I had to get away. I had to get away from cancer. I know that sounds weird. How do you get away from a disease that has consumed every waking minute of your life for over a year. But I did. I went off grid. Literally. I went to spend a week on a lake with no hydro, no running water, no cell reception, no nothing. It was wonderful. For the first time in a very long time I didn’t obsess about doctor’s appointments, prescriptions, surgeries…survival! For one week I went to bed when it got dark and woke up with the sun. I listened to loons calling each other. I watched in awe as a majestic bald eagle soared above me floating as if it was no effort at all. I saw a black bear saunter along the shoreline across the river looking for berries. I saw fish jump, and painted turtles sunning themselves on the rocks. At night I counted fireflies as they flickered in and out of the darkness. The sound of nearby rapids lulled me to sleep. For the first time, in a very long time, I felt whole. I wasn’t broken. I was at peace.
What?!?! You’re crazy some people said. You can’t do that. You’re recovering from surgery!!!!!!
And that’s exactly why it was just the break I needed. I was ten days post op. I had already weaned myself off pain meds. I had completed my round of antibiotics. I was careful not to lift anything too heavy, which for me is about 7 lbs, and I kept my incisions from getting too wet. I did dip into the water often, to cool off, but I knew I wasn’t allowed to be submerged for any length of time. And for me, that was a small sacrifice for the chance to immerse myself into crystal clean, fresh water. I had family time. I was able to visit with my parents and brother who was visiting from New York City. I spent much needed time with my daughter, who always lifts my spirits and gives me the light I sometimes need when the darkness of cancer looms too closely.
Tomorrow, I see my surgeon. I will have my bandages removed and find out what the “next steps” are in my recovery process. I am back to reality. Back to face 500+ emails anxiously waiting my response. Back to the real world. Back to the “grind”.
But for one week, I detoxed. I let all the pain and worry and trauma I’ve experienced, dissipate and leave my body. For one week, I spent mending. I spent time just “being”. Not thinking about cancer. Not thinking about anything other than just how incredibly lucky I am.
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.