Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Mind-Body Connection

I was admittedly in a dark place the past few days, hence the blog absence, but I got it out of my system and no need to dwell on that. This week was a tough week and there will probably be more to come, I guess it's all part of the healing process. I think this week was the toughest so far because I've been doing the "cancer thang" for six weeks now and I'm ready to be finished ... but there's still a long road ahead. There was a lot of fatigue, a lot of weakness, a lot of pain, a lot of tears and "woe is me," but that does no one any good and I know that, but sometimes the drugs do the talking. 

Today the sun came out and with it my positive outlook came back. I got some good advice from a former colleague and forever friend who also battled lymphoma, advice that helped her: "Remember it's a marathon, not a sprint." Now I ran the 100 and 200 meter races in high school. I passed the baton in the 4 x 100 relay. My time to shine lasted 14 seconds. I like things fast, but I need to realize that beating this takes time. I'm a quarter way through ... . Any other time in life, you never want to wish time away, but in this case November can't come quick enough. I mean, I'm going to enjoy every day no matter how much cancer crapness I'm dealing with. 

So I've decided to slow things down, coincide with the pace of my treatment and learn to focus on each moment rather than pushing to the next. 

Step 1: I went for a massage. This was fantastic and rejuvenating. The stress and fatigue of the week was melted away, though short lived, it was marvelous for the time that it lasted. I walked into the salon and was asked to fill out a "massage profile." In my pre-cancer life I would scan these type of forms checking "no" all the way down hardly paying attention to the medical conditions listed. I'll never be able to ignore "existing medical condition" questions. 
Please check all that apply: 
Are you here for stress? Check. 
Pain? Check. 
Injury or medical condition? Check. The Big "C" in fact. 
Recent surgery? Check. 
On any medications? Check. Check. Triple Check. 
But once the lavender wafted into my nostrils and the masseuse's hands started doing their magic, it was forgotten. My muscles felt fantastic and my mind at ease, but unfortunately, the pain did not go away and as my masseuse explained, the cancer pain is more sensory and bone pain, but that continued massage could help heal ... I will have no problem perusing this. 

Step 2: I took a yoga class tonight. This was also fantastic and rejuvenating. I called the studio that's just down the street from me in the Tariffville mill, The Zen Zone. This sounds like the zone I need to be in so I pulled the "cancer card" and got two free classes. Tonight I tried All-Levels Yoga, next I try Yogalaties "to see what works better for my body and soul at this time." I love this instructor already. Though I've only taken a random pilates class here and there, I instantly caught on and am instantly hooked. The candles were lit. The lights were dim. The music was gentle and tranquil. I breathed through stretch after stretch, lengthened my sore muscles and opened my creaky joints in the "happy baby," "basking frog," "warrior 1, 2 and 3," "extended child pose," "reverse swan dive" and "downward dog." The last 15 minutes were just breathing and meditation and I could literally feel the stress melting away as my body sunk into the mat. 

I brought it back to the heart center where I rediscovered my inner peace and balance. 


  1. I'm so proud of you Karin. Stay strong, and (as Miley would say) keep the faith!
    Here is Monty's favorite song to cheer up these rainy days:
    Sun, sun, Mr. Golden Sun
    Please shine down on me.
    Sun, sun, Mr. Golden Sun
    hiding behind a tree.
    These little children are asking you
    to please come out so we can play with you.
    O Mr. Sun, sun, Mr. Golden Sun
    Please shine down on me!!

  2. It's great that you discovered a way to come back to your inner peace and balance. Keep coming back to that place. Practice when things are easier, and it will help when the going gets tough. xoxo