Today I am proud of myself.
I woke up in the morning not feeling so good. Part of this, I think, was going through chemo this week and being on 100mg of prednisone – all of which can play havoc with my system. I thought seriously about just staying in bed all day and felt I could justify this decision. I allowed myself to go through a phase of self pity for about 30 minutes and realized that I was not being particularly constructive. I feared that if I did not figure this out honestly, I could get into a daily vicious cycle of wanting to stay in bed longer each day.
It occured to me that what I was missing was a sense of purpose. I missed work terribly. I had to find something that would give me a reason to wake up in the morning, excited and ready to start the day. A good friend of mine, Barb, had sent me some information about a cancer support group called Wellspring and suggested I check it out. I had resisted so far, but today felt compelled to see what it might offer.
But I still didn’t feel like getting out of bed. So I asked for help. Asking for help is so difficult and I know that this is something I need to learn as part of my journey. I picked up the phone and called my sister-in-law, Anar. She was thrilled to hear from me and cleared her calendar so she could spend the day with me. Going to Wellspring was the best thing I ever did. Imagine a home, an oasis, a safe place for cancer patients (and their caregivers) to come together and meet individuals who have been through the journey that you are starting. A place with serene rooms that you can use to talk, read, blog and have tea. There are regular drop-in sessions for Yoga and other activities. There are classes you need to register for that are first-come, first-serve; classes like South-Asian cooking and Healthy Appetizers. I have an appointment with a personal trainer tomorrow and am starting a customized 30-week fitness program the following week. This will help me stay healthy as I go through my 4 remaining chemo treatments. I imagine that Wellspring will become my home away from home. It will give me the purpose and the structure I need at this time in my life.
As I sat in one of the rooms at Wellspring, I realized that I also needed other “projects” to keep me mentally alive (although taking care of myself will continue to be the area of focus). So I made a list of what I hope to achieve in the next 3 months: For starters. Co-design a series of coaching workshops for women to be delivered in 2013. Record another CD. Get seriously better at using Facebook, LinkedIn and other social media tools. Improve my skills on my iPad and learn about cool apps. Remove the hideous cement entrance to our home and design a different solution. Continue to learn to cook (I am making real progress in this area!).
Today started out being a tough day and it took courage to do something empowering. The outcome was the gift of waking up each morning with a sense of purpose.
For more information on Wellspring Cancer Support Network, check out: http://www.wellspring.ca/