Gratitude for The Normal Things

Today at my monthly Oncology appointment, I received the great news that my scans are all stable. “There’s still extensive boney disease, but no fractures”, said my Oncologist.  

The pain I was experiencing that severely limited my mobility has also greatly improved. No idea what caused it all - maybe it was just walking funny out on the snow and ice. I guess I freaked out, but it’s hard not to when you have “extensive bony disease” in your pelvis and spine. So, for now, my shoulders have dropped back into their natural place. I can hopefully sleep straight through the night again. And most important I can start getting out more, for pleasure and not just for appointments.

Yesterday, I went to a clothing store I love that was having their 70% off winter fashion sale. I didn’t find anything, but the mission of hunting for nice clothes at a price I could afford was exhilarating. Afterward, I got a chai latte, my favourite drink, and then went to my Psychology appointment. The afternoon created some extreme gratitude for normalcy and the everyday things I take for granted.

Here are some simple things that are awesome:

Driving a car.

The freedom that comes from driving a car is a wondrous thing. You can appreciate this if you've been in a situation, like illness, where you haven’t been able to drive, lived in a city where you relied on transit, or remember back to when you first got your license. It was really nice to be chauffeured around by my folks the last six weeks, especially when it was -30 outside. I’m thankful they made room in their days to help get me where I needed to be. But there’s something about being able to drive again that’s indescribable. It's the luxury of being in control, blasting some of my favourite songs, and just the feeling of independence.

Getting dressed and putting on makeup.

The ritual of getting ready to go out in the world is something that we often mindlessly go through. I know that’s true for me. However, yesterday I really felt it and noticed everything. It was so nice to change into an outfit that made me feel good and fits my aesthetic. I didn’t reach for the sweatpants or oversized t-shirts for housebound lounging.

I put on the luxurious, expensive, non-toxic makeup I bought with my Christmas money. I remember when I ordered it online I thought why am I spending $35 on this lipstick when I’m not even leaving the house right now?! Of course not leaving the house feels like it will last forever because that’s how pain and sickness mess with your brain. But running that luscious stick of botanicals along my lips and revelling in the new fuschia shade reminded me it was so worth it!

A change of scenery

Life outside of the home. Not having to think about any limitations and just getting out into the world! Driving to one of my favourite stores, looking at nice clothing, hearing people’s conversations, and engaging with sales clerks. And then ordering a drink at the cafe and visiting my Psychologist's office for the first time in over a month. Phone call appointments are helpful, but just not the same. 

I’m stable. My mobility has improved. I feel like myself again and I’m looking forward to more great days. 

Valentines Day portrait. 

Valentines Day portrait. 

The Definition of Bittersweet

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