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I'm Not Who I Once Was ...

Friday, May 20, 2011

I have to admit it. Life will never return to what it once was. Cancer is a large part of that change, and I'm still catching up to the implications. I've now been out of treatment for more than a year and a half, and I still have several major side effects of treatment. My chest wall is tender, my side and upper arm are numb, my toes are numb. I've gained weight again. Due to the numbness in my feet, I keep stubbing my toes. One of them is now broken.

I drew two cards yesterday. The first is "Fern" from the Druid Plant Oracle. It's a wild, lovely, stormy card, with rushing water, lightning and clouds in the sky, and prolific ferns on the banks of the water.

The second is the King of Cups from my Baroque Bohemian Cats Tarot. He's a saucy sourpuss. My memories of who I am point to the ferns and say "that's me." But my feelings of upset at all the change and trauma and uncertainty, points more to the king. He looks staid, steady, not at all at home in the woods, camping, kayaking, scuba diving, and exploring the world. He looks like a stay-at-home kitty. Content to follow his dreams in a quiet way. Have I become that cat? Am I slowing down? Do I need to stop assuming that I'll become a hiking, diving, kayaking outdoorswoman again someday?

I don't know yet. But it certainly is something to think about.
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  • SCOOTER4263
    The cancer has taught you things, and you'll never be that same person again. You can do the same outdoors things if you want to - it may take a while, but you'll get there if it's your desire - but the same person won't be doing them. After every big life event, I think we go through a period of redefining whom we believe ourselves to be. Maybe you can't picture yourself not doing these things because that's how the "you" in your mind is defined. Give yourself a little time to feel things out slowly, see who your inner you is pushing you to be in this next stage of your life.

    (This has been my experience as I became almost simultaneously an orphan and a widow. I've never had a serious illness, so maybe I'm way off here. Please accept this in the spirit in which it is given.)
    2553 days ago
  • JWARD199
    You may be hiking and kayaking again. Just take it one day at a time. I wouldn't give up on your dreams if I were you.

    Believe in yourself!
    2556 days ago
  • F8CONE8
    Thank you for sharing this with me. So often we get caught up in our normal we forget how quickly things can and do change. Big hugs to you. You will find yourself again whoever you are now. You will also have friends and admirers as part of this.
    2558 days ago
  • 4CYNDI
    Perhaps your path lies somewhere in the middle. You will still enjoy the active life but also be content to be home for longer periods. You may like your adventures with a few more amenities than you used to. I have found that to be the way for me after diagnosis and treatment. I'm not as active as I once was but I do enjoy pushing the limits some of the time.

    Something to think on. Good luck.
    2558 days ago
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