It’s the long weekend. Victoria Day, May 2-4, the start of our summer mindset, camping, cottages, traveling, backyard bbq’s with friends….ya, not so much! This weekend doesn’t feel like the celebratory time that we usually experience. The fact that it’s “A long weekend” means nothing to us now. Every weekend is a looooooong weekend. It’s been two months now that we have all been self isolating and staying at home. Two whole months! Where has the time gone?
Everyday I speak to my parents. It’s a habit. I first started calling daily when my mother fell ill with cancer over five years ago….and I haven’t stopped. Even when I was in bed recovering from my mastectomy I called daily. Hell, I called them from the recovery room, high on morphine to let them know I made it through the surgery. So, every day I call and every day my Mom says out of habit, “So what’s new?” There’s nothing new! I haven’t been anywhere, seen anyone, or done anything. Just like everyone else, my days blend into each other. Monday, Tuesday, Blursday…they’re pretty much all the same. The days do however seem to go by at record speed. Before I know it, it’s almost dinner time and I have no idea where the hours went?! When I was recovering from my various surgeries, time would disappear…but I was taking medication for pain management and napping for several hours a day…so that made sense. But now, I am completely lucid, not napping and the days still seem to fly by. I’ll be brushing my teeth, getting ready for bed and think…”what did I do today?” I mean, I did do stuff, but it doesn’t FEEL like I have accomplished the things that I used to. Or maybe I have but the sense of urgency has disappeared.
I think we are all tired of being cooped up. We are all looking forward to socializing, traveling, and being free of restrictions. We all want our lives to return to “normal.” Unfortunately, normal is going to be very different than it was before. We are going to have to learn a new way of life. A life that does have restrictions in place. A life that will involve many adjustments and changes.
After my mastectomy, my world completely changed. For almost two years I have had to take precautions, limit my physical activities, learn to deal with pain, anxiety and fear. I’ve had to relearn how to do certain things and have had to isolate myself on many occasions. I have undergone seven surgeries in less than two years and its taken its toll. I truly thought that 2020 was going to be “my year!” A year that I could heal and grow stronger and start to resume the life that I once had before cancer struck. But 2020 has turned out to be anything but freeing. It has tested me emotionally, physically and most definitely mentally. Fear and anxiety have reared their ugly heads many times these past few months. I have been unable to see my doctors for treatments and therapies so physically I am suffering too. COVID-19 has changed our world and our lives forever. Just like cancer, it came out of nowhere and struck us down in our tracks…stealing from us many precious lives. COVID-19 put our lives on hold, temporarily, and has forced us to change many things about how we do things, how we interact with others and how we will live our lives moving forward. Like cancer, this virus doesn’t care about who you are….everyone is fair game.
COVID-19, like cancer has taught me to appreciate life a lot more. I celebrate a sunny day, even if I can’t enjoy it with friends. It has taught me to value the things I do have and not to dwell on the things I once had. I’m very fortunate as I have a house, a family, two great dogs, friends and my “health”. Yes, I am still dealing with some challenges but I am cancer free and so very very thankful for that.
This long weekend may not be the one that we all had hoped for and looked forward to, but we can and should still celebrate. Our diligence in self isolating and taking precautions has kept this virus from taking over. Yes, it has done a lot of irreparable damage….but it has not defeated us. The strength and resolve that the world has shown has proved that we can conquer whatever comes at us. Whether it be the coronavirus or cancer…I know that I am not going to let it defeat me. It won’t take away my joy. It won’t destroy my spirit. And it certainly won’t keep me from counting my blessings.
Enjoy the long weekend. Celebrate however you can. And take a moment to reflect on all the good in the world and how lucky we are to have each other.
Stay safe. Stay strong. Stay positive.
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.