Journal Entry #31
Two more days to go.
I laid in the hammock in the shade today, finally enjoying the warmth of a sunny day. Today was RIFE day, and that whole process takes about 5 hours – so I thought, why not do it in the fresh air? As I laid there, I marvelled at the vibrant green colors that have emerged over the last few weeks. The trees full with their leaves and blossoms. The breeze was warm, the birds singing, sounds of construction from down the street and the neighbor’s lawn mower all like music to my ears after weeks of being housebound. I am in the home stretch now, and I KNOW that I can do two more days of this.
What surprises me though, is an emotion I wasn’t expecting to feel.
I would expect to feel determination, strength, gratitude, excitement or maybe even relief. Actually, I feel…scared. I don’t know what to expect the day after I finish treatment. Will I still be nauseous? How long before the diarrhea will stop? Will my energy come back fairly quickly? How long will the pain in my foot continue? Will the brain fog and memory dropping cease? When will I be able to get back to work? When will I be able to drive again?
So many unknowns.
The unknown is scary. On Miltefosine, life has become predictable. I know that I will feel sick and tired tomorrow just like I was today. Pain and discomfort have become a comfortable place to be. I know it sounds weird. But I know what to expect here. And the homemade baking keeps arriving and meals too and I don’t have to do anything to make dinner or make the day happen…Crazy right?! The overwhelming kindness has made this a very comfortable place to be. I’ve resigned to life just happening around me and I observe instead of participate. It is comfortable. I know what to expect.
Just like any change in life, we must face the unknown and the worries that come with it. Change is inevitable, a constant in life, and when we resist it, we only make things worse for ourselves. And we often resist it because we don’t want to leave our comfortable place…even if it is unhealthy for us to stay. No matter who we are or where we are from, we can choose comfort over the change for only so long. Eventually, we will reach that threshold where the pain of the comfort is worse than the fear of the change. We all have different thresholds, but we all have them. Tonight is a turning point for me.
I’ve reached threshold.
This change is coming, and it’s okay that I don’t know how I will feel on Sunday when I wake up after 37 days of chemo, to a new day without it. It’s okay if there is pain, or not. It is okay if there is nausea and brain fog, or not. It is okay if I poop, or not. I am resigned.
At threshold, I surrender.
I can’t move forward any further in the healing process, if I don’t surrender. And I desperately want to move forward. I want my life back. I want to have energy again. I want to be well. As I surrender into the change of the next phase of healing, I know it will look different than it looks today. And I am okay that I don’t know how it will look. I guess that is part of the journey…always room for the unexpected.
Soon, I will be walking without a cane. Soon, I will be able to go out and not need to know where the washroom is at every given moment. Soon, I will be able to wash dishes and drive my truck. Day 37 is coming whether or not I surrender…and I have a hunch that this next phase will be easier if I just continue to let my body tell me what it needs for a while and NOT demand it to perform before it is ready to.
That is probably the deeper issue, the real fear. That I will feel better just enough so that my brain will tell my body what to do when it isn’t ready to do it. My brain can be bossy like that. It thinks it knows what is best for me…and through this journey as my brain and body and spirit have plugged into one another, I have learned that going forward there is no one boss. And it’s time for the round table discussion.
I won’t go back to life the way it was before Leishmaniasis.
This experience has changed me, our family…for the better. New insights, lessons, boundaries, experiences…how can we not integrate these opportunities into a new way of being. This deeper fear of the unknown feels a little like hurtling through space between the trapeze bars. I don’t know what my business will look like when I get back to it. I don’t know what my volunteer and community commitments will look like when I can finally get shoes back on my feet. I don’t know what my work-balance-family-life will look like when I am multi-tasking all the mom duties again. I don’t know how clear and organized my thoughts will be.
The beautiful thing about threshold, is that it doesn’t matter.
It doesn’t matter that I don’t know what the plan is or what to expect or what it will look like. What matters is that I trust that round table discussion, and know that the decisions I make going forward will be what is best for body, mind and spirit. I don’t know what life will look like after Sunday, or 6 months from now or 10 years from now, but I do know that change will be part of the equation.
I don’t know that this process of change that I am going through right now is any different than other significant milestones in my life. I remember becoming a wife…waking up that first day thinking, “okay, now what?” I remember becoming a mom…being so afraid that I might break him and wondering “okay, what do I do first?” I remember opening the doors to Therapeutic Grace 20 years ago and fretting “how will I find clients?” I remember dropping Canyon off for his first day of school, looking at Faith and thinking “a whole day with just my daughter…what will we do without Can-man?”
We are constantly evolving. We can’t stop change. We can’t halt time. But we can make the most of it. We can stop playing small with our lives. We can embrace change and the unknown, trusting that as long as we are all synced up, we will find a new comfortable. It is okay to hang out here, at threshold, in transition between the trapeze bars…where change is revealed…and usually celebrated.
So, should I go with a Malbec or a Cabernet Sauvignon when I land this jump?