Turning the Corner

Since my breast cancer/Chemo experience began, I have found myself repeatedly being in a position of waiting to turn the corner from an icky-sicky state to feeling vibrantly healthy, which was my pre-cancer/chemo normal.

When I am in my Chemo recovery stage I can actually visualize myself walking down a street that is dark, ominous and uncomfortable due to adverse elements surrounding me. I can do my best to protect myself from these elements, but still, I feel beaten down by them. I feel weak and not at all like myself. I long to turn the corner to a brighter, lighter place where I can feel healthy again. I know this corner will appear, but I just don’t know when.

Photo by Johannes Rapprich on Pexels.com

It has been two weeks today since my last Chemo treatment and since I typically have turned the corner several days prior to now, it is easy to become impatient due to an expectation that history should have repeated itself.

Since I am so anxious to find relief I have often misinterpreted a slight bit of improvement for turning the corner, only to be right back where I started in a very short time.

When I shared this disappointing observation with my husband, in his usual quick-witted style, responded that I may turn the corner, but then I get hit by a bus.

From here we were both stimulated to come up with more examples of what can happen after I turn the corner: I turned the corner and was mugged, fell in a hole, had a piano fall on me from a second story window, got lost, was kidnapped, tripped and fell, broke my leg, washed away in a flood.

The bottom line of this lesson is I cannot force the corner to appear. I must simply be patient and trust that it will. My longing for relief and to temporarily regain my normal energy (until I repeat the whole process again) cannot over-ride the offending symptoms.

Photo by Nout Gons on Pexels.com

Since I am two weeks post Chemo with a countdown of one more week until this whole deal repeats itself, I am determined to simply be with what is present right now. Declaring a corner has been turned and then having a piano fall on me is far more traumatic than simply waiting for the true corner to reveal itself.

12 Comments »

  1. Bravo, Kate! Thanks for sharing your experience so we all can learn from it. We are each waiting to turn our own corners, and learning to accept what we can’t change is the way to do it without misery. You rock, Kate! I love how you are able to remember that something better is always coming. Without trusting that truth, life can be quite depressing when facing unexpected challenges. Glad to know this Wonder Woman that you are! Sending love your way ~

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  2. Thanks, David! I truly appreciate you being a “Team Kate Captain”. Knowing I have supporters on the side streets cheering me on as I wait for the “corner” to appear is a tremendous support when I can tend to feel I’m all alone. ā¤

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  3. This definitely resonates with me, Kate. While I am in beautiful California with my sister (and Jasmine), I am so lonely without Howie and Zoe. So many things about our future are up in the air and unknown – I tend to get anxious when I dwell on them. I work to trust that I will be fine wherever I am, that I have so many blessings, and that I can appreciate what Iā€™m learning on this adventure.

    I send you my superpower energy (my swashbucklers are very helpful!) and love very often. I visualize you laughing and can actually hear your infectious laugh! Thank you for sharing so much of your journey with me. Iā€™m inspired by you! šŸ˜˜

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    • Oh, thank you for sharing your experience, Linda, and for sharing your superpower swashbuckling energy. One big thing I am learning in this experience is that we are all connected. Our challenges may be different, but the art of navigating them and growing in the process is the same. I return my love to you, my friend! ā¤

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  4. What a lesson in letting go of control and expectations – dang, that is tough work!
    When Ron was dying and going from a bad day to a worse day, I would pray, “God you have my attention, what do you want of me?” and then I would sit quietly and wait for the answer. I always got an answer and it was always perfect – not necessarily easy or comfortable and it was the answer that gave me a new perspective or direction that helped me live totally out of control and without expectations. I wish I could say that I mastered that learning and apparently I wasn’t ready yet. I hope the prayer works for you. Love, blessings and peace.

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  5. Thanks for sharing your experience. I agree it is tough to be quiet and present and just listen, especially when we are in pain, physical or emotional. We humans think we need to DO something all the time when much of the time, we just need to be still and present so we can receive. That’s where I always find peace. ā¤

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  6. Kate, thanks for sharing how you’re navigating the “waterways” of this part of your journey. With what you have shared here yesterday, including the photos of those dark and/or the rained-upon roads, I pictured mentally how you (could be any of us –> not to diminish the fact that right now it is YOU) are not just traveling along on a road, but more like you are being “pushed” along by the effects of the chemo, as if in a river on a raft. The reactions you have are the same but it’s not you by yourself encountering where and how you’re “navigating” the river.

    I like how you keep coming back to being present with what is “SO WE CAN RECEIVE.” Isn’t that life?! Isn’t it wonderful to come back, over and over, to it to receive what it’s offering us?!

    Thanks for sharing you. Much love to you and Skeeter both. ā¤

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    • Thanks for the acknowlegement, Terry and for the love and support. You’re right I am representing any of us. We are all one. It is just my turn to have the physical experience. You’ve had yours as well and I imagine you have also learned much from the experience. You are correct, it does always come back to the same learning for me….to be present. I like things to be simple and remembering to be present is a simple thought. ā¤

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  7. I just reread what I posted above and wanted to acknowledge that – for me, anyway, in truth! – it does not always feel SO WONDERFUL encountering the effects of chemo along with receiving “what it’s offering us.” But it is cool that we CAN just BE with it.

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    • Ohhhhh…..I agree…..not much wonderful to be found during Chemo….other than feeling good the day I am infused and enjoying a burger while sitting in the comfy chemo chair. (Ha-Ha) šŸ˜€

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  8. My dear friend,

    Please know that I am thinking of you right now. Thank you for sharing this reflection of your journey.

    Lately I have been dealing with a back problem that was getting better as I was expecting, then unexpectedly got worse. I have been feeling so dissappointed and depressed about this.

    While I realize that a back injury is in no way the same as what you are dealing with in any stretch of the imagination, I think that I can relate to the concept of setbacks in health so reading this helped me. Thank you for that.

    I am sending positive thoughts and prayers for you Kate.

    Take care,
    Frank

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    • Hi Frank….thanks for reading and for responding. Yes, we humans (especially those of us that are accustomed to being very active) can get tripped up when our bodies need rest. I hope you turn your corner soon! ā¤

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