A New Story

7 years ago today I had my first cancer surgery. A few months ago this would have led into a long post about how my life has changed and the bad side of cancer. I might include a few things I have learned that make it “not so bad.”

I have been meditating more again lately. (insert shaking of head and “why do I ever get off the old meditation train” lamenting)

The other day I had a realization. Like a smack to my face.

That isn’t our story anymore.

Well, it is our story. It’s our beginning – me and my little family. But it isn’t our ending. It isn’t even our now. Our lives have become much more.

This is our story now:

Get up, snuggle with the boy and the 4 legged boy, get stuff ready for school, feed people, clean up after people, go to school. Some days I get to come back to school in a bit and spend my time with amazing amazing little people in my son’s class. Some days I meet some mommy friends for coffee. I love those two days the best. Some days I go home and do housewifey stuff. Some days I have physical therapy or doctors appointments.

I go get my boy after school and realize that the whole day I have been breathing. I haven’t been holding my breath to find out what went wrong at school today. My son is doing so well and is so much happier than he used to be. So much more confident.

We go do our after school stuff – therapy or swimming or karate. We go home and do homework and read books and take baths and I smell his clean bathy smell. He does math. I can’t tell you how much I love this. He does math. In his head. All the time. It’s like he just thinks that way. I know… he must be someone else’s child. But he does. And I love it. We snuggle in bed while I read him a bedtime story and he falls asleep. And then hubby comes home and we watch a show together. It doesn’t matter what, it’s just nice to be alone for a bit, and we snuggle with the 4 legged boy. And then we go to bed.

Lately the boy and I have been going to meet up with friends more when we have a day off of school or on weekends. We both enjoy this. The boy has been playing with neighborhood kids. And we had a big birthday party for him at our house and all the kids had a blast, especially mine. We went on a little ski trip. I haven’t been able to enjoy a trip like that for a long time. This Saturday I am having some of our friends over to make gingerbread houses and snowflakes. Today I made 11 graham cracker gingerbread houses and I ate too much icing. And I realized that I had been breathing the whole day. I wasn’t holding my breath waiting for a migraine or kidney stone or chest pain to knock me over. I wasn’t waiting to feel week and exhausted and have to go lay down. I actually feel comfortable making plans with other humans because I don’t have a migraine every single day and I have more energy since my pain has been better and I am not spending every moment I can in bed. The pain is not gone. And some days I am still exhausted. But I can breathe.

The depression I was living under has eased up. When you feel poorly every day it’s very difficult to be happy. Add to that all of life’s ups and downs and it’s difficult to get through any stress. Physically feeling better has helped. So has getting back to my old self some. So has letting go. Letting go of the things I can’t control.

I had a conversation with my pain doc the other day (who is amazing by the way). It was a lovely conversation, even though he was jabbing me in the face and head with needles and injecting burny stuff into me at the time. He had asked how my family was and I asked how his was. He said his wife and he were just busy with their kids. Just running here and there with the kids. He coaches his boys’ sports and he watches his girl’s sports and they go to teacher conferences and do homework and he loves it. He loves it all.

And I said YES.

Yes.

That is life. Life is all those lovely little moments, all the “day in day out” lovely things. And not so lovely things. It’s life and it’s so so good. He knows, as I do, that you have to enjoy what you can, when you can.

And breathe.