I'm so frustrated, I lost all of my blog notes. I have been active in my own personal notes app. I haven't been active in my actual blog but I'm always thinking and writing in my head and dictating into my notes app. When I got a new phone my notes didn't transfer over and all my thoughts and writing processes for the last 5 years are gone. With my short term memory loss from the chemo and from the current treatments, I honestly can't even remember much of what I had saved in there. It's almost like I'm having to start over. Which, I suppose in the new year, is appropriate. It aligns with a word, or two words actually, that have been swirling around in my brain. (You know it's January, the time where we all pick words to hold onto and try to live up to through the year) So the words that have been set in my heart are, "begin again" and I've been trying to kind of wrap my head around what does "begin again" mean for me.
In January of 2022, begin again has a lot of meaning for me. First, I've been living with cancer for 5 years. I am on1st line treatment. So I am very stable and one of my goals was to get to that 5 year mark. I think because when early stage cancer patients hit that 5 year mark doctors like to say that they are in true remission and perhaps cured. So in my brain being somebody who is stage four and terminal; just getting to the 5 year mark on 1st line treatment is a total win. I feel it increases my odds statistically significantly to continue to be here for my family for another 5 more years. My ultimate goal when I found out I was terminal was to see my children graduate high school. My son will be a senior next year and my daughter a sophomore. That goals is within my grasp. There is nothing I can do per say to make it a reality but it's so close....... I digress.... the point of this post is about beginning again. I think the last 5 years I was holding my breath to get here. Now I am here. Now I'm thinking, what now??? What do I do now that I am 5 years out???
Begin Again. Create myself anew? Hmmmmmm, perhaps......
Second, the last 2 years I have been on a weight loss journey. I haven't talked about it much because I am really trying to live life without the focus on my body. I did not want it to be all consuming and be the only thing I focused on. I definitely have body image issues. I have dealt with them my whole life. Binge eating, crazy workouts, and restrictive diets....you name it, I've done it. Focusing on weight is joy sucking and after my cancer diagnosis I realized that I am good with who I am, where I am. But once I got back to some sort of normal and on my forever treatment the negative thoughts about weight crept in and unhappiness with myself reared it's ugly head. Losing weight is even harder now as I have been forced into early menopause. Fatigue from treatment and lack of estrogen make progress slow. I also know that my cancer is partly fueled by estrogen (I am triple positive so also fueled by progesterone and HER 2) and belly fat stores estrogen so I have an even bigger incentive to lose weight. This is something I can control that may improve my chances of continuing on first line treatment and prevent a reoccurrence. I have lost 120 pounds. However, the last few months 20 of those pounds have crept back on. I know what I need to do. I can be successful because I've done it before and so I must lose again before I gain too much back. It's defiantly a source of frustration. But alas....
Begin Again. Eating healthy, walking and daily yoga.
Finally, this has been a tough year. There has been a lot of loss within my stage 4 breast cancer community but also within my family and friends (not related to cancer). There is this fricking pandemic. I feel as if we are living in a holding pattern. Waiting for it to end, in order to live. But being terminal I feel a sense of urgency that living can't wait. Any it appears covid is not going away any time soon. So we must adapt, persevere and live within it. I think trying to work full time, foster relationships with family and friends, volunteer, advocate and be a super mom in a pandemic is hard. Depressing really. I've lost some of my spark, my joy. It's been hard to even bring myself to do the things I love. Things that helped my mental health in the past, I can't bring myself to do. I have barely created last year and didn't meet my expectations for my advocacy work. It sets my brain on fire, negative self talk and guilt that I'm not living my best life. I'm not doing all the things, being all the things. I have this time, right now. More than others that have been dying around me (survivor guilt is VERY real). I can't waste it. This self imposed pressure is paralyzing. What to do??? What do I do??? How do I get out of the funk? How do I crawl out of my pit of despair?
I'm learning it's okay to admit when you're not okay. It's okay to take a deep breath and begin again. Begin again does not mean your a failure. Begin again gives you a fresh start. Begin again is an opportunity to start anew. Begin again can be a whole new you, a clean slate or begin again can just mean your next chapter. I believe when you take the time and recognize that something needs to change and you create a ritual around a new beginning it can help your brain, your heart and your soul wrap-around the starting point. So who do I want to be? What do I need? Where do I want to go both physically and mentally? I'm still trying to figure it all out. I light a candle, put on some music, grab paper and pen and sets some intentions.
It's time to BEGIN AGAIN.
Do not despise small beginnings for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin. Zechariah 4:10