Thursday, May 16, 2013
"As is a tale, so is life: not how long it is, but how good it is, is what matters." --Seneca
This quote made me think about a recent decision by my husband to halt his chemotherapy treatments. He said he needed to feel whole again and that he just couldn't continue with the toxic treatment that was destroying the quality of his life.
At first I felt very anxious about his decision. He has stage IV cancer and the chemo cannot cure his illness. It has, thus far, not even helped shrink any of his tumors. What it does do is keep them from getting much bigger, but at great cost (exhaustion, no taste, aching arms, heavy legs, damage to organs, etc.). Even his oncologist agreed that it might help him feel stronger if he took a break.
So he is on a break right now. And he is elated. His energy is back, his taste for food is back, he was able to exercise at his gym a few times, he is feeling more and more like himself. All in all it seems to have been a very good decision, and I try very hard to push away any fears of what the tumors are doing in his body right now.
So what does this all have to do with Spark? Well, I was thinking a lot about the value of living a quality life and how much of a role self care plays. Eating moderately and nutritiously gives me the energy I need to work as a high school teacher, raise my daughter, and care for my husband. Getting enough rest (well, I am still struggling to achieve in this area) helps give me sustained energy, a clear head, the ability to handle a lot of stress, and helps my body to function correctly. Exercise gives me a wonderful stress release, boosts my energy levels, gives me that incredible endorphin rush, and helps me feel flexible, strong and fit. Drinking water helps me stay hydrated, think clearly, and keeps my body healthy at a time when I cannot get sick!
I am very proud of my husband. He's been incredibly brave through this entire nightmare, never dwelling on being sick, trying hard to maintain as normal a life as possible for our daughter and for his sanity. And making this choice to stop a very toxic treatment in favor of regaining his energy, vitality and wholeness seems to have been a choice in favor of a better quality life. More than ever I find that making choices to improve the quality of our lives are imperative. I've come to learn that no time here on Earth is promised to any of us, so we had better make the most of it while we are here!
“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ― Eleanor Roosevelt