Back in the Groove

I am doing much better since my last post. I went to a family wedding and it was wonderful to connect with my family in Rhode Island. I love going to weddings. I usually consider weddings as big parties with open bars and dance floors. Often the open bar helps me on the dance floor. This was the first wedding I’ve attended where I focused more on the ceremony and the beauty of marriage than the after party. It connected me to the importance of life, which to me is love. The wedding was exactly what I needed to help me focus on appreciating the moment. The wedding was a blast, even if I was drinking seltzer water with a splash of bitters (thanks Justin for the recommendation) and my dance moves were as awkward as ever.

It was perfect timing for me to be conscience of living in the moment. The wedding was on my birthday and the next day was my daughter, Anabel’s, third birthday. The timing was perfect because I was alive to be with her on her special day and celebrate her birthday with my extended family and friends.

At significant events and holidays, I always wonder if this will be the last “one” for me. Early on in my diagnosis, I would intentionally leave the main area of a party and listen to the interactions of others from afar. I guess I wanted to gain some insight into the dynamics without me. I understand that was not an accurate experiment and not beneficial in anyway. Now I appreciate every major family event and I don’t want to remove myself from the party scene because I don’t know if it will be my last.

One situation that exemplifies how I’m living in and appreciating the moment happens every morning. Usually, Anabel wakes up and comes into our bed. Once she comes over, I generally can’t fall back to sleep because of her rolling around the bed and the side effects of my chemo. Even though I don’t sleep, I look forward to hearing her little feet pitter-patter over to our room and feeling the warmth of her skin as she tosses her legs onto my chest or throws her arm over my face. I often find myself watching her and Janie sleep thinking; I’m so blessed to be alive to see this. I lay there secretly hoping Katie comes into bed for the same reason. Last month I had instances of appreciating the moment but now I know I’m in a good place because I’m not forward thinking. Spiritually, I’m letting God be God and not worrying or second-guessing the happenings of my life. The following prayer has also been helpful:

Let nothing disturb you,
Let nothing frighten you,
All things are passing away:
God never changes.
Patience obtains all things
Whoever has God lacks nothing;
God alone suffices.

-St. Teresa of Avila

I want to share another recent incident that makes me smile and reinforces within me the beauty of my life. The skin on my hands are peeling and becoming more sensitive from my chemo. I’m wearing gloves more and more to keep the lotion on my hands and the gloves allow me to use my hands without getting lotion everywhere. Katie, Anabel, and I were going for a walk the other night and Katie went to put gloves on before we left on our walk. Anabel saw that Katie was wearing gloves and also wanted to put some on. My insecurity of wearing gloves when it wasn’t necessarily glove weather and looking strange turned into something uplifting and special. My children wanted to be like me and I wasn’t strange in their eyes. I loved it.

I included a picture of my hand because it shows the side effects of chemo. Please don’t feel sorry for me, my life is great. The purpose of the picture isn’t for sympathy but to give everyone a visual of what I’m talking about when I mention the side effects associated with my hands and feet.

I’m feeling good physically and emotionally. Tomorrow I begin another cycle of chemo and I have my next set of scans the first week of November. Even though I’m feeling good, I’ll still take all the prayers, good vibes, positive thoughts, and kind words I can get.

Family

Family

Chemo side effect

Chemo side effect

Birthday girl

Birthday girl

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