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Life goes on October 22, 2014

Posted by Judy in Musings.

Every day, major life-changing events happen to people: birth, death, marriage, divorce, accidents, new jobs. For the people living through the event, life seems to stand still. Or perhaps, it speeds on past. In any case, life goes on for those on the periphery.

Dealing with cancer is a major life-changing event. The magnitude of the change is initially felt in ripples, gently lapping at your feet. Then one day, the enormity of the change, in the form of a monstrous wave, crashes over you, completely unannounced and thus, unexpected. Life continues to flow all around you while you thrash about, your feet frantically trying to find solid ground. At some point, your feet once again touch the bottom and you think, “What the !@#(!&@(# just happened to me?” You are left with the choice to move on, to run away, or to simply stand there.

I’m ready to move on and leave behind or erase so many things, chief among them:

The exhaustion.

The route to the cancer center.

The sporadically functional intestines.

The extra 15 pounds I picked up.

I’m ready to move on.

If you came to the conclusion, based on my blogging silence for the last three weeks, that I had moved on, you’d be partially correct, as a part of me has moved on. Moved on to a new, but familiar job, to a new and improved schedule, to a new season. But notice, I said part of me. It’s the part that can be seen, that is only skin deep. The other part – the part that drives you to do and be and love and live – that part can’t move on. The cruel reality is that I’m stuck. Every day I get up and go through the motions, but I’m really just watching the world go by around me, unable to fully give, yet unable to fully wallow in self-pity. It’s a special kind of limbo. Special, because only those who are there know that it exists. Special, because unlike regular limbo, there isn’t a “known” event that is holding up your progression to the next stage. Special, because when you are there, you have to pretend like you aren’t.

So I’m simply standing here. As I stand, I’m trying to redefine beauty and happiness. Every time I think I’ve found a new definition and I’m ready to get on with it, something snatches me back. Sometimes it’s a random pain on one of my scars. Sometimes it’s the tight muscle in my armpit that slightly limits my range of motion. Sometimes it’s the 2-year old who doesn’t really drink liquids and I think “If only we were still nursing, this wouldn’t be an issue.” Lately, it’s been Pinktober that has been snatching me back. Everywhere I look, pink is shouting at me “Be aware! Breast Cancer is here!” This leads me to think back to last Pinktober, which was when I first noticed the pain. It’s also when I misplaced my Breast Cancer awareness charm bracelet that I had been wearing every October for the previous 6 or 7 years. (I did end up finding it, after the malignant biopsy. And no, I haven’t worn it this year.) Thinking back makes me wistful and crabby. It also makes it hard to look forward.

And so I continue to simply stand here while life moves on for everyone else. I wish I knew how to move on. But I don’t how. I can’t.

Maybe though, this is all part of the healing process. Maybe this limbo is necessary for reflection and contemplation on the happenings of the past year. Goodness knows that it’s impossible to think clearly, let alone reflect while you are in the thick of it. Maybe one has to go through this fiery limbo in order to come out refined on the other side.

One can only hope.

Since I don’t know how to move on, I’ll simply stand here. But as I stand, I”m going to go hold firmly on to that hope.


1. Mary - October 22, 2014

Sweetie, you are grieving! It’s natural and it will get better but it may take a while The process can’t be hurried. It’s necessary. Keep your mind and heart busy with those things in life that bring you joy. You’ve had a loss to your personal self much like the loss of a loved one. It will take time to recuperate your balance in life. Many prayers beside my own are with you because you are loved and treasured. Cry when you need to, take a break away from everything and everyone when you need to even if only for a few hours or a few minutes. It will refresh you. Love you little Mama. Mary

2. rlape85 - October 22, 2014

I can’t imagine what you are going through, Our prayers are with you and I know God will continue being with you. Keep busy like you have been doing, Estoy segura el trabajo te ayudara a seguir adelante. rie, llora, canta, ve a una caminata, o no hagas nada si eso es lo que sientes. TQM Besos

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