Giving Up Cancer for Lent, Week Four: Learning to Live in the Moment

So… we’re into week four of my Lenten journey. Giving up cancer for Lent is confusing at best. It has, however, made me more aware of the choices I make. It still doesn’t mean I always make the right ones… but I make the good ones more often.

The week we’re journeying into my brain… sorry it may be a scary journey! This week I aim to find some peace with the fact that cancer IS a part of my life. It’s about learning to live in the moment, learning to accept what I cannot change, and learning to manage my life and my emotions within all that. It is, quite frankly, a dauntingly tall order.

I’m starting small. One of the big lessons I learned from my Dad’s illness is that the little moments are the most important. What I remember most is just sitting in the den watching the World Cup with him, or enjoying a nice dinner with the family that raised me and the family I created at the same table, laughing at the same things.

I’m trying to learn to live in the moment. Today was a good example. I think it is all about perspective. I can remember the fact that The Husband is away, mom’s chemo and the fact that this is March Break (meaning no school and no distractions for the Dudes) or I can remember the great opportunity to come to my mom’s house on holiday.

I can remember Little Dude’s refusal to sleep until nearly 10 pm last night or I can remember the way he cuddled up close when he came into my bed this morning. I can remember the fact that I caved into the incessant whining and took them to MacDonald’s for lunch (I know! I’m supposed to be giving up cancer… not causing it) or I can remember the look on the Little Dude’s face when he discovered the mini trampoline in the play area. I can remember the whining about not wanting to walk halfway through our little hike in the woods or I can remember or innovative solution to the problem.

I can remember the split-second of sheer terror when the Big Dude slipped on the ice next to a big drop-off (he’s fine, he recovered and didn’t even fall, there was also a somewhat adequate fence preventing a fall over the cliff – it was just momma paranoia) or I can remember the looks on their faces when we reached the first waterfall they have ever seen… and they got to throw rocks into the water, what could be better?

I catch myself in the middle of the day forcing myself away from negative thoughts. Everyone has frustrating days, every mother is tired, everyone has Dark Mommy moments. The cancer that has dominated my life for nearly a decade has left me a more negative person… I don’t want to be that person.

I want to focus on the the good part of my day when someone asks about it. So what if the kids got me up early? So what if the Little Dude fell asleep in the middle of the afternoon meaning he’ll be up late again? I got a whole day with my kids. I got fresh air and a nice walk in the woods. I got a day that many people don’t get. I might get thousands more days like it, I might get only a few. It sounds like a negative but, in fact, it’s just the opposite. No one knows how many days any of us get so I am determined to enjoy them while I can.

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