About Me

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2 time ovarian cancer Survivor, Advocate for ovarian cancer awareness & research, Teacher of Zen Method Tai Chi, Blogger, sharing the wonderment and power of essential oils, proud fan of Cathe Friedrich's workouts, Reiki practitoner, A Course in Miracles student, paper crafter

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Compromise and Spontaneity

Earlier today I wrote an amusing post. Unfortunately, I didn't write any of it down. My chemo-fogged out memory lost it. This is the daily life of a cancer Survivor. Note to self: write down good ideas right away.

CureToday.com  posted an article about the label of cancer Survivor. It brought up feelings of anger and frustration regarding the effect that radiation and chemo had on my body. I wish someone from my medical team would have explained all the physical consequences that treatment might have on my body in more detail. The nurse who explained it to me on the day I started chemo went through the list pretty fast. I think she was trying not to scare me, but I would much rather know the possibilities and understand what I can do about it then live in ignorant bliss.

I knew about the lingering fatigue, but I didn't know about the numbness that continues in my feet and sometimes my hands. I, also, didn't know that the joint pain in my knees could continue for so long after treatment. (What? Is 5 months not a long time?) The numbness is improving, slowly. The pain in my knees is steady. I wouldn't have taken a different treatment course if I had understood about these side effects before treatment, but I think I would be able to deal with them better.

I'm the kind of person who likes to be prepared and have a plan of action for lots of 'what if' scenarios. Those things often offer a sense of control. (Yes, I know it also wastes a lot of mental and emotional energy.) Control = safety in my mind. Cancer has been the catalyst that's helped me add a dose of spontaneity to my life. I wish those spontaneous things would be more fun, though! Those not-so-fun spontaneous things have, somehow, managed to encourage me to enjoy happy bursts of spontaneity.

The joint pain in my knees is an every day struggle, because I love Cathe Friedrich's step and kick boxing workouts. My whole self is healthier when I work out consistently. These achy knees get in the way of that consistency and it ticks me off.

I found a compromise today, thanks to the advice of 2 incredibly wonderful and kind Cathletes. They recommended that I go step-less. I've gone step-less for a couple segments of a workout before, but never the whole workout. It was beautiful!! Initially my ego felt bruised, but then I realized that there's no reason to be any negative energy into this wise compromise. Honestly, the intensity level was much better for me on the floor than the step. It was a relief to just enjoy the music, sweating and moves instead of worrying about my knees.

Despite the lingering pains of chemo I am thankful that I'm alive, Surviving, moving, working, writing, singing, and loving.

What does the term cancer Survivor mean to you?


  1. Being a survivor to me means: being strong even when you feel weak, an inspiration to keep going when you think you can't, learning to laugh when you feel like crying (for example while your sister does a pitiful job shaving your hair in her kitchen while drinking margaritas), learning how to live with problems you didn't know were coming and working through them with the help of family and friends. Having the courage to go without a wig, I don't think I could've done it and was so proud to be your friend not just a sister of someone who could do that. A survivor can sport a chic mini-mohawk with grace and style!! A survivor is someone I love very dearly and have the honor to call her my sister and my friend. Love, Heidi

  2. Thank you, sweet sister. I am beyond touched. I love you, and I am thankful for your friendship. xo