Friday, June 29, 2012

Owning Well

Summer is entering an easy rhythm.   Our days aren't filled; Greta has a morning camp until noon for two weeks, and Finn does a little golf lesson one morning per week.

That's it.

When I was sick during the winter, I dreamed of long, lazy summer days where I could wallow in my kids, so I didn't over-stuff our schedule.  I wanted the time to piece each day together like a slow, lazy puzzle.

Now those days are here, and while it takes some getting used to, it's such a gift to be with them so much.

Yesterday, Finn scrunched up his nose at me and asked, "Momma?  Do we not have the babysitter every day anymore because you're bettah?"

I felt a cold stone in my stomach as I answered, "Yes, hon. It's because I'm all better now."

He grinned and ran off to play, while I placed a hand over my belly and thought about the cold feeling there.

I need to own being well, I thought.

I don't know why that's difficult, though I'm told it's normal.  I'm learning through therapy and talking to other survivors that it takes time - sometimes a lot of it - to trust the diagnosis of cancer-free. Something about saying it out loud to my children is extra hard - I don't want to promise something that might not be true - but I know that's my fear talking.

Physically, I'm feeling stronger every day. I got the feeding tube out yesterday, and that went a long way towards making me feel like a well person instead of a sick one.

I'm learning to turn the fear around, flip it over to its counterpart: gratitude.  I'm learning to put distance between the thought in my head and my reality: I'm so very lucky. So very blessed.

As we slide into the hot summer days of July - full of beach and friends and fun -  I want to be fully present for the wonderful. For what I longed for during the dark winter of sickness and pain.

I'm okay today.  I'm here now. And it's good.


  1. I feel so grateful to hear that you are regaining your strength. You are AMAZING, Ellie. Enjoy your summer like no other!

  2. As you grapple with owning your health, do enjoy this wonderful summer. I think the first summer after treatment is possibly the very best ever – it’s a time we appreciate so much, and everything stands out as a healing, loving experience. Good luck moving forward.

  3. Enjoy your summer days, making memories!
    Dawn B

  4. Children are so receptive.

  5. Your post is hopeful and happy like a summer morning full of possibility... It warms my heart!

  6. Really glad to hear you are doing better. What a relief. Your friend, H

  7. Ellie- I hadn't thought about you in probably 20 years, but heard a song that reminded me of you, googled you and found my way to this blog. I happened to have two long train rides last week and I managed to read the whole blog, start to finish (is that a first?). It was like a novel I couldn't put down (probably the best compliment an author could get and indicative of what a talented writer you are). I was literally laughing out loud at many parts (my seat mate thought I was a bit strange I think) and crying at others. I know your book will be a big success when you get around to it! I'm so sorry about all the difficult times you've had; it's more than one person should have to bear. It sounds like you're in a really good place now. Your family sounds amazing. You truly deserve all the happiness you have. I hope your health continues to improve. -An old friend