Stay busy they say... I’ll tell you what's a full time job, being a new born. I am a stay at home mom, house wife, and the infant all in one. At this point I don’t know if it’s the steroids anymore that have turned my life into an OCD nightmare. Just have to keep my SH*T together. EVERY. THING. HAS. A. PLACE. If my hand lotion is 3mm turned the wrong way, no one is getting sleep in this house until it is made right! This is anxiety speaking, I know. If there is mayhem in front of my eyes there will be mayhem behind. Either way…beneficial for my life and I hope it sticks.
The mornings speed by and my time is denominated by how many minutes it takes to fill up my water jug. Yes, minutes. The longer I stand in front of a water filter, the better I feel about life. If I can make it through the morning, it will be smooth sailing and I can take the afternoon easy. If I can eat enough, if I can get down a green juice (uhhlpp), if I can get down 1/2 gallon of liquid. These tasks that feel so easy seem to take so much time. Like moving through jelly.
Even the time it takes to tick off each of these letters seems infinite. Everything slows. Everything is moving pro-rated. My head is buzzing. It is life in a fog. But it’s just clear enough to see how the pieces come together. Like a perfect storm. To see where everything fits in. Is everything moving so slow or is it moving too fast? Is that flower running off the end of the dining table? Will you tell him just to be careful, that’s a Viatri he’s in! The mind tells you, you should be doing something. The body differs in this opinion. It may be OK just to stare into space today. The luxury of being able to do so. Not longing for the quickness, not grasping for the busy. Just allowing the day to be slow. When energy comes back, it will. Just witnessing all of the firsts.
Attentive to each step, to each bone in the body. The other morning I rushed to the toilet not knowing if I was going to throw up or have diarrhea, so the only likely solution….CRY. Today I uncovered the collection of acne that has expressed itself on my chest. I try out each morsel of food in baby steps, putting it to the mouth and wait for a response. Everyone’s sigh of relief, “Oh, thank God she can eat”. Mom can breathe. Textures are so important. Hot, cold, soft, warm, harsh, smooth. The delicacy of a bath is underrated. And the renewal of water is indescribable.
And then there are the moments when EVERYTHING STOPS. Like in the bath, just you, alone with the running water. The fanfare dies down. You are left alone long enough to bite off a piece of your own special candy bar. The one that is your life in this moment. The one that feels like a tidal wave. The one that you don’t want to put too much pressure on, but it’s the only one you’ve got. The moment you are left with yourself, at your center. That moment where everything suspends in time and you can touch the pieces of you. You can see them all floating around. The strength, the guilt, the comfort, the care, the beautiful, the brilliant, the sad, the child, the woman; they are all there together. Just hanging on a breathe…or on a tear. Surprisingly they are all there and you are WHOLE. They are THE now, THIS LIFE IS HAPPENING!
I went to a yoga class last night with a friend. I could see this putrid green color surrounding me. With each inhale, with each exhale working to push the toxins out of my body. Not the chemo, but all the shit that has been gathered up. If we are here, we are gonna do it together -- the chemo and I. We are going to seize this opportunity to CLEAN and to CLEAR. And to RENACER (rebirth). The stones in my hands intuitively work. I rest into the healing. The energy, or the poison I can’t tell; washes through my body, returning to the Earth. By the end of the class I am back from outer space. Something is happening and I am just going to watch it take place. Things seem to move at a surprisingly normal pace.
I have spent years on the search for what it means to be FEMALE, for what it means to THRIVE, for what it means to be ALIVE. This path has lead me all over the world, drawn to women and their children, to communities, to SPIRIT, and ultimately BACK to MYSELF. Here I will share my most recent adventure, navigating a diagnosis of triple positive BREAST CANCER and each step of the way I figure out how to be a little more ME. I am Catherine-Ayer Gresham a 30 year old woman