Friday, December 20, 2013

Patience

Cancer is forcing me to learn a whole new kind of patience. Though I am starting to feel fairly decent on my new meds, my stomach is still unpredictable, and I don't have the energy I used to have. In some ways, because I feel close to normal it is all the more frustrating to face my limitations. I can't multi-task as seamlessly as I used to, which I attribute to the powerful medicines that have been bombarding my body for the past 6 months. I find myself getting overwhelmed when I'm trying to follow several things at once, whereas I used to thrive in these situations. Janet of Gray Connections wrote a lovely piece about how this "chemobrain" side effect has helped her to empathize with people who face various challenges. (Janet is also a ROS1+ stage IV lung cancer fighter, and a lovely and brilliant lady.) This experience is forcing me (sometimes dragging me kicking and screaming) to become more patient with myself and accept that things may need to move at a slightly different pace now.

The funny thing is, I've often attributed my impatience to having bone cancer as a teen. I had just started high school, and was wrapped up in trying to figure out that world when BOOM! Cancer. I learned that your whole life can change in an instant. When I finished treatment and had the wonderful gift of living, the notion of how fleeting it all is stuck with me. 

Case in point: 
Jason and I met in November, got engaged in December, got married in April. 

When something is right, don't wait!

I don't mean to say act foolishly, just don't waste time doubting yourself and making excuses.

And if my kids are reading this one day: remember that Dad and I were both 29 and had years of dating experience so we were able to assess the situation well. Be cautious about rushing into a lifelong experience at age 18!

When I was traveling around Australia several years ago, I thought I would try my hand at scuba diving so I signed up for a 3-day / 2-night scuba boat excursion on the Great Barrier Reef. I was recounting this to my sister a few months ago and she commented that I had never scuba dived before, so how did I know I would like it? I didn't really know how to respond. It hadn't occurred to me that I might not like it, and even if I had not enjoyed diving, I'm sure I would have found something else to do on the boat which would have been fun. 

When an exciting opportunity presents itself, say yes

I think this philosophy has been a big part of what drives me. As a result of this, I have led a pretty great life. 

But I'm scared
That's okay, I'm scared too.
I've been called fearless, but they're wrong.
I'm, sometimes, beyond terrified.
But sometimes, beyond terrified
Is where you need to be.

So now I am trying to balance impatience with patience, and gain everything I can from both. I guess this is my gift from cancer. ...kinda wish I could have learned an easier way!


I am looking forward to a lovely holiday season with my family, and hope to have many more. Thank you to everyone sending their love and support. It means so much to me!

My wishes for you....
Enjoy the moment.
Play.
Love.
Laugh.
Make mistakes.
Be bold.
Say yes.
Live.

And never pass up the opportunity to pee.*

Happy holidays!


*My old friend Dan gave me this piece of advice many years ago, and I have found it to be surprisingly useful in day-to-day life. You kinda have to pee, but think you will just wait to get home - just take Dan's advice and go now. Your bladder will thank you. 

2 comments:

Eva said...

Wonderful post, Tori!!

We wish you and your family a very Merry Christmas and a happy New Year!

Eva & family

Tori Tomalia said...

Hi Eva! Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you and your family, too!