i’m back from a self-imposed blog break. to be out living it rather than writing or reflecting on it. sometimes it’s ok not to process, not to dwell. some circles might call it denial or avoidance. but i like to think of it as…ok, there’s no way around it. it’s pure avoidance. however, the harder i push to avoid it, the harder it pushes back on me, seeping into the cracks and fissures of my life.
it’s kind of like i’m riding an elevator. i’m going down, descending into the abyss of my mind (not always a nice place) and then i have to rapidly ascend again to regain composure and a sense of control. and back and forth, up and down.
no matter if i’m out living it or curled up in a ball on the couch, i think about cancer every waking minute. it takes approximately 2.5 seconds after i wake up to remember it all. and 2.6 seconds after i wake up to get sad, pissed, achey and have a hot flash. i’ve also been freaking out because of a lot of bone pain in my lower back and left hand, on top of a lot of weight gain and insatiable thirst and appetite. what does it all mean, if anything?
it doesn’t mean that my life isn’t good. this summer has been particularly sweet. i restarted my MBA in nova scotia, went on some fantastic work trips to canada, belgium and norway, spent quality time with our families on florida’s white sand beaches and niagra fall’s maid of the mist, hugged my dad, rode roller coasters, started a massive yard renovation, made homemade pies after picking apples, rhubarb and strawberries, and tried to catch up with as many friends as the day is long.
on june 6, i passed my 1-year cancer-free date. 14 more years to go before i get the “cure” card. on august 7, i passed my 2-year cancerversary. that’s 2 years since diagnosis. 2 long/short, slow/fast, horrible/incredible years.
what i really wanted to share with you this week is the butterflies in my stomach, as i prepare to go on a whitewater kayaking trip in wyoming with the nonprofit first descents, a group that provides free outdoor adventure trips to young adults living with and through cancer. their motto is: out living it. which is a beautiful double entendre–out living life, and out living cancer. it’s a chance to think about something beyond cancer, to reunite with nature, to reclaim my body and push it to new limits, and to meet others who have walked in my shoes.
this video trailer gives you a sense of the transformative experience these camps have on participants. i love one of the comments in the video: “do i get out? or do i get back in?” that’s the ride i take every day, elevator going down and up.
so, you’ll hear from me again–i hope!–on the other side of camp. until then, get out and live it yourself:)