“Upper cut! Punch out front! Again, upper cut!”
When Vandie, my friend and personal fitness coach, speaks – I listen. I try to behave and do what she tells me – but it is sometimes just too damned difficult as she is super-woman fitness gal. Plus, I’m the only one in the class. She runs it just for me. She runs it so that I can be fit – fit enough to beat cancer again. So I try hard to comply.
This morning was different. It may have been the “summer – comfort – blanket” she gave me to help me through the chemo. It may have been the colouring book filled with images of courage and strength she gave me. It may also have been the colouring pencils – each with a word of empowerment on them. But, I’m pretty sure it was mostly the card that she gave me – filled with names of her friends, associates, some of my friends, who wanted to help support my family and friends through this second journey. They all contributed to a fund to hire me someone to help me clean my house while I’m in chemo. There were names of people who I didn’t even know. Kevin may know them. Vandie does.
“Some of them did it for me too, Stacey.”
And it dawned on me that my friends also need support. One never goes through life alone. Never. It is not all about me. It never has been. Funny, I didn’t think that applied to me. Yes, I’m the one that has cancer – I need to open my eyes and look those who have a friend or family member (me) who has cancer. How are they doing?
Yesterday, I decided to not evict my youngest boy from his room. He is 13. He needs a place to go to to unwind, to be alone to reflect, to call his own. I sad on his bed after having changed his sheets and dusted the dresser and just looked around. Several years ago, David and I spent time renovating his room with a “Pac Man” theme. Two walls we painted black and drew on the characters and dots that one would have seen on a vintage Pac Man game. We had so much fun. We bought matching bedspread and carpet, lamps and detaily kind of things. He loved it. It was all his. It was where he laughed with friends playing computer games, where he did his homework assignments, where he cried when he was sad. How could I ask him to leave? So, no. I won’t. I opened the window and looked outside. The air was fresh and the birds were singing. How could I ask him to leave this? Another solution will appear.
“Now, punch towards me, Stacey”, commanded Vandie.
I did. I punched hard. I envisioned that I was punching the rogue cells in my body that were once, my friends. How dare they turn bad on me? I punched harder. Sons of bitches! If I could wipe them out with my own thoughts, turned my body on itself – I would. I imagined I was. Upper cuts, out front hits, kicks, knees up. That fitness class turned personal real quick. It was me vs “not” me. I gave it my all. I sweat, I cursed under my breath. I was mad.
“Last one and we’re done, Stacey.”
“Thank God, Vandie.”
It wasn’t that I didn’t like it – I was tired. I had put up a good fight. I fought for me and I fought for them. It was no longer just me in that class – it was all of us. I fought for Kevin and my kids. I fought for my cousins, friends, and colleagues. We all seemed to have a common enemy and that enemy will not stand a chance against this formidable force.
One step-class at a time.