Sunday, August 24, 2014

Two years later....

It has been several months since I last wrote a blog entry. I have continued to write what I consider to be boring entries in my personal journal just to be able to look back and try and make sense of what I have felt over time. There seems to be a sense for most people on the outside that once active treatment and surgeries are over, that life will get back on track as it was before. Of course I am couple of years older but I look normal and for all intents and purposes, cancer is over for me or there is "no evidence of disease." There is no sure way of knowing what is really happening so that is the best answer we breast cancer warriors (I dislike the word survivor) get.

After I returned from my travels in Nepal and Turkey I spent a long weekend in Montana at a Big Sky Yoga Retreat which I mentioned in another blog. David Greer nominated me for this retreat and I joined 7 other women in various stages of life after breast cancer  treatment for yoga, horses, awesome food and wine and much more. We talked a lot too as only women can, especially those who have shared so much. I felt blessed to have been a part of that adventure and many wonderful and selfless people rallied round to make it happen for us in a most amazing setting.

Big Sky Yoga Retreat~~June, 2014

Dick picked me up after the retreat and we had a fun time camping through Montana into Alberta and spent time with good friends in Calgary and Edmonton. We camped our last night before home in Marble Canyon along the Lillooet Whistler highway. Beautiful!

Marble Canyon, BC

That was back in early June and now the summer is slowly turning to fall. It has been a spectacular summer weather-wise for us in BC. One might think that those months now past would have led me to say how lucky and blessed I am to have had these wonderful opportunities not to mention that fact that here I am alive and seemingly well. I did in fact feel that way as I trained for my second short course triathlon in July. Mary and Andy both did it with me July 27, the exact date and second anniversary of my diagnosis and it was a success~~no falling off my bike this year  and with the kids encouraging me throughout the course it was actually kind of fun.

But something about that two year anniversary date and the appointments at the cancer agency with my medical oncologist~~six month check up plus other followups for my throat lump and CT for the lung nodule triggered another downward spiral. Waking up on a sunny day feeling nothing but blackness triggers guilty feelings because I can't really articulate any good reasons for feeling so down. Then I subject Dick and the kids to my negative behaviour and on it goes. I know I am not alone as my breast cancer buddies all chime in as their anniversaries coincide. I read my journal entries looking for answers~~is there a pattern? I know from past experiences in recent times that suddenly the grey filmy veil of unhappiness lifts but what I don't really know is why. I am hopeful that by reading what I have written in the past weeks along with writing this blog post today, I will again feel inspired to challenge myself to do things that I know will make work towards the glass half full person I want to be again.

I head to Nepal in late September for yet another Annapurna trek with a new group and the training for that do create those endorphins which certainly help with feelings of well being. We hiked to Garibaldi Lake on Thursday with my seniors' hiking group~~18 k return with 1000 meters of elevation gain and though my quads and hips complained the past couple of days it made me realize that I am so happy in the mountains. If anyone wants to join us, there is still room!

Garibaldi Lake near Whistler, BC on August 21, 2014

Lunch with family and a friend on Friday

So after writing this entry and adding these photos I know I needed to write in my blog again. How important family and friends are and life no matter its ups and downs has just reaffirmed just how blessed I am. I suspect I may be heading back to "glass half full."

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