Thursday, January 30, 2014

Throwback Thursday: Scared As Hell!

The title of this post says it all. And I do, very much so, recall this day of going into the Cancer Center of Santa Barbara for my very first chemo. Smiles as usual, but underneath it all, I was scared out of my head about what was about to go down in my cancer history. Looking back on it today, I have come to realize that not knowing what lie ahead of me was probably a good thing. I mean really, who needs to know that they're about to sit in a chair for nearly 7 hours getting shot up with toxic, yet life-saving chemicals, have a severe allergic reaction to one of the drugs, and then go home to a chemo coma for the next 10 days without recalling hardly anything. Seriously?! Nobody needs to know that. And that my friends, is why ignorance is bliss!

Thursday, January 23, 2014

Throwback Thursday: The Art of Doing Nothing

Having spent an excessive amount of time in bed over the past couple of years, I can now say that I truly know what it's like to have some R & R. Not exactly the kind of relaxation that I would recommend to anyone, but it is interesting how one can spend days and hours at a time doing, well, nothing really. I, for one, have always been a gal on the go but when you have no energy and are fighting nausea, the time I lingered here was actually quite peaceful and serene.

I didn't have the mindset or the focus for books or even movies, so I spent much of my time either on my iPad or simply staring out the window looking at the sun and the moon from my second story bedroom. I even began to relish the sound of wind and palm fronds waving back at me while I laid there for sometimes weeks at a time without ever going downstairs. A lot of time, a lot of silence, a lot of nothing.

As you'll see in the background, I made an inspiration board that sat on top of our little dog's crate that I created to remind me of life and people outside of my room and cancer. And when people started sending me tokens of love in the form of pictures, cards and keepsakes, I thought what better way to stay connected to myself and life. I genuinely treasured staring at my board of pictures, inspirational quotes, my past aunt's artwork, spiritual tokens and my dad's ashes in a leather pouch for many minutes at a time. It was often the first thing I looked at in the morning and the last thing I saw at night.  So, when you really think about it, it was time well spent. And in some strange way, I secretly wish for those days again - not of illness but of quietness, stillness and peace.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 Here I Come!

I've said it once and I'll say it again, Nothing But Blue Skies are ahead - at least that's my personal motto for 2014. And if I have to fake it 'til I make it, then that's exactly what I will do.

For one, I am admittedly thrilled that a new year has rolled around because for the first time since November 2011, I am not looking towards surgeries, procedures, treatment and all that goes with the onset of a cancer diagnosis. Perhaps I'm fooling myself, and it's just the Tamoxifen talking, but I don't think so. Because if there's one thing my parents always taught my sister and I, it's to persevere and so I will.

With my emotional provisions in place, I am digging down deep in an attempt to get my life back on track after a 2 year roller coaster ride. New digs - check. Daily meditation - check. Daily inspirational quotes - check. Green drinks - hope to check. Exercise - must check. You get my drift.

As for one of the most important intentions that I'm carrying over from last year, it is to continue to surround myself with good peeps. And by that, I mean my family and friends that uplift me and ones that I hopefully uplift in return.

Interestingly enough, I found a source of inspiration in a box that was unpacked just last night. It was a small book my mom gave me back in 1993 from Shakti Gawain - Reflections in the Light: Daily Thoughts and Affirmations. A book that provides inspirational messages and thoughts for each day and one that now sits on my nightstand. Even more poetic is the message that my mom wrote to me on the inside cover:

                To Yogi,
                Given with much love and gratitude. Know that once the seeker sets upon the journey, everything wanted and needed will                appear at the perfect and right time.                                          
                                                                                 Love, Mom

Isn't she so wise?! Perfect timing yet again! Thanks so much mom, your words mean the world to me as usual! And as I continue to strive to gain a 'new normal' and perspective in my life, I hope that you will also make some time for soul-searching as you look forward to another year and yet another opportunity to find some peace and joy in your own life.

As for me, I'll leave you with today's quote to keep you in the present even though we are all looking ahead to the new year. Gotta stay in the here and now, right?!


Happy New Year everyone! Nothing But Blue Skies.