“I am a traveller through this life. I will walk and not run. I will be a collector of all of the experiences that my life offers me. The beautiful and the ominous. They all work together to create an expansive tapestry. Without the hard and complex, I could not appreciate the soft and simplistic.” – Christine Rutherford
At my heart, I am a writer. I am a lover of words and all that is literal. Today, I have chosen to use a quote of my own to depict where I am living, and want to remind myself of this space when things get scary and uncomfortable. I have been writing recently of some not so great health stuff going on in my world. Just an update for those of you whom have been following my journey. I went to the surgeon on Thursday to receive the pathology report for the large lump they removed from my chest two weeks ago. I am so grateful to have found out that it is not cancerous. However, it is also not what I had hoped for entirely. I had hoped he would tell me “We removed it, and you will not have to worry about it again.” That is not what he said. He told me that it was an aggressive desmoid tumor that had engulfed part of my pectoral muscle. Because of that, they needed to remove a fairly large section of the muscle, which is why I am still so sore. These types of tumors are frequent to return unfortunately. For this reason, I will need to be checked every six months and to have a mammogram every year for the rest of my life. If it does return in the same place, the doctor cannot remove any more of the muscle or it would limit my use of my right arm. Radiation would be the course of action if it returns. The doctor and I said goodbye to each other and hoped that we never have to see each other again. So this leg of this race has ended for now and who knows what is to come in the future.
I have been dealing with this issue since April. Now at the beginning of August, I have my answer. My friends have said that I must be relieved. This made me think. I have really not felt stressed over this issue. I feel I have been calm about it. However, when I look at the rest of my life, I realize it has not been peaceful. Or rather, I have not allowed it to be. I notice a pattern in my life. When things get scary around health issues, I tell myself it is going to be ok, but then tighten up on everything else. I have been a bear to my husband lately about his new business, worrying non-stop over friends that I haven’t heard from in some time, and fretting over finances to a point where I am not sleeping well. I know I talk about worry a lot, but it is such an impacting force in my life that I am always working on it. I can let health stuff go and wait it out, but apparently I need to redirect that angst to other areas of my life. Whether it is worthy of a space there or not.
I am very happy to have returned to my psychologist to work through these areas and hopefully be able to loosen the grip on further areas of life. Back to the quote that I started with. I do view my life as a journey. I know wholeheartedly that life has ups and downs and you need one to appreciate the other. Right now, with the release of the choke-hold that my health has been stuck in, I feel I am entering a time of calm. I write positive affirmations to myself like the quote above in times of calm. I write them to myself so that I can read over them in times when I am shaken and in times of worry, to remind myself that I have overcome barriers in the past, and that I will again. I find it very empowering to read them in times of stress and realize that I am the same person who felt strong enough to write those words not long ago.
Something worth noting, as soon as I got out of my own way with the other stressors I had added into my life, as soon as I said “This is my husband’s company and he has it under control.” and “My friends will come back when they are ready.” you wouldn’t believe how quickly things began to turn around. My husband’s business has been so busy, and several friends I have not talked to in awhile reached out and we reconnected. Things just end up working themselves out in the end. My husband has a saying he often tells me when I am worrying. “Why worry? It will either work out or it won’t. If it works out, there was nothing to worry about. If it doesn’t, we will try something else and it will work out or there is a reason why it didn’t.” Sometimes I need to listen to him more.
Everyone has their own things that really rattle them. Worry might not be yours. Maybe spend some time thinking about the things that really make you feel frozen and unable to act. Then write some loving notes to yourself about how you would rather feel. Maybe keep them in a book that you can look back on when your road of life gets a bit bumpy.
I hope you are all having a smooth ride right now or can find an off-ramp to get to a calmer path.
P.S The photo I included is a quilt that I have made that I use when I am writing. It is my tapestry.