Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Anxiety and Moderation

Last week my husband was on vacation.  We enjoyed many activities and visits but perhaps I extended myself too much.  I tend to be a person that doesn't do things in moderation.  I have always liked to be busy and want to visit with everyone at every opportunity.  I have always thought that I will have plenty of time to rest and slow down when I'm very old or dead.  Life is for living to the utmost.  That has always been my way of looking at it.

My current reality is that I don't have the physical energy to keep the hectic pace I once lived.  My hope is that my energy levels will increase to the level I had before I had lymphoma.  I'm stubborn and refuse to accept what other survivors have told me which is "I still haven't gained the energy I had before".  This came from people who have survived 20 years up to a more recent 2 years.

My dilemna is that this is my son's last summer of playing rep baseball and I don't want to miss any of his games.  Early in the season, I did have to miss games just because I really didn't have the energy to sit through a whole game or to travel away.  In the last week, I've pushed myself.  Today I'm paying the price of being exhausted and sore.  In an effort to participate in my husband's holidays and do things that are very enjoyable for both of us, in the last seven days we've gone to Wesport, Cornwall, dinner out with friends, rest day (although that included laundry, shopping, cleaning), a day at the baseball field then dinner out and a movie, a day visiting friends around their pool and a barbecue, then a day of shopping and visiting my sister and her family at their campsite, and finally another day of cleaning, having my sister and her family for dinner and another night at the ball field.  These were all activities (other than the cleaning and laundry) that are lifetime memories and warm family/friend moments.  I really couldn't say no to any of them.  As a result, I was so exhausted travelling from Cornwall that I was seeing double and dizzy.  This happened again while visiting my sister's campsite the other night and my son had to drive me home early.

As you can tell, I've not been doing things in moderation.  So here is my current dilemna.  I can explain away the exhaustion as part of the busy-ness.  I could even explain away the aches and pains as part of the busy-ness.  But I'm also fighting some anxiety.   In addition, I've been burping more after meals again.  My bowels have been a little more loose the last few days.  I can explain all this away as being too busy, tension, etc.  My anxiety comes from the fact that the symptoms for my lymphoma were the same except for the bowels.  Is it back?!  I pray that this is not the case.  However, the exhaustion I've been fighting with the last number of days is very similar to what I felt last Fall before I was diagnosed.  My speaking voice is still weak although not as weak as it was at the end of November.  I still can't sing although that is a foregone side effect of the lymphoma and chemotherapy.

I weigh my decisions on which activities to engage in based on whether they will provide lifetime memories and whether they reconnect and enhance my personal relationships with friends and family.  I also make these decisions after mulling over whether the activity will nurture the physical, emotional and spiritual realms of my being.  Going to Westport, nurtured my physical being (walking), emotional being (spending time with family and friends) and spiritual being (the connections of nature and the uniqueness of some of the stores' stock).  Going to Cornwall nurtured my emotional being by spending time with my husband and some of my old friends who I haven't seen in years.  Going to dinner with friends also nurtured my emotional being as I hadn't seen them socially in years.  Watching my son play baseball, nurtured my emotional being as it helps to strengthen bonds with my husband and son.  Visiting with friends at their home around the pool, nurtured my physical being (swimming), my emotional being (feeling the love and warmth of friends) and my spiritual being (floating in the water and feeling totally relaxed amid the beautiful surroundings).  Visiting with my sister and her family at their campsite was like a balm to the soul as we went swimming in the pool, relaxed and visited at the campsite and enjoyed laughter and food as we created lifetime memories for our children, nieces and nephew and family.  It also gave me an opportunity to spend time with our children's boyfriend and girlfriend.  Last night we again had a great time with my sister and her family.  I really don't get an opportunity to see my nieces and nephew very often.  We normally see them once a year as there is a large extended family get together.  It is not a time of one-on-one with them.  Last night, it was so nice to literally wrap my arms and blanket in warmth around my nieces as we watched our son play baseball.  This was the first time his aunt, uncle and cousins saw him play ball.  I enjoyed the soft conversations I had with my nieces.

So although the last week has been too busy, it has been a week of warm, wonderful memories.  I struggle with wanting to cram everything into this summer.  Maybe it's because I realize what a gift life is and how short-lived that gift can be.  I know that I am thanking God every morning and night for all these marvelous opportunities.  At the same time, I'm living with anxiety as my body is showing either new symptoms or else showing the results of a busy time.  Today I'm resting in the hopes that it will help.  I pray every day that this horrible disease will not return.  I'm now going to sit on my patio and enjoy nature as I try to calm my thoughts.

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