Saturday, September 29, 2012

No More Drama

For whatever reason, this year has become a time of inner reflection for me. Within the physical realm, not much has happened. I plug along at my job. I go out and have fun. The trips I've made--to Florida, Tennessee and Rhode Island--have all been done in order to celebrate an event or spend time with family.

Thankfully, there have been no deaths or tragedies as this year winds down. Then again, there have been no stellar milestones, either--a big promotion, some leap of good fortune.  There's no drama. That's fine with me because since 2007 I had drama to spare.

A roller-coaster relationship. Break-ups and makeups. Chemo, radiation. Then there was one surgery after another. All totaled, I was operated on seven times due to breast cancer. There was my father's death. My brother's health crisis.

Even though things have been mundane of late, I would be happy to end this year with no major life changes.  The only thing I did that I consider significant this year is work on myself. Last spring, I got a therapist. Together, we rolled up our sleeves are started to dig deep into my psyche.

It's been tough at times, but in the end, it has prompted me to change behavioral patterns. I have quit doing the same things over and over and expecting different results. This has been the year of ME. I've had a couple of opportunities to get involved in another relationship. But I am too busy concentrating on putting myself back together to be bothered.

I knew I had made a major shift in thinking when a man I had dated some 10 years ago found this blog and called me to ask me out since he was going through a divorce. To the outside world, he was quite a catch. A chief technology officer for a shipping company. Handsome. To top it off, he was an awesome tennis player, which was fun for me.

But then I remembered why I rebuffed him back in the day. He was too pushy.  He wanted to get back into a relationship--fast. I don't care how good he looked on paper. I felt used. After his relentless unreturned phone calls, he finally sent me an email that read:  "I'm just too together for you Marcy. You can't handle it. You would rather be a caretaker to a hopeless man."

Perhaps part of that was true.  I saw his serious intent and it scared me a bit. But I had walked away from the drama of being an enabler.  That said, I was too exhausted to jump into yet another entanglement. What's more, I didn't want to expend all that energy with someone still reeling from a breakup--on the rebound. The ending is never good.

When my astonished friend watched me unceremoniously kick this guy to the curb, she said: "If you don't want to date a perfectly eligible man, then you should introduce him to someone who does." As if matching him up was my problem.

I tell this story to illustrate a point. Five years ago I would have barreled head long into this situation without even thinking it through. I used to be like him, blindly running from one dysfunctional relationship to the next. No more. Instinctively, I know this is my time to be a cocoon, to turn inward and fix the broken parts of myself.

When I'm ready to come out and fly, I'll let you know.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

Back To Running


A former neighbor of mine just completed a 26-mile marathon. For months he's been training every day and has chronicled his workout program leading up to this marathon on Facebook. Today as his wife posted the pictures of him jogging to mile 10, then to mile 22 all the way to the finish line, I couldn't help but be inspired.

If he can do that, so can I. Well, maybe not a marathon, but a 5K run is something to strive for. As I mentioned in previous posts, I'm trying to recover physically from the setback of breast cancer. My legs have been stiff and sore for more than three years. I was in the operating room for almost 24 hours when I had my third reconstructive surgery back in 2009. I think it's because my legs were numb for so long during that surgery, but for whatever reason, I've had partial neuropathy in my lower legs every since.

The doctors claim it is a chronic side effect from chemo. But I know it was from that surgery because since I left that hospital, it never went away. I was anemic for awhile too. Still, I've been riding on these excuses for way too long. Before the cancer hit, I was in much better shape and I have yet to bounce back.

So I'm trying to keep it simple by just running. When I lived down in Stamford, the high school track was right behind my condominium complex and I would run there about three times a week. Then I moved north and bemoaned the fact that I had to drive all the way across town to get to the Shelton track and half the time it was gated and locked up.

That was some excuse to stop running. However, I have continued walking 30 to 50 minutes a few times each week. As I was heading up the hill one evening, I watched a bunch of cars streaming out of The Pitney Bowes parking lot. Then it occurred to me that the perimeter of the lot looked like it was a quarter of a mile--the exact distance of a high school track. I drove my car around the lot four times and sure enough, it was exactly one mile.

