Recovery Road

Ok, I’m not a good patient.  But it is such a weird space to just put your life on hold for 6 -8 weeks.  Many things in my life that normally define who I am are gone or changed/shifted – being active, dancing, my clinical work as a counselor, etc.   In a way it’s like how I have felt when I have lived abroad – when your friends and families reflection of you is no longer constantly being upheld and you have this blank space from which to create your identity.  It is overwhelming but also a refreshing opportunity…a chance to challenge or examine who you are, your choices, actions, habits, and beliefs, and re-create or refine yourself in these new circumstances.  Unfortunately, my analogy is limited in that I am not eating gelato in the piazzas of Italy! 🙂

But my usual resources of moving and being active are unavailable so I am learning new methods to resource and support myself.  Watching some new series was good for the first week or so when I was in and out of sleeping and in so much pain. Recently I started watching some Ted talks and listening to inspiring podcasts and that have been helpful.  Here is one that I watched today – a fascinating look at new Breast Cancer screening tools beyond mammography – and once again, I am met with how lucky/blessed I am to have found this cancer when I did.

Ted Talk – A test that finds 3x more breast tumors, and why it’s not available to you

I also really identified with this talk – from an Indian Dancer who used dance as her form of moving through her Breast Cancer.

Ted Talk – Fighting Cancer with Dance

Having to accept my limitations at the moment is humbling.  Doing the most simple daily household tasks is not only challenging but exhausting.  My friend said to me today that she heard from a doctor that it takes at least 3-6 months to fully “be yourself again” after a big surgery.  I sure don’t feel like myself right now.  I feel tender, raw, open, and emotional.  I feel shy and humbled as I get to know my new body – as I integrate and process this experience.  As like most things in life, you really don’t get it until you go through it, but I do know that this experience will only broaden my compassion and understanding as I work with others in finding their optimal health through movement and counseling.

And I learned from my dear friend that there is “post surgical blues” so as I often say to my clients, naming it, acknowledging it, and normalizing it can help.  I know it’s all part of the process but that doesn’t make it easy – especially in the moment.  Yes I have moments of frustration with my body but I also have moments of fascination – like sensing when I can lift my arm just a little bit higher than the day before…and this reacquaintance with my body and my movement is like a full rebuilding or re-learning that I know I will be stronger for.

Off to “leg snuggle” with my kids and watch a movie. 🙂

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6 thoughts on “Recovery Road

  1. Truth! I especially like “you really don’t get it until you go through it”. I believe when I lead with this for myself and in relations with others compassion and empathy are more easily attainable! Love you so much and thank you for sharing your lessons… smooch!

  2. Thank you for sharing so openly. My mom always said baby steps matter and focus on the small ways you feel a little bit better each day. Your body will show you the way. Sending love and hugs!

  3. Writing will definitely help you process what you are going through. Every person who has to go through a major ordeal is brave in my book. Take care, let your family and friends take care of you, and in time you will do all those things that are you and the new you will welcome the old. Love, Beverly

  4. You are my idol. You are doing so good. You are strong in your body and mind. What a example you set for your family and friends. I am sooo proud of you. Mom😘😘😘

  5. I tots get how when we r struggling, u sometimes don’t even recognize urself. And I agree…that is humbling!! I also agree that it’s going to ultimately make u EVEN better at ur job!! Like Mich…I sort of wish u just fn dint have to do this. BUT I do know that which challenges us, makes us better…fuller, happier. Ur already so amazing….but u r even gonna b better…fuller & happier. U r such a blessing for us all!!!

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