Last week I was feeling sluggish and reluctant to get back into Normal Routines. I was/am still recovering from my lung surgery, and going upstairs was enough to leave me winded. I was tired of being tired, right? I complained to my sister and my girlfriends and my mom (ooooops, sorry about all that complaining, folks!) that I was frustrated.
And then I got strep throat.
All of a sudden this week, I’m feeling better (yay antibiotics), and I’m excited to get back into Normal Routines.
Yet another example of how perspective makes me feel grateful.
Fitness is like a mountain. At the bottom the view is abysmal, and the first step is the hardest. After spending a solid week in a hospital bed and heavily restricted activity since coming home, I am at the very bottom of the mountain again. It was hard to make myself take the first step. Thanks to some encouragement, I did though; I worked out my arms on Tuesday morning, and have been feeling the twinges of lactic acid in my chest/back/shoulders since then. Those lactic-acid twinges actually make me think: “Yeah! Good job muscles–I worked you out–now you are stronger!” (I’m such a nerd.) Yesterday I did a leg workout and my pre-op brain was the one calling the shots because my pre-op brain forgot that I’m at that wimpy fitness level right now. Today my muscles were so sore when I got up that I could barely walk.
Greta got the job of sweeping the kitchen floor today using the dustpan and little sweeper brush because I’m too sore to do it the right way. You know it’s bad when a three-year-old’s standard of clean is acceptable. But, after lunch with G, it will be crumb-filled again anyway, right? She was so proud of herself for helping. Ironically, the best cure for sore muscles is to get them moving, so that’s what I did, and I can move a bit better now. But still, ouch. Hi ho, hi ho, up the mountain I go.
The girls had dance last night, and they both love it. It’s become a highlight in their week and I’m so glad we made room for it. Maren is learning movement and sequencing and rhythm. Her teacher is teaching them a move at a time and then building them into increasingly complicated routines. I can see Maren’s kinesthetic wheels turning as she bops her head to tunes in the car in a new way with a far off look in her eye. In the dance studio, I can see the girls from the TV monitors in the waiting area, and it’s a hoot to watch. Greta and her classmates spend as much time twirling in the mirror for their own amusement as they do listening to their teacher (bless her heart). G continues to perform elaborate, flourishing, wobbly dance routines for me at home. It’s awesome.
As I’ve rebounded this week, I’ve felt ready to get back into the swing of things and have my game face on. One friend dropped off a meal, even though we’ve said we don’t need meals. She heard my frustration with trying to eat a plant-based healthy diet when there are about a bajillion fun ways I would rather use my time and energy. She took it upon herself to figure out a recipe that sounded good and make it for me. How nice is that? Another friend said, “Even though you’re not cancer sick right now, we don’t think you should be cleaning your house, so your Fairy Godmother is going to keep coming.” What?!? When I tried to protest (because remember, I’m all motivated and gung-ho this week), I was shot down; they were/are determined to bless me! Such love! Yet another friend offered time and space in their vacation home this year, just at the same time we are sorting out how to maximize 2015 and do some more fun-loving memory-making. Yay! Chief Sister is scheduling slumber parties at her place so Brad and I can have date nights. NanaRoz is doing crafts and feeding therapy at her house so that I can have a few hours to be Jen. All this happened in just the past few days, and I am bamboozled at the love that comes when I need it most. Even when I don’t know I need it. Brad and I have been given so much. We’ve been living with cancer in our lives for almost three years now, so it is our normal. A hard normal, but we work hard to live a full FREE life. It’s humbling and brings us to our knees when people gift love to us during our normal. We are already so rich, and we feel so unworthy. We’re grateful for the Jesus-with-skin in our lives; He just keep showing up.
It’s up to me to fill my days with joy–no one can do that for me. These infusions of encouragement, extreme blessing, and love buoy me remarkably and make the cancer weight easier to shoulder, smother, and ignore. Thank you.