Yesterday I barely managed to run an entire quarter mile. But I know how to do this. Tomorrow I'll hit the quarter-mile mark. Next, I have to break the half-mile barrier. Perhaps in a month, I will be able to run an entire mile. I like the fact that I am running in the quiet of nature. I can see Long Island from the top of the hill.

It just goes to show sometimes the answers to your problems are right under your nose. There it was all along. My own private running track with a panoramic view overlooking the Long Island Sound.

There's no excuses now.

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Gratitude


  1. He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has." - Epictetus




The surgery to remove the bump around my left eye was a success yesterday. The tumor was benign--called a granuloma. Since the eye doctor was also a plastic surgeon there were minimal stitches around my eye. Today my eye is swollen and black and blue but I know eventually it will heal.

As they rolled me into the operating room, tears started rolling down my eyes. The nurses quickly kicked up the drugs running through the IV bag to sedate me.  I have a vague memory of a mask going over my face, and hearing a voice say: Just breathe.

As I felt myself being rolled out of the operating room in an unconscious state I heard Doctor Silverman's voice speak to me. He said: Marcy, it's benign. Everything is okay. By the time I woke up in the recovery room and the nurse exclaimed, the tumor is benign! I told her I already knew.

I expected a patch on my eye and was surprised I could see so clearly. The nurse just said: "Dr. Silverman does fine work. Take a look at your eye on the bathroom." I must say, I was pleasantly surprised.

Today I feel as though I have dodged yet another bullet. I could tell Dr. Silverman was concerned as he felt the bump under my eye and marked my face up pre-surgery.

I feel overwhelmed with gratitude that cancer did not rear its ugly head into my life once again. I know others have not been that lucky. This morning with the woozy feeling from anesthesia gone, I took my usual walk and even got in some running.

My blood pressure has finally fallen into the normal range and now I want to tackle other health issues as well. I used to love running. I finally found a large, flat expanse of a parking lot nestled in these valley hills that I can run around just like a track. I've been doing it for a week now.  I've got marks that help me identify my progress.

 To express my gratitude towards God for saving me from the clutches of cancer again, I have re-commited to taking care of my health. I got a good start at the beginning of the summer. With this health scare behind me I will keep running and carry on!





Saturday, September 1, 2012

Whisper of a New Season

For the past week when I opened the front door to let the cats out for their morning romp,  I've been jolted by a hint of chill in the air. The heavy humidity that dogged us for the better part of summer has whisked away. Once again I am reminded that my favorite season is coming to an end.

It reminds me of when Carrie Bradshaw of Sex And The City looked up to the New York City sky and watched a solitary leaf fall down to her feet. Autumn is about to arrive. September has always been a bittersweet month for me. Perhaps because it holds so many memorable dates. On September 3, 1983 I got married. On September 11, 1995 I got divorced. I remember the tragedy of September 11, 2001 as if it were yesterday. I will never forget standing on my balcony with binoculars staring at a seamless blue sky with two burning towers interrupting the horizon. Suddenly, before my very eyes, they collapsed in a cloud of smoke. Just like that, they were gone from view.

Then there was September 2009 when my ex-boyfriend Joe moved out, marking a protracted break-up that lasted another two years. That September was the beginning of the end.

I think this sad feeling goes way back to my childhood when I knew my lazy days on Medicine Lake, swimming, water skiing and fishing would have to end because of school. Summer always has this laid-back vacation feeling. But once September kicks-in, there is this sense that everyone has to roll-up their sleeves and get back to work.

My mom points out that since I love spring and summer so much I should move to Florida. But in that state, summer is not the same. I've done three summers in Florida. It's horrible. I prefer to enjoy summer in all its glory--right here. All I want is one more month of summer. Sometimes the weather is kind and does grace us with an "Indian" summer. But as I sit on my balcony drinking coffee in a hooded sweatshirt listening to a crisp breeze rustling the trees, I'm not too hopeful.

So goodbye summer. I'll see you next year.