inhale. exhale. repeat.

New year- new port. Surgery went without a hitch, though I have tenderness today. After waiting over two hours post-surgery for my blood test results, I was given a hesitant “go” for chemo infusion. My white blood cell counts are wavering just above the level in which chemo is stopped and blood transfusions considered. What I have come to appreciate during my nearly 2 week sabbatical from chemo is that I don’t need to rush this process- I can absolutely take time to recuperate from the intense weekly regimen, and I will eventually be through it. Even if I’m told next week that I should hold off from sitting in the infusion chair, I will do my best to gracefully focus on my own healing and the control that I do have. If all goes as planned (I laugh as I type this), I will have 7 more infusions, with a break after the next 3. I am prepared for alternative plans.

Looking back at this past year, I am in awe of how much it held. A year ago, I was in the midst of my first year of graduate school and learning to juggle work, school, and life. I had no idea that I would be undergoing surgery and treatment for breast cancer, and I had no clue of my own courage and strength. What I could use a bit more of in the coming year, however,  is grace- that shiny, beautiful ability to welcome change and to allow others to help even when I feel stubbornly independent. I am slow to recognize that I can’t handle it all, and I have had to admit over the past several weeks that I am tired- emotionally, physically, and spiritually. When I received the news that I had this diagnosis, I also conjured up massive amounts of energy from my family and community. Now, after four months of cancer treatments, my energy is dwindling along with my attention span. All of my ideas for making this time a spiritual transformation that fueled creativity have been squashed, and I find myself obsessed with the future- the time that I’m not in treatment- as though my life will all of a sudden feel “normal” and cancer will be magically wiped from my mind. I am continually having to remind myself to focus on this moment in my life, and to appreciatate the wholeness of this experience. When I struggle with this, I remind myself to focus on what I can truly control- my breath.

4 thoughts on “inhale. exhale. repeat.

  1. Wendi–

    It’s ok to think about life after chemo, even while you focus on the present… Chemo is making your life extra hard right now, and it will be different when it’s over, even if everything’s not suddenly perfect.

    Love you.

    Manek

  2. Wow! I finally made it back on your blog. I really enjoy reading about your life from your perspective. I admire your truthfullness and honesty. I also admire your writing. You are a truly special sister and I love you very much! Keep on keeping on! You are doing fantastic and you are so inspiring! I will keep you in my prayers!
    Your sister, Tami

  3. “Inhale…exhale…repeat”…it’s like giving birth…”take it back to its simplest essence and work there. Stop running around with your arms flailing in the wind screaming…this is too personal and too important for that, take it back to its essence and deal with it where it is at it’s most simple. Your journey took you to the brink and 4 months later you were exhausted by the process and much like childbirth, every time you went through one of those chemo sessions, you remembered those that went before and you knew that the journey may have involved your body being out of your control BUT the end result brought you closer to “God”…whoever God may be in your life.

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