Wednesday, August 6, 2014

Higher Ground

Stevie and I go way back - I remember dancing and singing along with my Mom to"I Just Called to Say I Love You" in my parents kitchen when I was four. I comforted my broken spirit when I was feeling lost in my early 20's with "As".  I fell in love dancing to "I Believe" with my husband when we started dating, and we danced to "Signed, Sealed, Delivered" for our first dance as husband and wife.

It's comforting to me to see a common thread in something as small as an artist's songs throughout memorable moments in my life. So it came as no surprise to me that I heard "Higher Ground" as I mentally prepared myself to walk in for my BIG appointment back in October. (I am so sorry it's taken me so long to update - sheesh. But I am going to explain why soon....)

But for the time being, I am here. When people ask me how I'm doing, I say "I'm surviving" because some days (minutes, hours) that's all I feel like I can respond.

I will be moving to a wordpress blog where I can have some public and private journaling options - just my personal preference as I move forward with my journey, but please leave me a comment if you'd like to follow along...

Please make sure to leave an email address (if your profile doesnt link to contact info) or email me directly if you don't want to leave in the comment section (beethechanger at gmail dot com) so I can send you info. thanks

Thursday, July 25, 2013

Pumpkin Vines

I'm sitting in my kitchen, knowing I want to update this blog, but struggling with an appropriate title to capture everything I'm feeling. I sort of spaced out as I thought about it - and happened to look out my window to my thriving garden (thanks to all the rain we've gotten this summer) and really noticed how my pumpkin vines have taken over every single thing in the garden.

The little swirly vines that grow off the main vine reach out to anything near by for support to help the growing pumpkin support itself. It gives it strength, while at the same time, taking up room and preventing my tomato and cucumber plants to grow normally. The pumpkin vines also produce beautiful yellow flowers before the pumpkin actually begins to grow, but those yellow flowers will fall off to make room for the new growth - the gourds should be beginning to take shape towards the end of August.

So what I'm trying to say is, I kinda feel like a big ole pumpkin vine right now.

My entire being is in need of support from those around me - and I am one lucky girl to get it. I read a post today on another blog that mentioned how grateful she was for her cancer journey - but that she also realized it was a taboo thing to say you are grateful for something that brings so much pain and anguish. She chose to focus on how much stronger it made her, and how her life was enriched by the lessons she learned and the people she met along the way.

I'm doing my damnedest to get and stay in that mind space. But right now? It's really hard. I feel my swirly vines reaching out ALL the time - searching, needing, wanting support/understanding. Then I feel this wave of guilt, because I am not able to truly be there or give enough thanks for those who are offering the support. Roll your eyes. I know - I get a wagging finger in my face every time I squeak out that tidbit. But it's just how I feel. It's in my soul to be a helper - and I have a really hard time accepting help.

I'm learning a lot about myself.

Some of it I really like, and other parts - not so much. Change is hard for me - and there has been a lot of it, so I continue to try to flow into the positive zone. Some days that means I just can't check Facebook. That may sound strange, but sometimes it's just all to happy-happy-happy that I feel overwhelmed with my own struggle. That comes across as incredibly selfish when I say/type it - but part of what I am learning to do is protect my soul. Woooo that sounded super-hippy, didn't it? But it's the best way to describe it. I am trusting that the chemo is doing what it needs to do for my body, so I have to continue to take care of my mental well-being since that's just as, if not harder, than the physical part of all of this.

Like that pretty yellow flower on the pumpkin vine, there are parts of me that have faded away or are retracting for the time being - my hair, the desire to be my extroverted self, the energy to try something new...but I'm hoping and praying that in it's place, I will grow back strong and sound like the pumpkins that will begin to pop up on the vines.

Friday, June 28, 2013

Fashionable Funk

I love summertime fashion - easy, simple, bright colors, dresses, sandals. I really should be on Island Time ALL the time.

A few weeks ago, I began to get really grumpy and kinda down about not really being able to have fun with putting fashionable outfits together this summer because I've had this mental block about not having hair equals = frumpy/no need to put in an effort. I know that sounds silly, but I've barely wanted to walk into my closet - wanting to limit the time I am reminded that things are just different right now.

It's tough, because I feel like this is a more superficial confession/post, but it's honestly a big part of this journey, too. I don't look like me. I don't feel like me. I feel like when I walk around in public, I'm getting stares of pity and I don't want to draw focus.

I really am trying to embrace ALL of this. Which includes going out a lot of the time without any scarf or headband covering my head. Although, I am starting to show bald patches - maybe I should just do a Kool-Aid type dye on my scalp, and REALLY start a new trend.

I'm fragile. No doubt about it. But I'm also trying to remember that  everyone is self-conscious sometimes -  even on a good day. So while I don't feel as if I am at my best, this is how I'm attempting to be fashionable today, and remembering to not be so hard on myself when I've got enough to battle without letting my closet scare me.

Head Scarf: Given to me by my fellow cancer warrior and friend, Sunny
Glasses: Billie by Candie's 
Necklace: "Heal" charm from my friend Jenni
Shirt: Old Navy
Skirt: Mossimo, Target
Shoes: Target

Lena B, Actually