A Small World
We have all heard or used the expression, “It’s a small world” and typically we are making the point that if you get to know someone well enough, you will find something in common with them. Although I love this concept of a small world since I believe without question we humans are all connected, a new perspective has recently come to my mind.
What I have realized since my breast cancer diagnosis is my world has changed significantly. Before cancer or B.C., my world was quite large. I traveled quite a bit, I made new friends from all walks of life, I was on the phone a lot doing marketing for our business. I co-created new activities for workshops with my business partner plus ran a household, not to mention how much I enjoyed a busy social life.
My world was spinning faster than it is now, although not too fast. I was able to keep up with it all and still managed to balance my busyness with downtime to read, meditate and watch Netflix. I loved my life BC. It worked for me.
Since we all know that unexpected stuff can happen in life at any time I always focused on gratitude for what was present. I had no idea how powerful the impact of having a strong gratitude muscle would benefit me when my world got smaller.
Once I got the news of my breast cancer, my world instantly shrunk several sizes. Planning work for the future was halted since I didn’t know what my future would hold. I also did not know how I would respond to chemo and if I would be one of the lucky ones with minimal side effects or one that is fatigued and ill throughout treatment.
My focus immediately turned to devoting all attention to myself. Although I am often referred to as a princess since I typically practiced a high level of self-care BC, it felt as if all else in my life simply froze in time as I learned what would be needed in the way of treatment to move through and beyond this health crisis.
Day by day a plan began to come together for my care and treatment. Consults, procedures, my chemo plan, and eventual surgery were all mapped out, which then gave me some sense of how long my world would be so small. Of course, knowing the unexpected, such as a week-long admission to the hospital affecting the size of my world, also had to be considered.
Although my world is much smaller right now, I know it is likely temporary. My prognosis is excellent and surgery later will be minimal. I can see a light at the end of the tunnel and trust my world will gradually expand to full size or to whatever new size feels right at the time.
In the meantime, my focus is to not only be comfortable but to enjoy my current, smaller world.
Fortunately, since it appears that my chemo side effect issue will be on the lighter side, I can continue to enjoy my quiet time alone with reading the stack of books next to my chair, writing, yoga, having visits with friends and spending time with my husband, and even trying some new recipes when I have an appetite.
Unfortunately, since my immune system is compromised by chemo, my outings in crowds will be minimal to none to avoid picking up any unwanted bugs. I will wear a mask in public and continue to wash my hands much more than usual.
One thing for sure is I am determined to enjoy my life regardless of the size of my world. I will practice being fully present and grateful for what a small world can provide. At the same time, I can look ahead on my calendar and plan activities gradually that will allow my world to grow.
Since another expression commonly used is “time flies”, I have a feeling my world will get bigger before I know it.