When you learn to ski at 45 the fear factor is high. I would watch three year old Swiss children barrelling down the mountain while I stood frozen to the spot. My natural reaction when I got scared was to pull back and what happened, as all skiers know, my speed would increase and I would lose control and crash. Learning to lean into the mountain and staying over my boots slowed me down and gave me a modicum of control. And so I learned by falling down and getting up again and by the end of the season I was even able to make perfect eights with my instructor.
When I received a different “winter shock” in January of this year my first reaction was to pull back. The fear factor was high and my entire life was spinning out of control. All of a sudden there was a steep learning curve rather than a steep slope and this time the vocabulary consisted of words and terms like “grade of tumour” not to be confused with “stage,” mastectomy, risk of recurrence, bone scans, MRI, ultra-sounds, Her2, ER and PR and yes, the dreaded chemo. All of a sudden, I went from rarely seeing a Doctor to having several and armed with copies of reports and tons of literature, it occurred to me that since I clearly was setting out on a new, unexpected, and even dangerous journey that my best bet (for me) was to “lean into it.”
And I did. And I am “leaning into it even now as I write.”
So rather than “slog” it out I have decided to “blog” it out. This blog will become a place where other joyful wrecks can tell stories. My intention is to post for the next 100 days, what I am learning and noticing, and where others living with illness may find some encouraging words, some humour, some beauty, and some quiet space. And as I become adept, perhaps links to other wonderful and glorious sites.
I was inspired by Patti Digh at 37 Days and my friend Patricia Ryan Madson at Improv Wisdom to take up blogging. When you get a cancer diagnosis it is not a death sentence but it is a reminder that all of our days are numbered. Patti Digh asks, what would you do if you only had 37 days to live since one day that will be true for all of us?
With that in mind I am writing this 100 day blog primarily for my children and grandchildren and of course for Gottfried and the rest of my amazing family, friends and colleagues at Wellspring. Writing down what matters. Weaving that golden thread through it all so that they will have something to pick up and move forward with, and so that I will not lose track of where I have been and where I want to go. And if you dear reader find something useful or helpful here I will be delighted. Trudy