I have been having some serious issues with my bones and joints post Taxol. They ache day and night. A real deep down, don't-you-forget kind of pain. The kind that makes me need to sit down during the day and makes my forehead perspire if I can't. The kind that makes me have to silently, stealthily steady myself upon standing after I have been off my feet for awhile. The kind that is making me use my left arm more and more because my right shoulder won't rotate or reach sometimes. The kind that makes me have to step downstairs like a toddler when they are feeling weak and I'm afraid they will give out.
This is hard to swallow for a used-to-be-before-treatment hiker and outdoor's lover. I cry about it. My dream was to hike the Pacific Crest Trail, in segments, over a few years beginning in the spring following my 60th birthday. And then I was diagnosed the next month and that dream evaporated like dreams do in the stark light of day. Especially when we startle awake. I cry about it and I have come to peace about it. I think I mostly cry because of the everyday interference in my mobility.
I spoke to my oncologist about it last week and he told me to take a diuretic. I didn't feel heard at all. I began taking L-Glutamine again. I took it during treatment and had no side effects. It seems to be helping a little bit already. And next week I begin physical therapy. That too, should help me regain my strength.
So all that whining was my preface to telling you about yesterday morning. An online friend wrote this amazing account of how he decided to take hold of his COPD by addressing it directly, feeling the discomfort, and asking it what was the message it was trying to get across to him. I've been working 24/7 this week because my employer is away on a business trip. They live in a beautiful area by the bay, right outside the gate to China Camp State Park. I have taken my little charge exploring many times in the hills and along the shores in China Camp.
After I dropped my little nanny guy at school, I took myself on an adventure of exploration. I was very inspired by something I read the other morning, written by an author online friend of mine, Ted Slipchinsky. He wrote in part:
"Yesterday I decided to "walk the talk" and apply some of the principles I put in the book that I am always babbling on about (because they have worked so well for me in the past). I lay down, closed my eyes, and decided to experience this God-awful continuous urge to cough in the fullest sense possible. I know this sounds counter-intuitive. I had been cursing out this urge for days, feeling sorry for myself, Googling the symptoms of COPD, and bemoaning my fate. But yesterday I decided to breathe very deeply into the sensation and completely surrender to it...
I drove to the park thinking about my legs, and how I was always so grateful that they were so strong. My strength was there, even though my upper body was less hardy. I used to marvel at what these legs could accomplish. So in my mind and heart I spoke to them. I thanked them and told them I was so sad that they were changing. I asked them to please let me know what it was that I was to learn from this situation. basically that is what I said (but in a lot more words). A prayer. A meditation for my body, this vessel carrying my heart and soul. I accepted the pain. I planned to hike and explore anyway.
And then my answer came on the car radio when the silly little tune Nobody Gonna Break My Stride came on full volume. hahahaha It made me smile. It was a beautiful hike. And I'm going to keep on in this fashion until I am strong again. Thank you Universe! Sometimes you make me laugh...