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August 16, 2020

It's August. My birthday month. A fiery Leo. I just turned 44. In October, I will have been living with metastatic breast cancer for 4 years. As I was doing yoga this morning, taking some deep breaths and listening to Adriene coaching us through our poses and breaths; my mind began to wander. I had some really BIG emotions that brought me to tears. I have been doing yoga since the beginning of the Covid-19 pandemic; I dedicated and made a verbal contract with myself to do yoga every day for one year. My sister has been trying to get me to do Yoga with Adriene for a while. I might have done one or two videos but it never really connected with me, then. But, for some reason the time was right and it really resonates with my soul. I have been truly enjoying this daily meditation and healthy habit. It has supported my mental health as well as my physical body. You should really do yourself a favor and check out Yoga with Adriene on YouTube. I don't get paid to write this I just really love her groove.

She always says, "Find what feels good." And, "Breathe lots of love in and lots of love out." She also breaks into song if something she says reminds her of lyrics. I do this All.The.Time. So I feel, we are kinder spirits. Adriene has this amazing dog too. Benji hangs out with her while she is doing yoga. Oddly enough my cat, Millie, has taken to joining me daily for some loving while I practice. 

Anyways, I digress.....The whole point of bringing up yoga was that in all the months I've been doing yoga; Adriene has said something to the effect of, "Sometimes you'll have big emotions while moving through your practice." I have never really felt it. In my head, I would be like, "Yeah, yeah,whatever, move on to the next flow."  Ironically, she usually calls me out on this. I would be thinking in my head, "This is hokey," and then she would say, "If this is not your thing, it is all good. No judgement, just be open to the experience and feelings."  BUT today......SIX months into my yoga  journey, I know EXACTLY what she speaks of. I had some pretty significant emotions that just crept up and washed over me in a huge tsunami wave. Thoughts wander through my mind. Some of them were in wonder and awe......

My baby, My baby boy, will be sixteen this month. When I was first diagnosed, reading that the average life expectancy of a women with MBC was 2 to 3 years. I didn't think that I would see his 16th birthday. I didn't think that I would be here to help him learn to drive, to fill out his first job application, to help him prepare for his first interview. And this week I am hitting some major milestones I didn't think I would see. He applied and was accepted for his first job. We have been doing lots of driving together in preparation for getting his license. In two short weeks he will be 16. I get to give him that card. It is one of many cards that I bought when first diagnosed that I planned on filling out for those special moments that I may missed. I never brought my self to write in them. Promising, when I had progression. that I would fill them all out. Now, I get to write in the card, in real time and hand it to him. This is a BEAUTIFUL gift. I am so blessed and lucky. I praise God that I am doing so well.

What makes this all the more difficult is in the flow of thoughts, the wave of wonder turns to woe. As a friend of mine with MBC has made the hardest enter hospice. We just had a wonderful boat ride to catch up. I think back to one of our first times meeting. Though we both live in Michigan, we met for the first time at a Living Beyond Breast Cancer event in Philly. We had a picture taken together. There was 5 of us from Michigan with mets. One of us is already in heaven. One is entering hospice and one had progression and started a new chemo. Two of us are stable. It is so mind numbing to realize that it could be me at anytime. Very heart wrenching that her daughter just turned 16. She may not have many more milestones with her beautiful daughter. How do you squeeze all the wisdom and life into a small door before it closes??? It is unimaginable. That is the yin and yang of my emotions today while I am doing yoga. Trying to sit with all of these feelings. Feelings of ecstatic joy that I am here for my son's 16th birthday and feelings of absolute udder heartache and despair for my friend whose time is running out too soon, it's WAY to soon. There is so much more she wants to accomplished. So much more that she wants to see, teach and encourage her daughter to do. To top it all off. In these heavy times all you want to do is wrap your arms around her and give her the biggest hug and tell her it will be OK. Even though it is not OK and won't be OK. But we are in The Time of Covid and Cancer. There is no hugging. There is this deep sense of loss with human connection. 

You can ask anybody in my inner circle......I am not a big hugger. I get made fun of. My hugs are quick and wimpy. I've gotten better at hugging and when Covid restrictions are lifted I am going to be the biggest hugger you know. Human contact, touch; making a connection is so important. I didn't realize how much I would miss it.  Adriene teaches us to match strength with flexibility. I picture myself self getting stronger and having the strength to support myself, my family and others. While also realizing that I have to be flexible as life constantly changes. Kind of like a tree. Strong roots firmly planted in the ground, stable trunk; all the while the branches and leaves sway and move with the wind. I finished my emotional yoga flow session and made a plan for some good old self care. I will spend time with the sunflowers and my family. I will keep my face up to the sun. I will praise God for his many blessing. I'll ask him for miracles of miracles to heal my friend and for scientists/doctors/researchers to find a cure for metastatic breast cancer in my lifetime.

Taking a deep breath. Remember that a little bit goes a long way. Breathing lots of love in and lots of love out. Namaste.

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