Friday, 13 February 2015

Hello Again!

Oh my!!! I can't believe I haven't posted since October 2014!!! Let me tell you that life has been very full but in a really good way. I took on more students in September and I have to admit that maybe it was too much. I thought my energy levels were good but I find myself very tired out by the end of the week. I remember being told that after chemo your energy never fully returns. Well, I am stubborn and refused to believe it. Now I have to admit that perhaps everyone was right....or I'm just getting older. Whatever the reason, I must admit that I am exhausted by the end of each week.

Like I mentioned, I've taken on more students. I seem to have a lot of beginner students this year and it is always so satisfying to see them enjoy learning the piano and to read the music. Although this tires me greatly, it is also fun. It warms my heart to have the young students run up to me to say hello if they see me outside of the teaching arena. My students participated in a Christmas recital at the end of December. Again it was very satisfying to see the students, especially the ones who were anxious about playing in front of people, perform very well and master their pieces. Teaching often brings a smile to my face even if I am tired.

In my spare time, I have been reading more this year. I love the Outlander series by Diana Gabaldon and I started the series again. I was prompted to re-read this series after it was shown in the Fall on the Showcase channel on television. I thoroughly enjoyed the short series which will begin to air again in April. Meanwhile, I've started to read the books again and love them just as much as my first time through them. I find reading is very relaxing and it is an escape for me as I, through my imagination, am transported into the story.

I continue to try to make a difference in the world around me. Although this uses up some of my precious energy, I think it is important to help make a positive impact through my existence. I continue to play piano at our local hospital but it is now in the long term care ward. This is the ward where people are placed as they await openings in the local nursing homes. As I'm now three years removed from my cancer experience, I thought the strong urge to experience life in all its fullness would have lessened. No it hasn't! This may be due to the fact that more people I know have been diagnosed with cancer or their cancer has returned. I have been reminded again that life is very short as some of these people have lost their battle with cancer. This reminder affects me very deeply. I'm happy that I am still in remission but I am still assailed by emotions related to my cancer journey on the anniversary dates of my diagnosis, treatments and confirmed remission.

After 3 years, the worry I feel when I have a cold is still there although somewhat lessened. There's always the fear that these nagging colds, then flus and more colds are signs that the lymphoma has returned. Add into that all the menopausal symptoms that are the same as the lymphoma symptoms and I could get myself really worked up emotionally. When this starts to happen, I sit back and literally take a deep breath. I pray. I meditate. I surround myself with my activities and friends. I try to continue to counteract these negative emotions with positive emotions and interactions. I will not let fear rule my life and take away my pleasure of being remission!!

So in closing, all is well. I am still in remission. My next check up at the cancer clinic is in May. I continue to try to live life to its absolute fullest and enjoy new experiences as well as my regular enjoyable activities and interactions. My family has a "Blessing Jar" (or Perspective Jar) where I write on a slip of paper moments that are special to me. On New Year's Eve or New Year's Day, I will open it up with my family and we share the memories and blessings that occurred throughout the year. So far 2015 is one great year!!