Have you ever seen those design blogs/articles/magazines with pictures of these wonderfully imagined rooms? Sometimes it is the perfect kitchen, or the most luxurious bathroom, or a cozy bedroom. My favorites are always the reading/library rooms that people add to their extravagant houses. I totally want a room with floor to ceiling bookshelves one day, a sliding ladder, and a really cozy space to read 🙂
Brit.co is a website with great projects, designs, and recipes that I go to every so often. Recently they had an article about 20 motivational desktop wallpapers that were also free! I LOVE motivational stuff so I had to check it out. I looked through the post and loved what I saw. I ended up downloading quite a few of the wallpapers and have them as my computer’s desktop background in a slideshow format so that the poster switches every minute to another one! 🙂
These are some of my favorites:
Musing on relationships is something I very much enjoy. Meeting up with old friends is always such an interesting experience. Regardless of the time that has passed in between, I have found that these encounters either illuminate exactly how similar the two of you still are… or exactly how completely opposite you have become. I rarely find anything in between….we are either in exactly the same spot in life (relatively speaking obviously) or we could not be in more different situations 🙂 Thinking about all of this the other day made me think back to our Paris trip. (more posts from our Paris trip here, here, here, here, here, here, here, here, and here) 🙂 While in Paris, Brett and I met up with friends of mine during our week long stay. We reconnected with two of my friends a few times over the week and had such a lovely time with them. They invited us to their home in the suburbs of Paris and I couldn’t have been happier with our time spent together (except that I didn’t get a picture of all 4 of us together! I want to get better at that!) Brett and I also met up with a group of my friends at a Paris night club. A picture of the two of us with a favorite couple of mine is below. I was able to reconnect with a few people that night…though many more old friends were present. With a few of them, after 7 years of not seeing one another, we picked up right where we left off. It was so nice to see them and for them to meet Brett. Just makes me want to up and move across the ocean where I get to speak French all day long 🙂
There are actually a few things that I could rant about as a cancer survivor. There are the usual, Why did this happen to me? kind of thing. There is definitely the much deserved rant about what things people say to someone with cancer. (I talked a little bit about that here).
First of all though, to get the actual rant started, I hate the words survivor and battle when talking about cancer. The unfortunate truth of the word survivor, is that it implies such a harrowing feat for those of us here and the narrow alternative for those of us who are no longer. I also hate the phrase, so-and-so lost their battle. Really?! Because I’m sure that that person’s friends and family still see the battle as an every day occurrence…not something lost. Definitely not something that is done, finito, fini. The same connotation is used with survivorship. That is the root of this rant…the idea that being a survivor also means that the battle is over.
Cancer builds a context into a “survivor’s” life (and into the life of a caregiver for that matter). Cancer taints future events in ways that result in both negative and positive outcomes. We have all heard of people living life to the fullest after experiencing life changing events like cancer. Some of the things we hear a lot less of though are the negative aspects. I do not mean this to be a moment where I now tell you each thing that I have experienced as a negative to being a cancer survivor….I only want to outline the key of survivorship that I have found to be so often overlooked by the bystanders. Survivorship is the process of surviving.
The context that cancer creates cannot be erased, forgotten, pushed through, sucked up, or ignored. Though others in the cancer survivor’s life may completely forget about the day of diagnosis, the months of chemo, and the feelings of isolation, anxiety, and hurt, the cancer survivor is not afforded this luxury. Others may choose to forget the new context of the cancer survivor’s life but the survivor does not have that choice. The survivor must now go through the process of surviving…
where things once easy may now seem difficult,
where once there was a clear and photographic memory now there may be a foggy and sluggish feeling for years,
where some people refuse to admit that you may not be back to 100% yet,
where people ignore what happened as if it is now over.
This is survivorship….not just being clear of cancer. To the survivors (both patients and caregivers) out there….cancer did happen. It is real and it makes sense to me that you are still feeling the effects of the battle. It makes sense to me that you may not be back to 100% and that your brain may still feel a bit slower than before. Cancer changes everything…so how can one expect to be the same as before? More importantly, why should one be made to feel as if they need to be the same as before?
Image via http://www.ttuhsc.edu
Sometimes you just need that one person to step out of the shadows and come and be your friend. 🙂 I’m glad that I have those people here in Champaign. I spent the first week that I was back in town sick…then my dad, brother, and grandmother came into town for a short and very busy weekend of house fixes…and then, just as I was mostly getting used to my new schedule and definitely as I was becoming a little lonely in our big house all by myself, I received a text message… It asked if I was in town and if I had been “sitting around the house bored? wishing people would visit you?” And the next day my friend Y just showed up 🙂 It reminded me of how much I sometimes require a good push in the direction of people. Don’t get me wrong! I am definitely a people person but I can sometimes hole myself up without meaning to and a week later suddenly realize that I’m lonely.
I was soon cured of my ‘pjs all day, not a lot of reasons to leave the house’ syndrome over some authentic, vegetarian chinese food and in the days to come with more good food, coffee, juice, pastries, and lots of conversation 🙂