I took a walk this morning. I take Lucy and set off down the street. I say hello to neighbors and wave at friends dropping their kids off at the elementary school where I’d just let Elena out of the car not long before. It is a cool cloudy morning. The trees and grass are still wet from the storm that swept through at about 1am and I occasionally feel raindrops that fall from the trees I’m walking under. The air smells fresh, like it does after a good storm. Everything looks washed clean.
I turn to walk through the park and I notice that for the first time in months, I can walk at my normal pace and I’m not winded by the time I get to the top of the hill that occurs about halfway through. I continue up the next hill and the next and I’m doing it. I’m walking fast and breathing hard, but I’m not panting and I’m not feeling like my heart is going to thump right out of my chest. And when I meet a friend who is out for her morning run and she asks me if I’m a runner, I say “I used to be and I’m thinking about starting up again.” And I mean it.
I’ve been on a break from treatment. My last chemo was given at the end of January. After two and a half years of pretty constant treatment I was feeling pretty beat up physically, emotionally, and spiritually. I did not share the depths of my despair with anyone except my husband and I did that only reluctantly. Because while I appear to be the gal that will tell you anything and everything and more than you ever wanted to know, I tend to keep the really hard stuff buried deep and tightly held.
So together with Dr. Eyelashes, we all decided that I would take some months off. There was so much coming up and I wanted to feel good for all of it.
It has been so worth it. I had an amazing birthday celebration that was never ending. I went on an incredible spring break trip to the beach and just had a great weekend with Elena in New York City. And I was fully present for all of it. I feel like my old self. I’ve lost weight and the puffiness in my face is gone. My hair has grown back in (a bit) and I am no longer wondering how much longer it will be til I can go back to bed after I get up.
I’ve taken a break from cancer and it has been wonderful. Part of that break was also stepping away from writing here on this space. I tried a couple of times, but I just wasn’t finding the words and I’ve never wanted to write just to put words on the page.
This morning I felt the urge to write well back up in me. Thank you to those of you who have been wondering where I was and worrying about me because of my silence. I just had to walk away from being “cancer girl” for a while.
I’ll have a scan in a couple of weeks. Of course we are praying that even in the absence of treatment, the cancer has not come back. If that is the case, I will continue to be on this break. If we see activity, I will go back on the same treatment I was taking. I feel strong enough to tackle it again and because I did not become resistant to it, believe it will continue to work just as it always has.
Another spring has come. The third since my diagnosis. We can hardly believe the grace that continues to abound. It’s a time of new beginnings.
I’m so thankful.