Friday, May 19, 2017

The Goodbye Girl

I was born with an overabundant love of nostalgia. Goodbyes have never been easy.

Saying goodbye to my old job circa 2014 was crushing, and not just because of breast cancer, and all the charms that go with it. That apocalyptic, scary as shit diagnosis out of the literal blue and the ensuing frenetic medical carnival. The feeling that the universe was shitting on me for some reason that I could never fathom. I'd been a pretty good person overall - in my opinion, there were many, truly evil, awful people that deserved truckloads of all kinds of cancer (all of which are still alive of course, with nary a health care in the world).

But back to my point. See, I truly loved my job.

Yesterday during a temp gig, a call came in - guess who?  My old boss from my last job pre-BC!  

It was nice to catch up. It was even nicer to learn that he finally is closing up shop next month. 

Maybe he took the advice which I bark at him, chapter and verse, between gritted teeth when we say goodbye in 2014. Despite my sad state, so emotionally decimated and nauseated from the first chemo it's difficult to form coherent thought or even walk, I tell him to look outside at the beautiful day and that maybe, since he is beyond financially secure, it would be better to be enjoying life vs. being hunched over that fucking keyboard all day. Which is where some other future assistant will one day find his corpse, on some other fine day just like this one, hunched over for in earnest and forevermore. Because you really never know, how many days you have left.

It is good to hear his voice, to know his family is well. Instead of the sadness I imagined feeling for my old life, there is only peace and contentment, and looking forward with hope. We had a good run, didn't we? I'm proud of the quality of our teamwork.

 Happy retirement, Boss.

Downward Dog Days of Summer

No, this woman in the pic is NOT me. Yet. 

About a year ago, when trying to get in shape too quickly, I suffered a debilitating hamstring tear and knee pull. Probably I should have gone to the doctor, but my hatred of all things medical prevented such. And, it did heal on its own. After a very, very, very long  and pain-filled year. Still not 100%, but it is improving with my new exercise routine.

Yes!!! I'm finally back at it. This time, it's different - I'm using my head and going very slowly. It helps that it's so bloody blazing hot outside that any outdoor activity such as bike riding is off till November. I'm stuck inside the a/c with my Acacia subscription and free Youtube videos, both of which are awesome.

Acacia is through Amazon Prime Channels - it's $6.99 a month and worth it. Loads of beginner, low impact, short videos to get me going. Youtube has Jessica Smith TV and she's likewise got tons of short, easy to do, beginner programs. I'm walking, stretching, doing cardio and push-ups for the first time in years. Well I did one push-up, but you have to begin somewhere, right? 

Also, after that hamstring tear, a few things are apparent. It's not 1988 and I'm not in my twenties - no longer can I whip myself into shape in a week. I'm done with overdoing it and getting nowhere except on a crutch. Best to focus on what I can do right now, and build upon it slowly. A lifestyle change, not a quick fix. You know the rest.

Anyways, last night was a Kathy Smith 30 minute interval video with weights and cardio and I'm feeling the pain, which is well-earned and better than any cookie ever tasted. 

Friday, May 5, 2017

The Puzzling Nature of Recovery

Our mini-getaway in the woods was relaxing, quiet and fun. It's something that I would have paid dearly for pre-cancer, during my tenure at the family law practice.

How lovely to have zero job-related stress, one of the many benefits of being non-essential. Its taken a few years to embrace this new normal. 

I'm far from the file-slinging, turbo-typing, doing-a-thousand-things-at-once-juggling dynamo I used to be. And it's okay. 

Post-treatment, nearly 3 years out, there is ample time to pursue hobbies, crafts, relax, write and take classes. There was simply no time, energy or inspiration pre-BC. The part-time gig which brings in less than half of my old full-time salary is enough and Mike is busier than ever with his work. We live a simple, abundant life, saving more money and traveling more frequently than ever before. There are no sacrifices. 

You already know that humans are resilient as all hell and you will get used to your new normal - no one is exactly the same after BC. It takes time and some effort to let go of your former self. 

One of the old hobbies I'm taken up again is puzzles. 

Recovery is so much like a puzzle. A life which took years to assemble so meticulously can quickly be torn apart and tossed back in your face. Everything is a mess, you have no clue where even to try to begin putting it back together. Those pieces that used to fit together perfectly are now jagged, lost or damaged beyond repair.

The larger the puzzle, the harder the task. It takes time and patience. Best to start with the edges and work inward.