When all is said and done

When all is said and done, what do I do?  I am terrified that I will slip back into my life of day-by-day.  I am terrified that the pace of life will pick up.  I am terrified that I will forget to reflect and appreciate.

I want to keep life slow.  I want to live in the moment and I want to remember.

I am so very glad that I have my stories to look back on to remind me what I have been through.  Although, I have yet to go back and read any story.  It is almost too painful.  My history through this journey is not a place I want to return to – but I am torn that I don’t want to forget.

It is so easy to get ahead of myself and think “it’s over”.  I still have two more chemos and Neulastas to go… It is so easy to slip into “future-thinking” mode.  I can’t help but think that is dangerous as I lose perspective on here and now.

Here and now is so important.  I didn’t used to have anything but here and now – and life was simple, pure, tranquil.  It’s when I start future planning that things speed up and I miss the joy and beauty of the moment.  I have to stay in the now.

But I can’t help but think, “what’s next?”  When will I go back to work?  When will I be able to return to fitness?  When will I be able to ride my bike, to breathe deeply, to run?

When will the cancer return?

Dad survived 15 years after his cancer.  At least.  He never talked about it being scary.  He never talked about the pain, or the sickness, or the limitations it caused.  His face was disfigured after his surgery.  He had his parotid gland removed and part of his jaw so he always had a concave look on the right side of his face afterwards.  Why did he never talk about it?  Or did he, and I never listened?  I think my Mom was more worried than he was.  I never appreciated what he had gone through until this very moment.  I wish I had asked him more questions.  Was he a very brave man – or just not a good talker?

When all is said and done – I have my life to be thankful for.  And I have such wonderful family and friends to share it with.  What is life when it cannot be shared?

I just recently heard about the passing of a friend’s brother.  He had been struggling with cancer at approximately the same time as me.  I survived – he didn’t.  Why?  My friend is now left without a brother.  A family is left without a family member – a friend is left without a friend.  I am still here.  This gift of life is not given to everyone.  This man’s passing made me realize even more intensely that “this” fight against cancer is not a game – it is real.  I never did consider it a game, that’s not really what I mean.  I must confess that I am not able to articulate the feeling I have that I survived and “he” did not.  Is it guilt?  Is it fear?  Is it appreciation?  Maybe all of those feelings wrapped up together.  Maybe a bit of survivor’s guilt?

I am thankful my family and I have been given more time together – to grow older together – to enjoy each other for just a while longer.  Today is a gift.  Each day is a gift that I cannot take for granted.  I brushed elbows with death, but it was not my turn.  Not yet.  And from now on, I will try to keep my elbows to myself.

About inmycorner

This blog began as an opportunity to tell my Dad's stories. I sat with him and the computer and together we told stories. It was a wonderful way to get to know Dad. He was 9. He and Mom had a wonderful life together and since she passed away a year and a half before him - Dad was ready to join her. I no longer tell his stories but have found stories of my own. The impetus to resume this blog was the discovery that I had stage 4 ovarian cancer. Since blogging had been so therapeutic for my dad and I to get through our grief, I felt maybe this would be a good outlet to process my situation. I also hoped it may serve as an outreach to anyone else who is facing this very ominous journey. So far, so good.
This entry was posted in appreciation, cancer, gratitude, journal, journey, Personal, reflection, Story and tagged , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

12 Responses to When all is said and done

  1. Pam Fitzsimmons says:

    Thank you for sharing your stories Stacey. I have a friend who is going through ovarian cancer now and is pretty quiet about it all; and not that her treatments or journey is the same as yours but somehow I feel like I know a bit more of what she is going through because of what you shared (good, bad and ugly😊).

    I’ve also pencilled in the bell ringing day!!

    • inmycorner says:

      OH, Pam. I am so sorry to hear about your friend – but the good news is my good news story. Please let her know to hold on to hope – there is a lot!!! I hope you can share my blog with her? And – bell ringer it will be!

  2. Take it easy take it slow, but any way you take it just take it and keep on going!

  3. Sometimes I read your words and I’m not sure what to respond. And I know I don’t have to. But I want you to know I am left sitting….thinking….and I just want you to know that.

  4. kiwiskan says:

    Just don’t be impatient for life – you can still savour every day as it comes

  5. Leah says:

    Even when you plan ahead, you still have to take it day by day to get there, right? I also hope you see that you being here, keeps the lives of others whole, your family, your friends, your students. Without you, they would all be missing something, not just you, but the impact you make on their lives. My heart rejoices that you have so many more days to be you, for you, and for those who need you!

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