Tuesday, December 14, 2010

It was a good chemo week!

Thank you for all your emails, well wishes and prayers. I completely SAILED through the last chemo, physically. I have to admit that, while I am usually fairly upbeat, the past three weeks had me totally down in the dumps. It felt like there was sad news and endings everywhere I turned, and I kept relating all of it to me. 

Some of the endings are cancer-related: A friend of a friend has been amazing at supporting me by being open about her path of living on chemo. I learned that she is no longer doing chemo, and not because she is miraculously cured. Though I've never met her personally, she really has been a rock for me through all of this. 

Then, of course, there is Elizabeth Edwards. I felt that, if she could live forever, then I could, too. But then, she died. Guess I set myself for disappointment there.

I've been having really disturbing dreams about dying.

Even the songs on the radio seemed to reflect cancer and loss. I swear that every time I turned on the radio, I heard this Christmas song about a little boy trying to buy shoes for his dying mother who might not make it to Christmas Day. Gut wrenching sobs. Ugh.

As if those weren't enough, the yoga studio I attend is closing. On the surface, this doesn't sound like a big deal. I attend a weekly class, and lately, I've only been attending every other week. That computes to twice a month. Not often.

It's a small studio; I never counted the students, but there were maybe 18 max in each class. I first met Joseph, the teacher, during a time in my life when I really needed to laugh. You wouldn't think that one would find laughter in a yoga class, but I laughed through my entire first class with him, and the laughter pulled me back to the class again and again. 

Many of the students were regulars, and despite my nine years there, I knew few of their last names or what they do outside of yoga. But when I got the message about the studio closing, my stomach sank. I realize that we've formed a community. I would miss Joseph and the entire community. I had no idea how important and strong this thread was in my life.

I was so tired of everything feeling like it was going away. And I was tired of feeling sad. Yes, I know, endings can make way for new beginnings. Sometimes it is hard to really believe that.

Still, we all go about each day, doing our thing, and I suddenly noticed that it was more important to me, personally, to support the decision of my instructor than to be sad about it. And, surprise: It felt better, too, like I was lifting my head up again, and able to look outside myself.

I have no clue what the future holds. I hope it holds more surprises like this, elements that light the way of how to feel better.

I suppose that our yoga community will stay in touch, at least for a time. I suspect that it will morph, as we all change and grow, but we are truly part of each other in ways I never knew, and it is nice to actually be aware of that. 

I'm taking small steps forward. I'm setting up a yoga room in my house, or, more accurately, asking my father to do that while he visits this week. I've stopped listening to the radio for awhile. And I'm going to Dana Farber to get a different perspective on my health situation.

The laughter - well, some things are just so life-affirming, and laughter is one of them. That will have to stay. 

I hope you can find real joy today, that makes you smile so big that you have to laugh, that something tickles you in such a way that you see the humor in it, and that you can feel the light shine right through you.

Chemo again today -- I'm writing this from my chair! Your prayers and good wishes are always welcome and help to make this all okay.