It's been a while since I last blogged. I've been through a lot the past year, and just needed time to BE. No pressures, no commitments, other than getting through the day with my boys and surviving. And maybe having a little fun too.
So I'm using this opportunity to take Stephanie Howell's cue to Blog my Heart...
1. I am officially done with treatment for my breast cancer. I had a bilateral mastectomy followed by 23 doses of chemotherapy. I am now dealing with congestive heart failure caused by the chemo which was stopped early. I'm on meds to keep the strain off my heart, but I need to exercise more often and I have to watch how much sodium I eat. Which basically means no more processed quick meals from a can or the freezer and most of my food is freshly prepared - not a bad diet to be on, and I've already lost about 10 pounds after the water weight came off. It still feels a bit strange to say I'm done with treatment, but then again I never really defined myself as a cancer patient, so it makes sense that it feels weird to call myself a cancer survivor.
2. I'm working on registering for college. Finally. I plan to start taking classes in the spring with the intention of becoming a nurse. 18 year old me would not have been able to do it. I was too shy, afraid to speak up, and definitely did not like needles and dealing with "gross" stuff. But life has thrown me enough challenges that I've been through with grace to know I can definitely handle it now. And I know I'd make a kick-ass oncology nurse.
3. I haven't really been very creative this year. Scrapbooking has taken a back seat to my health, and I'm okay with that. I'm getting back into the swing of things by making a 4x4 mini album for November with what I'm thankful for this month. And I have a lot of things to be grateful for.
4. I turned 35 last month. It seems like I should know who I am by now. But I've always been afraid of showing my true authentic self that she got buried somewhere in me. So this year I'm working on digging her out. Figuring out who I really am and who I want to be. I've always lived my life in reaction to what is happening around me, it's time to finally start living with intention.
Right now I'm taking an online course by Heather Plett called The Spiral Path: A Woman's Journey to Herself. I just happened to fall upon it online one day and it's exactly what I've been looking for to come back to my authentic self.
I also have several books sitting on my bookshelf waiting to be read on my journey:
The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown
The Life Organizer: A Woman's Guide to a Mindful Year by Jennifer Louden
Drops of Awesome: The You're-More-Awesome-Than-You-Think Journal by Kathryn Thompson
I also have a few pretty journals to write my thoughts in, and a mini scrapbook album to document the pieces of me that I find. I may also blog some of my journey on here.
I'm also currently reading the book Shift Happens: How to Live an Inspired Life...Starting Right Now! by Robert Holden. I'm only a few chapters in and it's already got me changing the way I think about things. Here's a quote from the book I really loved:
"It is God's joy to give you everything. Know you can have whatever you want. Be still, and know who you are."
Who you are is not your labels. I am not a wife, a mom, a cook, a housekeeper, an organizer of family schedules and things. I am not my roles in life.
But thinking on a deeper level, I am also not what has happened to me or the labels I give myself.
I am not cancer.
I am not identified by my weight or health.
I am not the girl who grew up poor.
I am not the girl with no voice, who was never heard.
I am not invisible.
I am me. And I am beautiful exactly the way I am.