It’s been a while…Easy to say since I can see my last post was August of 2017 and had 1523 comments (all spam). This journey, however, has been anything but easy. Cancer, chemo, doctors really put your life into a whirlwind that sometimes you just want to escape from. So, I did. From when I started going to the doctors in January 2017, to diagnosis 3/13/17, until about April of this year, I’ve been ignoring what’s been going on with myself health-wise. A leukemia diagnosis is a life-sentence, and I still had time to figure things out… right? Keep doing what you’re doing, even while knowing I should be doing something different than what I was doing (eating bad, drinking, etc.).
Something triggered earlier this year and, I turned to yoga. My first class was with a teacher (who is now also my acupuncturist) suggested I watch the Heal documentary. I went home – watched and took notes throughout the entire movie, and (finally) wanted to make a change. They discussed radial remission in various cancers – clear scans from people that were told they had less than a year to live, and found commonalities throughout all the cases, one of which was a strong will to live.
Do something different was my main takeaway from the Heal documentary. As I started my eventual journey to a cancer diagnosis last year, I didn’t change much anything in my life regarding my diet or (sedentary) lifestyle. I drank wine before my diagnosis, even when I was advised my liver and spleen were enlarge (due to my cancer) and I should consider not drinking. My oncologist gave me this advice before my diagnosis (early 2017), and I still ignored it. In April 2018, I saw my GP (general practitioner) doctor, who read me a riot act about my liver #’s (AST/ALT). I gave myself a few weeks of not drinking in April/May of this year, but fell right back into old habits.
In September 2018, I finally had THE awakening. I’ve been having some “woke” moments since my yoga and acupuncture journey began, but something finally clicked in my mind. I had seen a distant acquaintance mention she had not had a drink this year, as well as a friend telling me they had only had a few drinks this year (after ringing in the new year hung over). Two people, that may or may not have had a health reason to not drink, but that quit drinking. Myself, who has a very good reason to not drink (i.e. CANCER) finally had something click. A Saturday evening (the night of my last drink), I had a headache and wine was giving me heartburn. The next day was the first day of fall. Yoga had a great message to tie in the new season – Let things go. I finally let go of my need/desire to drink and finally turned to focus on myself and just stopped. That was 9/23/18. Today is 11/4/18. I did share some wine with the hubby last night, and that is the only drink I’ve had in 6-weeks. 2-weeks into my no-drinking phase, I started Whole 30, (which I’m doing at about 90% since I travel so much for work).
Another part of my “do something different” was to read. I have read as much this year as I have in the last 5 years (or more?) combined (which is embarrassing admitting this, but life happens). I’ve read amazing books that have changed my outlook and disposition. My favorite is “The Four Agreements” by Don Miguel Ruiz and is one I regularly refer back to as we navigate this journey called life: Be impeccable with your word; Don’t take anything personally; Don’t make assumptions; Always do your best. While these seem simple, it’s the simplicity that escapes us during life’s daily challenges. A great read (or re-read).
Listening to Lady Gaga’s “Perfect illusion” reminded me of my health, what I was doing before “…was a perfect illusion.” Thinking I was taking care of my mind, body and soul. Today, I can honestly say that I am nourishing my mind (with yoga and therapy), body (eating better and not drinking), and soul (meditation).
For those still reading, thanks for sticking with me for a long length and long overdue post.