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May 30, 2018 – Justin Birckbichler
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May 28, 2018 – Kim Johnson

Dancing Like the Solar Toys Through Cancer

Sometimes the days may be cloudy when we hurt from the chemo and side effects, but there is enough light to keep dancing.
PUBLISHED May 23, 2018
Jane has earned three advanced degrees and had several fulfilling careers as a librarian, rehabilitation counselor and college teacher. Presently she does freelance writing. Her articles include the subjects of hearing loss and deafness, service dogs and struggling with cancer. She has been a cancer survivor since 2010.

She has myelodysplastic syndrome, which is rare, and would love to communicate with others who have MDS.
I have a three-season patio in my apartment where I love to spend my time. It is glassed in and I can enjoy the sun, watch the gently falling raindrops and gaze at the clouds on a non-sunny day. Even on gloomy days, I have string lights all around and turn them on while watching my television and reading. I live out there when I am home.

But what I enjoy most is watching my solar-powered figures. I have a little monkey that dances and moves his arms and legs. A beautiful blue angel spreads her wings at the light. Brightly colored flowers bob their heads and float their arms. A hula dancer moves back and forth happily. A whale swings back and forth merrily from a tree branch. Each one is different, special and colorful.

Some of the toys need full sunlight to dance, others just partial rays. Even in the dead of winter when I peek outside, some of the dancers are valiantly moving on the coldest days.

It occurred to me one day that cancer survival is like the sun toys. Many of us love the sun, and some of us suffer from seasonal affective disorder (SAD) during darker, winter times. The cure for this is artificial light to lighten the depression. However, when the “real” sun is out, I feel like dancing and prancing all over!

Sometimes the days may be cloudy when we hurt from the chemo and side effects, but there is enough light to keep dancing. Maybe we do not dance as high, while the flowers go slower, the angel’s wings flap less and the monkey’s arms may not reach as far. But the little creatures keep moving on. We survivors need to do this, too. Sometimes life (like the sky) is dark and gloomy, but we continue to try to move.

On the darkest days, the little figures may not move at all, because it is too dark and gloomy. We also have those times when we are flat on our backs. We feel like we will never get better and just cannot go on. And sometimes our bodies will not let us. The cancer and chemo just overwhelm us.

Eventually, gradually, slowly, the sun will appear, and we can dance again. We know this and have to remember it. So, when it is all too much, when we feel terrible and we doubt that we will ever feel better, we need to remember that the sun will come out again. We can dance with the sun’s rays along with our little figures and be happy for wonderful times ahead!
 
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