I wish I could say that I’ve been silent lo these many weeks because CrabbyCancerMan is feeling the best he’s ever felt, and we’ve been on a whirlwind tour of the world celebrating his health. But no such luck.
We’ve spent the last several weeks back in treatment. Back in December, more tumors discovered on the scan, followed by a failed surgery, recovery, radiation, and more chemo. Life had almost returned to a routine of regularly scheduled appointments with the highs and lows that are side effects of medication.
With one month out to the next scan, the waiting was beginning to get to me. I’ve noticed that I’m worrying more about things that might happen, which is a habit that I had never had before. I worry about possible consequences of possible results, I worry about what to do if plans E, F, or G fail. I worry about things that are out of my control, beyond my reach, and that my worries or lack thereof will have absolutely no bearing on.
We plot and plan, trying to figure out every possible path before us so that we might prepare and make the best possible decision. But there comes a point where the research is complete and one still has to wait for days or weeks before being able to make the decision. Our minds regularly go back to what we’ve researched, thinking there might be a stone unturned, or a different angle, if only we weren’t so tired to find it, so we go back and research nearing the point of obsession all over again.
This is decidedly not healthy.
Years ago, I read an article in Real Simple Magazine called “Know Your Numbers.” While there were some pretty standard recommendations in there, such as blood pressure and credit score, there was one in particular that stayed with me. The article suggested knowing five things that make you happy, without fail. (I’d link to the article, but sadly, they don’t have it posted in their online archives)
My first list from all of those years ago looked something like this:
- Chocolate and Peanut Butter Together
- Turning small children upside down
- Listening to the music loud while driving fast
- French macarons
- Talking with my brother
Now, this is not a bad list. I wasn’t thrilled that two of these were eating, and one only works when the weather is nice and the traffic officers are busy, but it was a decent start.
With this interminable waiting, I decided to embark on a little project – something to keep my mind occupied while we waited for this next scan. I wanted to make a new list of things that would boost my mood unfailingly. They should be healthy things that I can do by myself or with others, and there should be enough of them that I can always find one to enjoy at any time of the day or night, in any weather.
This has been a fantastic project. To be able to try new things, and experiment just to see whether it makes me smile or not, has been a decadent joy.
Among the items on my new list:
- automatic batting cages
- sending silly cards to my friends
- the sound of an orchestra tuning
What’s on your list?