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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 its charms. That apocalyptic, scary as all hell diagnosis and the ensuing frenetic medical carnival. The feeling that the universe was crapping on me...why? I'd been a pretty good person overall.   

It was nice to catch up with my old Boss yesterday. It was even nicer to learn that he finally is closing up shop next month. 

Maybe he took the advice which I bark during my last day in the office, despite being so destroyed from the first chemo it's difficult to form coherent thought.  Look outside, I say. Since you need not work, wouldn't you rather be outside enjoying this magnificent day vs. being hunched over that freaking desk? Which is where my replacement will one day find your corpse, hunched over in earnest and forevermore. Because you really never know how many days you have left.

Fast forward to our call today. It is good to hear his voice, to know his family is well. Instead of the sadness for my old life, there is only peace and contentment, and looking forward with hope. 

Downward Dog Days of Summer

About a year ago, when trying to get in shape too quickly, I suffered a debilitating hamstring tear and knee pull. 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.

Due to the oppressive Florida heat, I'm stuck inside the a/c with my Acacia subscription and free Youtube videos. 

Acacia is through Amazon Prime Channels - it's $6.99 a month and worth it. Loads of beginner, low impact, short videos. 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 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.

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 paralegal days. 

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

So far am I from from that file-slinging, turbo-typing, doing-a-thousand-things-at-once-juggling dynamo.  

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.