Physically, I am thriving. The wheeze in my chest is only occasionally noticeable and I rarely cough. More comfortable at night, I now sleep soundly and wake feeling rested. I feel hungry all the time, and have gained at least six pounds. In fact, aside from some daytime fatigue (an expected side effect of the Alimta), I feel really great.
Not surprisingly, things have been looking up in the emotional department as well; I’ve got my mojo back.
Obviously my improved physical state has come into play. However, there is more to it than that. Some months back, I came as close as I have ever come to losing hope: it seemed that my personal challenges were just too great. When I say this, I am not merely referring to my cancer, but rather insinuating a more general crisis of self.
I shared my sense of despair with a few trusted individuals. I was clear eyed and practical about what I could and could not change. There were some difficult weeks where my focus was on merely getting by. However, during this time I was making some important decisions. One, I was going to start getting my affairs in order (more about this to come). Two, each additional day I got to spend with Peter, my youngest child, was a gift. And three, I was going to stop procrastinating creatively: I would draw, write, assemble and paint as if my life depended on it. And by doing so, maybe I could finally achieve some financial independence.
The image above is of the painting I am now working on. My reference is a black and white photo from the fifties of my very beautiful mother and her friends at the beach. Often when I start a painting I just dive right in, but this time I sketched the scene in with graphite first, just as I had been trained. And I have been painting with real direction—I want to get this painting done and move on to the next one.
I am fat with purpose.