As I noted in the previous post, I had been feeling pretty low and blue lately. But it's hard for me to stay too sad for too long. Perhaps it's a natural optimism I have, although I think of myself more a pragmatist than an optimist. And maybe it's the pragmatist in me that is overriding the depression because there are so many examples of women who have survived this disease--who are thriving and cancer free 5, 15, 20 years from their initial diagnosis. I know things will be hard to get to that state, and I suppose what is scary about any cancer diagnosis is the fear of the unknown as well as the stats. I have made my professional career by dealing with "minorities"--and I have spent my entire life feeling like a minority in more ways than one. And I am fine with being a minority; in fact, I celebrate and revel in my minority status.
But now? Now I hope to be part of the majority--part of the 86% of people with Stage 2 breast cancer who will survive at the end of 5 years after proper treatment (in my case, more surgery, a round of chemo, maybe radiation, and definitely tomoxifen). I think the thing that makes me depressed is that 14% -- who is in that 14%? Didn't they also have optimism? Weren't they also pragmatists who looked at the numbers and assumed that they would be part of the majority of Stage 2 breast cancer patients--that they would not be in that minority who did not survive?
Thinking along these lines can drive you a bit batty--which is why being here, near the ocean, has been so wonderful. On Friday, when I was particularly low, I made a lunch and headed for the beach, where I spent a blissful afternoon watching the sandpipers dance with the surf along the shore and I soaked up the sun on my skin (and yes, I wore sunblock, but lets face it--thinking about how I need to wear sun block in order to prevent against skin cancer seems almost a comical point to me right now). I came home, showered, and then headed to my massage appointment, which was SO NECESSARY. I had so much lactic acid built up in my shoulder blades and this massage therapist, Laura (who is wonderful--if anyone is in Ocracoke you should definitely splurge on a massage with this woman--here's her website), just released all my tension and made me feel more relaxed and at peace than I had been in quite some time.
Then on Saturday morning, after an early bedtime, I woke up at 5:30am and decided to take advantage of this opportunity to watch the sunrise. So Bruno and I piled into my car and headed to the beach, where we got to sit between two sand dunes and watch the sun light up the sky:
How can I be sad when I get to be able to wake up and watch the sunrise in such a beautiful place?
Anyway, today is Mother's Day. I will get to see my own mother very shortly, in a few weeks. I won't have the pleasure of hugging her until then, so for any of you who are able to be with your mothers or with someone who has perhaps mothered you at a time when you needed mothering (and we can be mothered by men as much as by women), then go out and hug your mother or a mother today.
Finally, one of the things that has been making me feel better is listening to this song by Corinne Bailey Rae--I've played it over and over again, to the point where I know all the lyrics by heart. It's a song that just makes me feel better--and that seems to speak to me right now. Anyway, thought I'd share it with any of you who might also want a little boost.