As I soon approach the one year mark since my cancer diagnosis (9/3/14) I have been thinking a lot about gratitude. Before cancer it was so easy for me to feel deep gratitude for my life. Since cancer there have been days where finding gratitude has been a challenge. One area of my life where I always feel an abundance of gratitude is for my yoga practice and my yoga community. I am humbled with gratitude from the many ways my community has reached out to me and supported me when I was too weak to support myself. I received loving messages, prayers, and tangible gifts like money and food during the early days of surgery and chemotherapy treatments. For these gifts I am grateful.
I told myself when I committed to writing this blog that I would be open and honest. So I will be. There have been days when I have been angry and ungrateful. I have cried up to heaven with the “why me’s”? I have been fearful and depressed. On these days I turn to my practice, lean on my loving family and friends, and trust in the Divine grace of a God I don’t fully understand.
Today I visited my Oncologist and after 29 treatments of chemotherapy it has been decided by my body that I will receive a break from chemotherapy for now. For this, I am grateful. My cancer is not showing up on scans so I currently have no evidence of disease. My tumor marker is almost normal although it remains elevated so we will be keeping a close eye on how I progress over the next few months. My body seems to have responded to the last treatments well enough for now. Life with cancer is a precarious existence where waking up each morning is a reason to be grateful.
I encourage everyone to try and find gratitude; even on the toughest days. Go within yourself to seek that soft, sure voice as you meditate on the blessings in your lives. When my first 18 treatments of chemotherapy were not successful in bringing remission I had to make a conscious list of all I could be grateful for in order to keep going forward in life. After the next 11 treatments still did not bring full remission I went within again. I am grateful to have stable disease for now. I am grateful to have my family who loves me and my friends to still support me. I am grateful for my yoga practice that sustains me and my beautiful yoga community who continue to love me through it all. I am grateful for doggy kisses I got this morning and the beautiful soft rain that came this afternoon even though it messed up my newly washed car. I am grateful.
With love & gratitude,