Memories often flash through my head like lightening bolts - in one second they appear, and in the next they are gone. Sometimes I have flashes of all sorts of memories that come storming through my mind in such a frenzy it's as if they are competing for my attention. Memories of my high school graduation, my wedding day, or just simple and ordinary moments like my mom picking me up from latch-key as a kid. My mom, Jeff and I would sing, laugh and tease each other in the car as we drove home. We would especially tease my mom about the smell of her feet after a long day in those lovely white nursing shoes she had to wear. (Sorry to call you out on the internet, Mom) :) Life was so simple back then. I long for life to be that simple again.
Tonight is one of those nights where I am just feeling sentimental. Maybe it's because Mike's out of town and I am alone in the house. Or, is it because I am listening to my Fleet Foxes station on Pandora and indulging in a rare glass of wine. Or, maybe it's because I spent the evening with my family and laughed, joke, and reminisced.
As great as it feels to look back on the past and smile, it is also difficult for me. I look at old pictures and wonder, "did I have cancer then and just not know it yet", or "will I ever be that carefree and happy again?" Thinking of the past inevitabily causes me to then think about the future.
I have always been a dreamer. I have always dreamed about where I would live, what my life would be like, how many kids would I have. I try to still have dreams but it's hard for me sometimes. I have been pouring in so much time and energy into Meg Malley Photography but I would be lying if I said there wasn't a tiny voice in the back of my head asking, "Is this all worth it? How many years will you even be here to run a business?" But, it's my dream so I am trying to focus on the present and continue to pursue it. Or when people refer to the future and say, "In five years, we'll do _____." The first thought in my head is, "will I be here in five years?" I beat those thoughts back into the recesses of my mind, but they creep back to the surface every now and then.
I returned to work this past week and it truly felt really great. I am working (very) part time for now and I am grateful I am able to slowly adjust to this new chapter. It's amazing how tired I felt after one 5 hour shift! During my week back at work I noticed a few things....
1) It's nice to feel like a professional again. I worked so incredibly hard for my doctorate degree and I was so worried I lost all of my skills and knowledge. It was so nice to put it all to use again and realize I am still good at my job.
2) It is nice to care for others and forget about yourself for awhile.
3) I am 100% confident I will be a much better clinician now that I understand what it is like to be a patient. Not a patient in the sense of having a doctors appointment every now and then - but a true, chronic, ongoing patient. I have such a deeper respect and understanding for all that my patients have been through and continue to go through.
4) It will be a difficult adjustment for me to realize that I have physical limitations that I must adhere to. I have always prided myself on being physically strong and able to independently transfer and care for most of my patients without assistance. After working just a of couple hours, I began to become aware of my achy back and tight chest and arm muscles - and was sadly reminded of all my body has been through. It will be a true test for me to learn how to ask for physical help at work and not feel inadequate because of it. 5) My priorities have shifted dramatically throughout the past year or so. As much as I love my job, it will always be more important to me that I have dinner with my husband every night rather than staying at work late.
I have a follow up with my plastic surgeon on Monday and another appointment with Dr. F on Thursday for my 8 week follow up and monthly injections. I am hoping my blood work and everything continues to look good to the docs. My back has been bothering me a bit more than normal but I am hoping it will feel better as I transition back into my yoga practice. I'll keep you posted on what my wonderful docs have to say. :)
Thank you for all the love and support - as always. Please continue to keep us in your prayers. I truly appreciate it more than you know.
And because every post is better with pictures....I've been super busy with my photography lately. Here are a few of the cuties I have been photographing....
A few things I discovered today...
-Sunshine makes everything better!
-Singing as loud as you can in the car is a great way to start the day :)
-My patients are amazing - even while dealing with their own devastating injuries and neurological illnesses, they show me such compassion and caring. It truly felt great to be back at work today- caring for others instead of constantly thinking of myself feels so much more "normal" to me.
-My family at The Recovery Project is the best. They couldn't be more supportive right now and it is so appreciated!
-If cancer doesn't kill me, the roundabout/traffic circle at 18 1/2 and Van Dyke will! Good Lord, that thing is treacherous!
-Lastly, this is no new discovery, but our friends and family are incredible! The amount of people from all walks of our lives that are reaching out to us is nothing short of extraordinary! We continue to feel so grateful and blessed by the outpouring of support for us. We are the luckiest!
This was the wonderful view I had as I approached my front door today once I got home from work. (Not to mention a mailbox full of cards!) I am starting to get spoiled by all of this love ♥
Mike's friends from work sent this beautiful cookie bouquet - that was so thoughtful and sweet. They are wonderful friends to Mike & I. Thank you to the Dunlop family for the beautiful tulips! They are gorgeous and make me smile every time I look at them.
My dear friend and college roomie, Julie sent me the sweetest care package! It is full of wonderful goodies, pictures of the good ole' days, inside jokes, and other great treats to brighten our days. love it & love you Jules.
My blog to keep you all