Small things for now

When mortality is thrust into your face like a lemon cream pie, a certain heaviness descends with that awareness. It’s a cloud, or maybe better – it’s a fog: thick, obstructing, enveloping. And that fog is what gets me on the bad days.

Somehow with all this cancer crap, it feels like I’ve aged about 30 years beyond my time. Or maybe 20. Before the bump (btb) there were no aching joints, no grey hairs, no empty nest to trigger a life crisis . . . now, however, I’m a 28 year old who is far too aware.

It’s funny how you read in the news about breast cancer survivors. We’re all survivors so long as we’re here, survivors and fighters, but the threat of breast cancer doesn’t disappear. Women can have reoccurrences (granted it becomes less likely as more time passes, but we’re still checking over our shoulder for quite a while – plus there’s that bloody 50% stat which the doctor was so kind to gift me with). I self-examine my boob every day because of the paranoia.

But even worse than the awareness is how it creeps into the good times – that fog of mortality, of possibility, of reoccurrence. Totally ruins the picnic.

So, talking this all over with my mom I’m telling her how it’s difficult to enjoy like I once did. Sure, I can enjoy a conversation, a cup of tea, a lovely day etc., but when thinking about the present those past enjoyments don’t seem relevant. The real question is: How am I feeling now? And when it’s bad, it’s bad. And when it’s good, I worry about losing everything.

My mom works with many people who have gone through cancer. She says the fog is something everyone struggles with, something we need to work through.

She’s absolutely right. I’d rather be living than worrying. Not only physiologically living (because yes, I like living in the physiological sense too), but LIVING – steeped into the world, feeling the vibes, sharing the love, dancing in pyjamas.

First however, I need to manage this fog. Anyhow, it’s a big goal and won’t happen immediately. However, Marcelle suggested a first step: little pleasures.

Therefore, while typing this post, I’ll ask: What am I enjoying right now?

Answer: Typing – love to type! Sitting – this sofa is amazingly comfortable. Talking – I love talking with you, those who so kindly read this blog.

Here is another question worth asking: What can I do to enjoy this moment even more?

Answer: Open the front windows.

And so I have. Outside it’s white and beautiful; a very perfect Canadian Christmas.

When that heavy fog rolls it can feel nearly impossible to clear my head. Things are difficult, fears are strong and it’s damn hard. But this is a start. Micro steps to bigger goals – and my ultimate goal is to be happy, healthy and living well. In the meantime I’ll look out the window.

PS  – secret pleasure for the NOW. Eating from the hidden stash of mocha chocolate pecan ice cream. With three men in the house, it’s good to hide these sort of things.

9 thoughts on “Small things for now

  1. Hi Katherine, It’s so good to see that you are home with your Mom,Dad and brothers and I wish you all of the happiness and love that you so deserve. Drink in the love and support and let it heal your soul! I’m so glad the chemo is done and you can now put it behind you and focus on moving forward in your life. Thank you for writing, we do read it and send you loving, healing energy in return. You have made a good point today, where is your focus? Visualize healthy, vibrant cells and as hard as it is, try not to focus on the past cancer cells. You are a very brave young woman with your entire life ahead of you. One that you will cherish and live to the fullest having experienced this challenge as such a young woman. Merry Christmas to you and your family!
    Brenda

  2. Joyeux noel catherine! SO glad you got out there – I suddenly thought of you and was convinced i’d find a miserable blog about being stuck at Heathrow. Good timing – every plane at Heathrow is grounded and they have been for a couple of days now… xx

    • I know! I was so lucky to squeak through. Thankfully the snow waited until we had left England, but I know of people back home who are stuck at Heathrow and can’t fly out. I feel for them, it must be such a frusteration.

  3. Keep up the great work Catherine, I know you can. You are sooo strong even with the fog. I’ve never had “your” kind of fog but I’ve had some other kind of fog and you’ve got access to the very best tools that are possibly out there with Marcelle and Tony.

    I know they will help you lift that fog.

    Keep smiling! :) :) :)

    France

  4. Hi Catherine,

    I agree that learning to appreciate little pleasures in the NOW is a really big deal. Many of us don’t know how to do that… I know I didn’t until I met Tony and Marcelle. You see, I’ve lived with depression ever since I was 7. What happy moments I had were fleeting and quickly forgotten.

    I’m constantly keeping an eye out for the red flags of depression… the fear of falling back into the darkness keeps me vigilant. The good thing is that I know what the red flags are, and I know that Tony is there to help me whenever they pop up. The really good thing is that I’ve learnt how focussing on any little thing which makes me happy in the NOW builds momentum until my spirit sings.

    Marcelle and Tony have also shown me how it’s important to be aware, understand and acknowledge our emotions – anger, fear, sadness – then let go of them by putting them in the river. Often in my case, a powerful white light washes over me, purifies me and then I feel energized.

    You may well ask how cancer relates to depression. I see fear in both cases. Since I’m familiar with depression, I want you to know that Tony’s, Marcelle’s and J.P.’s advice are invaluable.

    I appreciate your writing since you come up with pearls of wisdom which help me with my depression. I really like your art because I see a lot of meaning in your images (e.g., the yellow light from your lighthouse is telling the fog to back off!). I hope that in some way, I can share my wisdom with you in my responses. I appreciate so much what Tony, Marcelle and J.P. have brought to my life.

  5. Merry Canadian Christmas, Catherine. So many C’s. I find I am quite sentimental and weepy now, as well as thankful. My treatments are over, and we live with the uncertainty. I will adopt your technique, focus, acknowledge what is good. The planet Earth is a heart-breakingly beautiful place when you have to consider leaving it. Wishing you well. Lynn. PEI

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