My Breast Cancer Vacation

You know how I mentioned those kind words about my life looking like a vacation? They truly were spoken in spite.  However, I don’t want you to feel sorry for me.  I have learned to consider the source in such situations.  This was not hurtful to me because I knew the source wasn’t so much malice as it was an expression of one’s own struggles.  

Everyone of us has put our foot in our mouth at one point or another.  If you think you are exempt from this statement you probably just don’t realize you’ve done it.  No one is exempt.  The expression, “as annoying as someone is to you, you are that person to someone else” comes to mind.  How’s that for keeping us humble?!  

I was able to handle these harsh words because A) I am in touch with my journey and my motives.  This is an essential part of my journey to maintaining inner peace.  This is the part where we need to quiet the mind and work on awareness.  To be one with ourselves without outside influence.  I was able to handle these harsh words because B) I know this person loves me and at the end of the day they mean me no harm.  I have pretty thin skin at times.  I can feel slighted pretty easily,  but this approach has really worked for me.  Consider the source.  Who is causing you pain?  When you consider this and it’s out of love or an expression of their own fears, anxiety or depression it’s so much easier to let it roll and accept it for what it is.  It isn’t always about us even when it’s directed at us.  We all struggle.  We all need support at one time or another.  In some situations instead of reacting we can turn it around and offer a hand or a shoulder.  

The part where it gave me pause was also important.  The words were harsh,  but I had considered now and then that I really wasn’t being totally honest.  I wasn’t sure how to share with you the depth of the struggle without moaning and groaning.  I need my game face because it helps me get through the day.  So where do I go from here?  I am actually grateful to those words because it prompted me to share more.  It was an extreme point of view but some of you probably hover there.  Your friends and loved ones might make it look easy but it isn’t always.  “IT” being life and whatever pain it is dishing up at the moment.  Take breast cancer for instance.  For an earlier stage there may be a quick surgery and a 4-6 weeks of radiation and the patient is done.  Easy, peasy, right?  Not at all.  There is fear that never leaves.  There is a recurrence rate.  The disease could come back and it could spread.  I think I have accepted the chance that I may have another battle ahead of me in my lifetime and I’m working to create a lifestyle to minimize the chance of recurrence and also have in place healthy ways to deal with the stress of it all should it happen.  

Talking to a friend today we shared stories of ourselves and friends that are in tough situations.  Admittedly,  we don’t talk about it much.  We don’t want to think about it all the time and we certainly don’t want to rain on your parade.  What occurred to me is that we need to put ourselves in situations where we can talk about these things.  It’s not going to come up at the grocery store is it?  Getting together in a group with like minded people is so therapeutic.  My conversation today was after a moving service at my church.  Yours might be after a hike with a friend or spouse.   Maybe even a night out with friends where you can sit back and just be.  I wonder how many of us think that is indulgent.   It doesn’t do anyone good to put on that game face 24/7.  We need to find places where we can take it off and rest for a bit. Recharge and tackle a new day with gratefulness.  

With Love,  Tosha