Friday, June 29, 2012

Owning Well

Summer is entering an easy rhythm.   Our days aren't filled; Greta has a morning camp until noon for two weeks, and Finn does a little golf lesson one morning per week.

That's it.

When I was sick during the winter, I dreamed of long, lazy summer days where I could wallow in my kids, so I didn't over-stuff our schedule.  I wanted the time to piece each day together like a slow, lazy puzzle.



Now those days are here, and while it takes some getting used to, it's such a gift to be with them so much.



Yesterday, Finn scrunched up his nose at me and asked, "Momma?  Do we not have the babysitter every day anymore because you're bettah?"

I felt a cold stone in my stomach as I answered, "Yes, hon. It's because I'm all better now."

He grinned and ran off to play, while I placed a hand over my belly and thought about the cold feeling there.

I need to own being well, I thought.

I don't know why that's difficult, though I'm told it's normal.  I'm learning through therapy and talking to other survivors that it takes time - sometimes a lot of it - to trust the diagnosis of cancer-free. Something about saying it out loud to my children is extra hard - I don't want to promise something that might not be true - but I know that's my fear talking.

Physically, I'm feeling stronger every day. I got the feeding tube out yesterday, and that went a long way towards making me feel like a well person instead of a sick one.

I'm learning to turn the fear around, flip it over to its counterpart: gratitude.  I'm learning to put distance between the thought in my head and my reality: I'm so very lucky. So very blessed.

As we slide into the hot summer days of July - full of beach and friends and fun -  I want to be fully present for the wonderful. For what I longed for during the dark winter of sickness and pain.

I'm okay today.  I'm here now. And it's good.



7 comments:

  1. I feel so grateful to hear that you are regaining your strength. You are AMAZING, Ellie. Enjoy your summer like no other!

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  2. As you grapple with owning your health, do enjoy this wonderful summer. I think the first summer after treatment is possibly the very best ever – it’s a time we appreciate so much, and everything stands out as a healing, loving experience. Good luck moving forward.

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  3. Enjoy your summer days, making memories!
    Dawn B

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  4. Your post is hopeful and happy like a summer morning full of possibility... It warms my heart!

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  5. Really glad to hear you are doing better. What a relief. Your friend, H

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  6. Ellie- I hadn't thought about you in probably 20 years, but heard a song that reminded me of you, googled you and found my way to this blog. I happened to have two long train rides last week and I managed to read the whole blog, start to finish (is that a first?). It was like a novel I couldn't put down (probably the best compliment an author could get and indicative of what a talented writer you are). I was literally laughing out loud at many parts (my seat mate thought I was a bit strange I think) and crying at others. I know your book will be a big success when you get around to it! I'm so sorry about all the difficult times you've had; it's more than one person should have to bear. It sounds like you're in a really good place now. Your family sounds amazing. You truly deserve all the happiness you have. I hope your health continues to improve. -An old friend

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