment. But the two that come to mind are simply “thank you.”

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