Since I learned I would be embarking on this cancer journey I decided I would use the experience to look for the blessings and reap some lasting benefit from the lessons learned.
I am about six weeks in and have had numerous new experiences, including a week in the hospital with dehydration and kidney failure, and of course two chemo treatments, with all of the associated challenges that goes with it. Although there are days that I am so distracted by the dis-ease and associated discomforts it is challenging to find any blessings, I have experienced enough Ah-Haaaas to begin my list. I trust this list will be helpful in reminding me to be more present and intentional once I am fully recovered.
Blessing #1: I am loved. I am loved by more people than I ever knew. Friends from all over the globe have reached out in a variety of ways to share their love, prayers, and support. In feeling the impact of receiving a card or a note in the mail, a lovely gift to amuse or comfort me, I will remember to do the same for others in the future since it is more than the gift that touches the recipient. It is love.
Blessing #2: I have deepened my awareness that it is possible to slip beneath the fear and discomfort of a situation to peaceful acceptance when physically and emotionally challenged. I have learned to resist what “is” increases the suffering. Becoming the observer of my experience puts me in a position to watch the unfolding, trusting there will be something good that will come of it. I will be stronger and wiser by riding the wave freely, remembering that I am not just a body, but a spiritual being. I am deepening my learning that I can trust all will be well again, even if at times I temporairily believe it may be hopeless.
Blessing #3: I have learned that when my energy improved and I was able to complete simple tasks such as doing the dishes, preparing a meal, coaching a client or being outdoors for a walk, my level of joy went off the charts. These common, everyday tasks and experiences that I would often take for granted when I was healthy became something to celebrate and enjoy fully. I learned that my level of presence and gratitude allowed joy to be more present than ever. This blessing can be life changing since there are always many things for which I can be grateful.
Tomorrow if my platelet count is adequate, I will return to the Cancer Center for Chemo #3 (the half-way point in treatment). That means I will be going down the road of the same physical challenges. This time around I will use the blessings and learning I have already received which I anticipate will get me over the rough spots with less suffering and a deeper knowing I will come out the other end even wiser.
Since none of us are ever complete with our learning, I trust even more blessings will become apparent and for that I will be grateful.