Weekly Update #19

I made it to chemo this week! I’ve had a terrible cough so I had to get a chest x-ray first to rule out pneumonia, but my lungs were clear enough to go for it. The cough has gotten much better since, so I’m wondering if some of the meds they give me to make chemo more bearable are helping clear up my lungs, too.

Y’all, I don’t laud my husband enough. Finding him was the luckiest thing to happen to me, and I am so grateful to spend my life with him. He makes me laugh everyday, he is a true partner, he is such a loving dad, and he is a generous person. Earlier this week I was in tremendous pain at bedtime and miserable because I wanted to sleep but couldn’t put any pressure on my torso. He sat with me and we read mini-mysteries for 90 minutes until all the meds kicked in and I could rest. I love him so much and wish I could give him more.

It’s a new year. I used to like to make productivity-type goals: knit X things, workout Y amount – but those aren’t appealing in my current state. I’m nearly out of room on my shelves of unread books, so I’d like to get through some of those. And I want to learn more about and start a meditation practice. Seeing them typed up they seem like sneaky productive goals in disguise. Cancer has changed me in many ways, but at my core I still am the same Christina.

8 thoughts on “Weekly Update #19

  1. I would love to hear more about your meditation process. I know you already use some apps for helping you sleep, staying calm, working through pain, etc. I think I would benefit so much from having these tools, but my mind races a mile a minute, and any attempts to slow it down have not been successful so far.

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    • I am not at all an expert, but my understanding is that recognizing that racing mind and without judgement bringing your focus back to your breath is what meditation is.

      I read “Wherever You Go, There You Are” by Jon Kabat-Zinn and it was interesting but pretty dense. For now I’m using he 10% Happier app and I also plan to read a handful of meditation books I just bought. I will definitely share the ones I like!

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  2. Oh wow. Someone who will read you mini mysteries for an hour and a half until the meds kick in is such a beautiful, beautiful thing. I hear you on the meditation. Confession: in November I downloaded and subscribed to the Calm app. And have not used it once yet. 🤫. My mom loves Headspace. Of course there’s the old-fashioned NON PHONE BASED meditation, but what’s the fun in that? 😉

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  3. I have the same curiosity about meditation. I have a Peloton subscription and they have meditation classes so I’m going to start there. I took a class on it a million years ago before I had kids and was really unable to stop myself from beating myself up for my lack of focus. I’m hoping I can learn to stop doing that! In many ways. I’m so glad you have such a generous, caring partner with you through this!

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  4. “Sneaky production goals”. That’s an accurate way to put it, although it makes me chuckle for some reason. I think you and I have a similar issue: how to mentally re-frame rest and healing and self-care into goals that *emotionally* feel productive while we’re doing them. We know, especiallt afterward, that they lead to more comfortable attempts at those necessary and unnecessary daily life things we want to “accomplish”. But since it wasn’t a part of what we imagined for our life, we aren’t sure how to change our thinking about doing nothing. Because like most people, that’s what we think it is: nothing, non-productive, not accomplishing our goals, not living our life. But it’s not. Sleep is 1/4 to 1/3 of *everyone’s* daily life. It’s needed in order to function. And when our body is extra busy during illness and healing, it needs more of it. We know this in our heads, but our feelings can’t seem to agree. I know it’s difficult, but you’re right that we need *time to think* out these things. And it’s the fear of where those thoughts may lead that keeps us from embracing that thinking process. I still have trouble with it, but I have learned one thing… my life will continue to change; everyone’s does. And I’ll have to reason out how I want that to happen. It’s an ever changing life; a complicated life because of chronic illness. And it will take the same resting and thinking that all humans do. I just do more of it, usually. But I remind myself that it all works out better when I do plan than when I don’t. Even if all I plan is sleep. Here’s hoping that you’ll find your balance of thinking and doing, and sleeping.

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  5. After my dad died, I went to see a counselor because coping was…well…failing. I kind of love (not) how “meditation” has become “mindfulness” and the hottest trend! The counselor gave me all kinds of exercises to do and NONE of them worked. My brain is just too active.

    Here’s the thing that DID work though: the counselor asked where I feel most calm and at peace. I said the ocean. He suggested that next time I’m there, make a sound recording of what it sounds like to be there. Play that as the meditation.

    And your husband is the goal. You do know you give him everything just by existing, right?

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