Going through the cycles of treatment of recovery over such a long period of time really messed with my mind for the first few cycles, and then the experience turned into a useful lesson. In each round, as I recovered and started to feel almost human, I knew that the next treatment would knock me backwards again. When I find myself anticipating that next round, it took away significantly from my present experience of feeling good. Being in the moment has been the only fix for this. I do my best to stay in the moment and enjoy my wellness while I have it without tainting it with thoughts of dread for the next treatment. It’s not always easy, but I know that I feel better when I’m not anticipating the next round.
It occurred to me recently that if you take out the predictable time cycle of chemo treatment, we experience similar ups and downs with life in general. The emotional, physical, and wellness ups and down. We don’t necessarily know that the down cycle will start in two weeks, and how bad we’ll feel, and that we’ll recover by a certain date, but it happens. Nearly every valley we traverse is followed by a peak. This happens with our health, our relationships, careers, etc. Repeatedly experiencing these cycles with chemo on such an acute and predictable basis really served as an experiment that proved the value of being in the moment. Even though I struggle to be in the moment 100% of the time, this experience has helped me be present much more than I ever have been before. This is something I will take with me long after the treatment as a way to manage the ups and downs in life in general. This is yet another chemo lesson I’m very grateful for.