Sacred Space

The reality of being sick is that you spend a lot of time at home. You need to rest a lot, plus you know that your home is relatively germ free (a huge plus during the cold/flu season) and your home becomes so much more than just a place to crash after work and in between parties. 

Since my capacity is limited, I had been slowly packing for almost 3 weeks before the big move. I realize now how hard it was for me to spend all my time in a messy, cluttered space filled with boxes. The apartment was starting to feel like a prison cell - one filled with daunting tasks that I barely had the energy to complete.

Being sick has forced me to slow down. Way, way down. When before a room the size of my car was all I needed (because I barely spent any time there except time sleeping, it was always go go go) now suddenly I spend all day, everyday at home. And while I love my home, it was also starting to feel a little bit like a prison cell. One filled with mess, and things I was too tired to do.  I think that was part of what was really bumming me out.  

So much of the response I got from my last post was about finding inspiration in everyday things that bring you joy. I was wallowing in all the things that I couldn't do. But I know that you can't just expect someone to come along and hand you happiness if you're in a dark little cave hidden away where no one can find you, burying your head under some rocks and feeling sorry for yourself. You have to open  up your eyes, and see all the blessings that are right in front of you. You have to seek out your bliss, because if you look you can find it in a thousand little things every single day. 

And so with that in mind, I decided it was time to (finish) unpacking, and really work on making my home feel more like a magical retreat/paradise, someplace I would choose to spend all this time in. And I have to say, it's not so hard considering the view:

And so I wanted to share (brag) some of the ways that I have turned my home into a space that is beautiful, inspiring, relaxing and comforting - it's a combination of Steve's amazing art and my desire to constantly be surrounded in a pile of pillows and snuggly blankets. 
I was going for a Trina turk themed tent in Africa feel..

The "library" - it's a great place to curl up with a book.
The skull is Bob, a spirit of intellect from Harry Dresden,
I am obsessed with the books (about a wizard detective) 

The chair is basically just Fenway's bed
but sometimes its nice to be somewhere else comfy 

My bedside table - that blue thing is a pillbox!
So much more relaxing than that plastic behemoth I used to keep by the bed! 

Fenway's office, his to do list just reads "Nap"

The dining room table centerpiece
featuring lots of fake flowers
Close up of the coasters
We call this the blue wall - we are so creative...

The fireplace in the "library"

Can you guess which book is mine? Hint, it's not Jay Z Decoded

Help Me: I need some inspiration

OOO, look at all that hair! And my freaky arm, doesn't it look like someone else is in the picture?!?
Do you ever find it hard to find the words to express what you are feeling? Well, I don't. It's always been a particular skill of mine. And this post has taken me about two weeks to write. I just can't find the words. Not mixing up the words, like the shameful cognitive chemo side effects which have me calling my friends by the wrong names, but the kind of lump that sticks in your throat and makes you want to curl up under the covers and hide until it goes away. 

Moving is awesomely all consuming. It requires both mental and physical attentiveness that leads to the kind of total exhaustion which good escapists like me relish. There was no time to think, there was only pack, pack, pack, move, unpack, unpack, unpack. 

But while I was actually, physically moving from one (much larger) space to a smaller one...  I was also moving from a very aggressive course of treatment targeted at completely destroying my cancer, over to one which is much more permanent.

My magic moisturizing socks...
I live in constant fear of "hand & foot syndrome" - a common, and possibly (depending on who you ask) inevitable and painful side effect of the oral chemo pill I take which causes the chemicals to leak into the capillaries in your extremities. This causes (in grade 1) a "sunburn" like sensation on the palms of your hands and the base of your feet. If you continue taking the medicine, it can get really bad – bad enough to make things like walking, or using your hands a challenge. It can cause blistering, and turn your hands and feet purplish black. I can barely talk about it for fear of jinxing myself and bringing it on like a vengeful spirit who could be summoned by naming it. (This, my friends, is why googling things is so bad!) But I have nightmares about it almost every night.

The good news is, so far I am fine. 

The only thing they recommend to head off this nasty effect is moisturizing your hands and feet a lot. I have taken down a jar of udder cream like it was a popsicle about to melt. HBF doesn't seem to mind the constant greasiness (or that he is now the chief dish washer in our family because drying out your hands and heat can exacerbate the condition.) 

But of course, the doctors need to figure out the right dose. They want to get it as high as possible (so it can be effective as possible) without my body rejecting it. And, of course, they didn't get it right the first time. And when they get it wrong the body literally rejects it (along with everything else you put in your body.) Which of course, is a side effect I do have. 

At the hospital getting hydration,
under the smothering care
of Nurse Fenway. Dude, stop hovering!
I miss real food. I miss raw fruits and vegetables and poached eggs and smoked salmon more than I have words to express. I miss going to a sweaty, high intensity fitness class. I miss my hair. 

And while my hair is growing back (currently, it appears to be getting thicker, instead of longer, but I'll take it) I fear that the other things might be forever out of my reach. It's a hard thing to wrap your mind around.

Back when I could do ridiculous workouts, I would tell myself "Dena, you can do anything for 60 seconds." And then I would just will myself past whatever painful thing (lunges, planks, etc) that I was doing to my body.  This has always worked well for me as a strategy. But "Dena, you can do anything for 10 years." just doesn't have the same ring to it.

I know everyone has their limitations, their "dietary restrictions" their "crosses to bear" and so today, I am asking all of you for help. How do you do it? How do you keep yourselves feeling good and focused on all the good things you have, instead of on all the things you might be missing out on?

I need some inspiration so I can purge all these negative thoughts from my head and start the business of living my life again. Please help me cure my FOMO.  

This is the best I have come up with so far:

Thank you for your help!


Oh Hey - Did you miss me?

I know I haven't written in awhile, don't worry, I'm OK! I started a new treatment on Friday and (please please please don't let me jinx it!) I haven't really had any side effects except feeling tired! I'm not 100% certain that's from the medicine and not just from, well, life.

I wish that there was a get out of jail free card, like, "hey - you're dealing with some big, heavy things here, so you get a free pass on a bunch of other stuff." But unfortunately that's not the case. Bills still need to be paid. Car windows still get smashed and laptops stolen. Insurance claims need to be filed. Puppies still need to be walked. Boxes still need to be packed.

So, I just wanted you all to know that I am OK - and I'll be back in full force soon (once this move is done!) Until then, I'd like to share with you this awesome video (which makes lots of people think of me - it's already been posted on my facebook wall twice! I don't mind, I love it, but I want all of you to post it on YOUR facebook walls, because really, who visits my wall??)

"Studies have shown women are more likely to watch a video if it features a hot guy" - AMEN


Source: via Megan on Pinterest

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