Sunday, October 18, 2009

10 things I will do after cancer treatment

1. Go with my family to Cape Cod to show Daniel the ocean. We were supposed to go this summer, but that got waylaid. I've been going to the Cape since I was 4 years old and it is my most favorite place on earth...the energy there is unique and I feel more myself on those windswept shores than anywhere else. We were blessed to share that magical place with Meggie and have precious memories...now I can't wait to share it with both my babies.

2. Take up belly dancing. Hey, I've got a flatter tummy now, might as well flaunt it, lol! It's something I always wanted to do but was too self conscious before. I think it's damn sexy and no doubt I'll need a little boost in that area after this is all over with (be forewarned Michael!)

3. Go back to my 1000 words each day. I miss the ritual of sitting down at the keyboard every night at the end of the day and working on my novel. That wonderful flow, the dance of rearranging words, that connection to my characters...I need to know what happens next (and I think notSupermum will positively explode if she doesn't find out what happens to Nola!)

4. Get in touch with old friends that I've been thinking about...my teenage best friend, the beloved headmaster from highschool, the woman Mike and I worked for when we first met, maybe my old band-mates...and several others who have crossed my mind since I was diagnosed. It's really the people in our lives that matter, not what we did or didn't do.

5. Catch up on correspondence, most especially thank-you notes/emails -- there have been so many acts of kindness that have touched me, both in the blogosphere and "real" life, that I feel the need to recognize the generosity of spirit from each individual that has shared with me and my family. Every kind word and deed has meant so much that it's impossible to convey my gratitude, but I'd like each person to know how they have impacted my life during one of the most challenging times I've ever experienced. It truly amazes me how important these connections have become...how much it can really contribute to my sense of well being. I have been blessed indeed.

6. Get organized once and for all...I want to let go of things, of the material objects that weigh us down. As reformed pack rats we made great strides since Meggie was born, truly it has changed our lives so much for the better to weed out and discard the possessions that we don't need. But there's lots more to be done and I feel compelled now to be even lighter in our footprint upon the earth.

7. Somehow share my experience with breast cancer in a way that helps other women. I don't know if it's volunteering, activism, writing or what, but if I can use my experience in any way to help other women...and especially to help them avoid this disease, then I will feel like some good could come out of this mess.

8. I look forward to once again waking up in the morning and sitting at the dining room table, sipping tea, gazing out at my little corner of the world thru the lace curtains while jotting down simple musings or snippets of poetry in my trusty composition notebook. I miss that gentle morning routine...a few stolen moments before the children get up and the day belongs once again to mothering and chores. Instead, for that brief bit of time, the day is mine and mine alone and it nourishes something in me that is starved of late.

9. I want to make more memorable moments for my children...they can be small things, simply being together, engaged in the present...but I want there to be more opportunities for making memories. I am under no illusions, my life could be considerably shorter than I'd planned -- but then again, that could be true for every single person reading this. I just happen to know the odds are not as favorable for me as they once were. Be that as it may, I am here now and my kids have me today, tomorrow and the next. One of the things I want to keep from this experience is the realization that life is fragile and memories are eternal...it's what we really give our children, what they carry forward with them. Our words, our actions, create permanent grooves in the life they carve for themselves.

10. Most of all I want to laugh, to have fun, to be silly with utter abandon...to be unleashed, free. I wish I spent more of my energy enjoying life like that before. I can still imagine a happy future sometimes...catch a glimpse of what that might look like. Other times, too many times lately, that vision is illusive, blurry...barely discernible in the haze of my present situation. Cancer is such an immediate and demanding focal point, so all consuming and encompassing by necessity that I can lose sight of anything remotely resembling unfettered happiness. But I want to let go of cancer as much as I can and move on. It might take work, it will no doubt take patience. I have no idea what irrevocable changes I may be left with in the wake of treatment. I have no idea how successful treatment will or won't be. But somehow I have to tap a source of joy for myself again. The nine other things on this list are my path back to that. I just have to forge ahead, step by step, day by day, little by little as best I can.

9 comments:

~Tessa~Scoffs said...

This post is beautiful.

As I drove to church this morning (southbound), the northbound half of the highway was full of Susan G. Komen Race (pink clad) walkers and runners. I honked my horn for the five mile stretch ALL FOR YOU, KAYLEIGH (and millions of others). Lots of cheering and waving back at me. Tears in my eyes.

kiltsnquilts said...

Beautiful goals and plans, I will look forward to following along with you :-)

Sheila said...

This is lovely and touching, Kayleigh. Good for you for setting positive goals for the days ahead. Start them now!

notSupermum said...

That's a great list and it's going to keep you busy! And yes, I'm desperate to know what happens to Nola.....hope it won't be too long before you are able to write again.
Much love x

KayeStar said...

I want you to know that you have already accomplished goal #7. I do not think you realize how many people you have help, empowered and informed by logging your journey.

Brenda said...

Its amazing isn't it, how all consuming cancer is? Sometimes I feel like it defines me, like I AM cancer. Its there all the time.

Great post, I might borrow the idea (and link back to you of course)

Devin said...

Hi Kayleigh! I came across your blog and couldn't help but admire your positivity and strength through the draining disease that is cancer. I wanted to share a website that I feel will be beneficial for you: www.humantribeproject.com. Human Tribe Project is an online organization that my colleague started a few months ago when her close friend was diagnosed with cancer. HTP provides both emotional and financial support for loved ones facing cancer. It would also help you connect with those people you've lost touch with along the way! The goal is that no one face cancer alone. I hope this helps.

myblip said...

Such a wonderful list! I relate to many of those. Thanks so much for sharing.

Teri

sallymandy said...

"Our words, our actions, create permanent grooves in the life they carve for themselves."

So beautifully said. Thanks...xo