Finding myself again

I don’t believe I understood how badly I needed this break from chemotherapy. Five straight years of treatment:  I cannot overlook the fact that it represents an enormous luxury for someone with advanced cancer—in terms of options and continuing survival. However, all the positives aside, five years is a hell of a long time to not feel normal.

As my energy levels rise and my head clears, I am embracing this moment to rediscover me. To quote one of my favorite poets, Wallace Stevens (from Tea at the Palaz of Hoon):

I was the world in which I walked, and what I saw

Or heard or felt came not but from myself;
And there I found myself more truly and more strange.

A bit adolescent, this new self indulgence; perhaps that is why I feel so rejuvenated. And I am trying to make the most of this opportunity. I’ve been weaning myself off of ativan, and am already eyeing the medicine cabinet to see what can go next. My eating habits have changed as well—daily salads and smoothies (my GI tract is showing its approval by cooperating). Long walks and laps in the pool; sixty lengths yesterday, it will be sixty five today.

Having a ball

Having a ball

31 responses to “Finding myself again

  1. Cristina Thorson

    So glad to hear you so happy, clear, rejuvenated, and enjoying the hell out of this (oh-so well-deserved) break! And I’m going immediately to look up that Stevens poem. He rocks. So do you. xoxo
    PS Very awed by all the laps. Sixty-five ho!

    • Cristina! Up to seventy five—muscles all aching in the best way possible. And (please pass on to W as well) I am excited about your September travel plans, loved the library tribute video (you so cute) and can’t wait to see you both soon! Maybe in October….

      love, L

      ps: tell W I have been inspire to give Proust a go myself

      • Wendy Welker

        Yes, now that your head is clearing, you can fill it with Proust! You’ll need the room, because once you start, he takes over ALL. It makes me so happy to know that energy and clarity are returning, and that you’re feeling more normal again. That’s gotta give you an extra spring in your step. Or a spring in your stroke, you water baby.
        Love you,

  2. I appreciate how you acknowledge the ups and downs to 5-years of constant treatment.
    Happy Swimming!

    • Kimmy, it can be a mixed bag, but the bottom line is I signed on for whatever comes my way. To be able to greet a new day is nothing less than a miracle; each and every time. Best to you!


  3. Annie Dutcher

    I’m so happy you have this break, Linnea. Enjoy your smoothies and salads and swimming – you deserve it all and so much more!

  4. Glad to hear it!! July is moving fast, andWyoming in August is just around the corner. If they still have them, and I trust they will … you’ll be getting a Crazy Woman shirt in the mail! I’ve lost count of how many people walk up to me and say “I want that shirt!!” xx barb ‘n bruce

    >________________________________ >From: life and breath: outliving lung cancer >To: >Sent: Tuesday, July 9, 2013 9:24 AM >Subject: [New post] Finding myself again > >linnea11 posted: “I don’t believe I understood how badlyI needed this break from chemotherapy. Five straight years of treatment: I cannot overlook the fact that it represents an enormous luxury for someone with advanced cancer—in terms of options and continuing surviva” >

    • Barb, I look forward to it and will think of you each time I wear it. Of course, if they are out, I will think of you anyway!


      (hug to you and howdy to Bruce—oh heck, go ahead and hug him too:)

  5. grayconnections

    Chemo breaks really magnify the good things in life, don’t they?

  6. Cheryl Shields

    Good for you. Enjoy, enjoy,enjoy!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    Great to see you at the conference.

  7. Great that you are getting to have a break and remember what it is like to be normal. I’m on alimta and am getting the same benefit. Eating and energy back to normal for the first time in 4.5 years.

    Life is good.


    • Gail, I’m glad to hear that Alimta provides you with that same sense of break. Feeling normal can never be overrated!


  8. Hugs for you Linnea! and then some more Hugs …just because : D

  9. Sally Samuels

    Good for you. You go girl!

  10. What a wonderful post, I was so happy to read about you enjoying your “summer vacation” so much! Enjoy the pool, the rejuvination & the summer fun! Life is beautiful-

  11. I’m so happy to read that you are getting a well-deserved break from all your treatments; I’d love to have one too! Chemotherapy, either by infusion or pill, is extremely challenging and can be discouraging. But we do what we can to live a full life. You certainly do! You always lift my spirits with your posts. I’m looking forward to your visit; come play with me!
    sincerely, Laurie

  12. Glad to read you are feeling so much better Linnea. Enjoy!

  13. If it rains much more on the East Coast, you will be able to swim down I-95 and do that old John Cheever story one better- glad you are feeling well; enjoy!
    XOXO, big love,

  14. So glad you are enjoying the ‘new you’. What a difference getting all the medicines and chemicals out and the freshness in. Happy swimming and thinking clear and swimming and eating and swimming and….and….

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s