Sunday, September 28 2014
So I know I’ve been a little quiet on the blog lately. Yes, things have been busy… but the truth is that isn’t why I haven’t been able to write. The truth is harder than that… as is often the way, and I guess I’ve just been summoning the courage to try and write from my heart. I am writing this while we are on holiday camping with extended family and friends. Sitting looking at the Wooli river, listening to the wind rustle in the trees while all the kids ride bikes, play and do what kids are meant to do. A little time away, opportunities to reflect, get back in touch with what really matters and suddenly I have the courage to write.
I know you’ve all been wondering how Tracy is going with her treatment and I have a couple of items of really good news. Since finishing radiotherapy she’s been on constant chemo for past 6 months and, of all potential outcomes, her cancer has responded in the best possible way. There are two major measures for this, one is her tumour markers (and various other blood tests), and the other are her CT scans. Her bloods show that her tumour markers have dropped amazingly well and her CT scans show that the cancer hasn’t advanced anywhere that it hadn’t already progressed to prior to starting treatment!!! All of this is nothing short of incredible news which we are very grateful forJ. It really is the best possible result! The expert consensus is, that as long as treatment can keep Tracy’s cancer under control, and in particular, prevent it from spreading to her organs, we’re considered to be winning the battle for time. That precious gift we constantly underestimate in our busy lives where we are so geared up to doing instead of simply being… being in the moment… being present… being aware. Sounds simple. Until you try it.
In my own life I have begun to constantly question whether I am present and why it takes something like this to make me stop and try it. It also makes me realise just how important the present is, for it is all we know, tomorrow and whatever it may bring is not promised. The choices we make and the way we spend our time and energy today are what really count the most. Choose well and tomorrow will take care of itself. Choose poorly and tomorrow may not ever bring what you hope for or desire… and you may not even realise how that happened.
Upon reflection one of the main things I’ve noticed when life is busy is that so many of our daily choices almost seem to happen without our conscious involvement. It’s just too easy to get caught up in the momentum and end up going along for the ride before even realising where we land up. It is much harder to stop, think, consider, choose… be present, but, if we want to ensure we are living the life we want to live, isn’t that exactly what we have to do?
It’s also made me think about what choosing well means? What do I value most and is that where I’m choosing to invest my time and energy right now, not something I’m planning to start doing sometime in the future. You know that trap we all have the potential to fall into… I really want to ______ and I’m going to start doing it when ______ (you fill in the blanks) and then that time doesn’t ever happen and so you just don’t get round to doing that thing, or making that change, that you said you really wanted to do?
What does all of this have to do with Tracy and this blog? Well, I guess it’s part of the reason I haven’t been able to write much over the last couple of months. You see, while Tracy’s treatment has gone as well as we could possibly have hoped for, the fact that she has cancer, and that it isn’t going to just go away, has become very, very real. Of course we have known that from the beginning but actually living the day to day of that reality becomes a very different thing. Days turn into weeks, weeks turn into months, months (we hope) turn into years and the rollercoaster keeps going. Everything has to be able to stretch, to go the distance, there’s no running out of steam, at least not until you reach breaking point, and then there is a pause for as long as the cancer allows…before you front back up and stretch that bit further again even if you don’t think it’s possible to.
So that is where we are right now. Tracy pretty much reached breaking point. Hospitalised after her past two chemo treatments the negatives of treatment started to outweigh the positives and, along with the good blood and CT results, she gets that much needed pause. She will go back on hormone tablets and of course stay on all her other pain meds etc. but no IV chemo:-) It couldn’t come at a better time, just before our camping holiday, summertime, Christmas holidays… all special opportunities to spend time with Taya and family and enjoy life as much as possible before her cancer decides the pause is over and it becomes time to stretch again…
For all those close to Tracy, it has been so hard to watch her hit such a low physical and psychological point and, of course, so much harder for her to be the one going through it. Sometimes I just can’t imagine what it must feel like to be in her shoes and I marvel at how she just keeps on going, applying her usual vigour keep everyday life, especially for Taya, as normal as possible despite feeling so understandably vulnerable and emotional. Shaz has been an amazing support during this time (thank goodness for big sister’s) and I guess we all just try and do the best we can, but the tough certainly got tougher when Tracy swapped chemo drugs a couple of months ago, and we’ve been warned that that’s the way things trend….
It seems hard to imagine but it also seems there’s no escaping it, and knowing that, only serves to solidify the value that a focus on the present offers. Especially right now, where the present for Tracy is offering her first chance at a treatment break since her initial diagnosis. An opportunity for her to have the luxury most of us get to take for granted…the luxury to choose what is most valued/important to her to spend her time and energy on, rather than the treatment that has had to come at the top of the list... no choice involved. Also a chance for some of her energy to return (blood transfusion enhanced) so that she can really enjoy the much needed break to restore, replenish and find joy in the sunshine, and rainbows, between the rain. Tomorrow isn’t promised and, whatever it brings, will be dealt with when we get there. So…here’s to the present and the sunshine, and to making the conscious choice to enjoy both whenever and wherever we can, as much as possible, whatever our own situations are.
Thank you as always for being with us on this rollercoaster. We are always grateful for the continued love and support.
Until next time xxx
P.S. For pictures of us enjoying some of the rainbows and sunshine between the rain at Wooli check out the Facebook group 4Tracy4Life
Clare, what beautiful words and a lesson to everyone to live in the the present!
Posted by Janice on 29/09/2014 - 11:02 PM