Sometimes life deals us a hard blow. It can knock us off of our footing for a while – knock the wind out of our sails, and we fall, stuck – in a seemingly endless, stagnant ocean – unmoving. That happened to me recently as I had to again assess what I could no longer do.
What isn’t obvious to other people is the loss of function that I experienced as a result of surgery for cancer 7 years ago. The mass was in lymph nodes in my neck, against the sternockeidomastoid (SCM) muscle and internal jugular; thus, along with a good number of lymph nodes, the jugular and salivary gland, a major part of the SCM also had to go. This muscle helps hold up and turn your head, helps you raise your arm, and is one of the primary muscles receiving stress throughout the entire side of the body when you perform tasks ranging from heavy lifting to small motor movements to chewing. It’s hard to do any bodily movement without engaging the SCM. So, I have had to learn to manage the pain and loss of function brought on by the muscle weakness and scar tissue.
I grieved for a while, thinking of some of the things I missed like making jewelry, working in the yard, even taking vacations. Then, I thought of my friend Grayce. She became disabled at a young age – half my age – when she had a stroke after delivering a baby. She lost use of her dominant arm and had other problems that made caring for herself and her family very difficult.
What saved Grayce was her attitude. She went to a supprt group, all lamenting over what they could not do, and she said, “If you can’t write a check, get a check card! ” They threw her out of the group and she said that it was the best thing that could have happened to her – that those people were depressing.
To move forward, we have to assess and reassess our capabilities after a physical problem or just as we get older. We need to figure out different ways to do the things we love – or learn to love to do new and different things.
I have often said that my experiences with cancer have been some of the best things, best experiences, that could have happened to me because of what I learned and the people who came into my life as a result. I have some of the sweetest cards from friends and relatives and we have developed some very close friendships and relationships. I appreciate them everyday more than I could have before.
Yes, I have physical problems and pain that I will always have to manage. But, how can I lament and focus on what I lost when I have also gained so much? I am closing in on 7 years past August 5, 2011 with no recurrences. I have a wonderful husband who has been and continues to be so good to me through it all, my good friends and mentors Dr. Coleen Smith and Holographic Health® developer Dr. Theodore Baroody who have helped me through the loss and pain into a way to manage day to day. I use Holographic Health® principles daily to improve my health and stay on track. And, last but not least, I have three successful and happy children I can be proud of. To top off the blessings, a miraculous new granddaughter was born into our family last year. I have so many blessings and so much to be thankful for. What do you have to be thankful for today?