It’s been easier to find joy these days. It helps to have three-week stretches of time in between visits to the infusion center. And to be off the dreaded, zombiness-inducing compazine.
Mac and I have been trying to have a “summer of fun” and I’d say we’re achieving our goal. I’ve been tagging along on some of Mac’s work trips, and we’ve been scheduling long weekends to see our friends. There’s nothing Mac loves more than getting in the water, so we’ve been trying to make that happen as well.
All of this has gotten me thinking about delight — ostensibly the reason I started this blog to begin with. Despite enjoying myself more than I have since my diagnosis, I can’t say I’ve found much to delight in. Walking through museums in D.C. was actually the most alive I’ve felt in months. But it felt like a melancholy contentment. Enriching, but not delightful.
Friends point out delights to me — the amazing marquee for the Grand Lake Theater, cherry blossoms dancing in the wind, a tree stump that looks like a person’s face — and I love it, but I’m not noticing these things on my own.
Back when I was on aggressive chemo, I noticed that I had tunnel vision. On a drive to Sonoma, from the passenger seat, all I could see was the road ahead of me, and the navigation app on my phone. About halfway there, I turned my head to the right and the view was absolutely stunning. Clearly it had been for some time. I just couldn’t see it.
And that’s what life felt like in the aftermath of diagnosis, and in the midst of chemo toxicity. Managing anxiety and disbelief. Putting one foot in front of the other. I developed an armor to protect me from the world, which seemed scarier than ever. The armor helps, but it came with unintended consequences, like not being able to see the big beauty or the tiny delights.
Now that I’m several weeks into maintenance chemo, and therefore several weeks away from the extreme anxiety created by chemo toxicity, I’ve found that my peripheral vision has widened. I’m able to see beauty in what’s around me again. It’s such a relief.
But what I’m not yet able to see are the little things that once brought me delight. Still, I’ll take it. It’s good to have some enjoyment and contentment back. Maybe delight is on its way. Maybe it’s a muscle I need to relocate and exercise.
Thank you for sharing your thoughts. Sending you love.
I’ve found making myself so busy in career has kept me from seeing the delight in this world. My tunnel vision is framed around urgency, fear and the uncertainty of the future. I’m learning to open my eyes, turn my head to the left and right then frim tie to time, looking back at my grassy pathway. My footsteps are still hidden by the overgrowth on my road but when I look forward I see hope. And I hope you see it too. Peace and blessings.
Yes! I love this!
i love you so much and you help me
xoxoxo. i am grateful for your words.
Thank you for this post. You are the angel i needed today.
Alana I love your posts. Thank you for being present, for sharing, for your warrior beauty. XOXO
Alana, thank you for sharing yourself in this way – open, honest, dazzling. Your brilliance comes shining through.
I know you wrote this a few weeks ago. Wishing you delights, however they show up. Brightened my day to see your beaming face with that moose.
Sending you loads of love. And to Mac, too, (although we’ve never met). The love you two have for one another is something else – big and magical and real. Thanks for sharing that with us, too. xoxo
Thank you so much, Dani. I miss you! xo
Just checking in, sending positive vibes, good thoughts, well wishes and upbeat karma your way. Was thinking of you and didn’t want to let the thought slip by. Onwards!
Thanks, Jeff. I appreciate hearing from you!
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