Moving Past Cancer and Gaining Direction Through Self-Care
I think all of us have those moments in life when we question why we are here and what our purpose is. When my sister had cancer, I sometimes felt like I had somehow forgotten to read the directions on the map, because often I felt quite lost. I was always so busy working to make sure that she was OK, and I had little time to do anything else. I would look at my calendar and wonder how I became so busy.
Looking back, I honestly have no idea how I managed to do it all and still sleep. But in all honesty, there were little other options. Things needed to be done for a variety of reasons. I was her caregiver, so I did them. Now that she is in remission, that is thankfully no longer the case. However, that does not mean that completely stopped feeling lost.
As of late, I find myself stuck. There are moments in time that I feel absolutely disconnected from the world and alone in my own little bubble. While I have direction and I know that I want to be a nurse, the journey to getting there has been difficult. I have faced many hurdles to find my way. And it is in these moments that I wonder if I have actually found my way at all or if I am still amongst the lost.
In the months that followed post-cancer, I struggled with the daily things that one takes for granted. Getting out of bed and going anywhere but a hospital felt entirely foreign to me. Learning to focus on myself and letting my sister just be was something that took over a year to learn. But when I did, I found myself on the proverbial road to happiness.
One day sticks around in my mind the most. About eight months after my sister had gained remission, I sat down with a dear friend that I had not spent time with in quite a while. Not because she hadn’t made the effort, but rather because each time we had set a date, something seemed to come up and we would cancel. As we finally sat to talk and catch up for the first time in a long time, I felt like I could finally breathe.
We didn’t talk about my sister or about cancer. It was not a clinic that I found myself in, but a restaurant. Without even realizing, her presence that day had made such an impact on me. Not only through the gift of her company, but also because on that day, I felt normal again.
From that day on, I came to better understand that making time for those closest to me, and for myself, was of more value than I had previously understood. Even after that day, it took time. But I’m learning to better value myself, those that I am lucky enough to have in my life and my time. I feel that it is what helped me to gain better direction.
I know that if I dig past the tension and jumbled emotions within, my compass is not spinning as it sometimes feels. My arrow is truly pointing in the right direction, even if I do feel a little turned around sometimes.
From that day, I came to better understand that making time for those closest to me- and for myself was of more value than I had previously understood. Even after that day, it took time. But learning to better value myself, those that I am lucky enough to have in my life and my time; I feel that it is what helped me to gain better direction.