Last night, Joe and I went dancing for the first time, in quite a while. For the past six months, we have been extremely busy; selling a house, buying a house, planning a wedding, getting married, moving, getting settled in, buying a truck, having company and traveling between Boise and southern California. Needless to say, there has been little time for anything extra.
Since we are finally, relatively settled, we have actually started teaching a few group classes, as well as attending a local dance or two. It was during a conversation that I had last night, that I realized just how important pushing myself, to do all of these things, really is. Living with cancer on a daily basis is no picnic in the park. I am constantly fighting fatigue and an allover “flu-ish” feeling. My skin hurts and I am often nauseous, a headache has become the norm; I am adjusting to a higher dosage of my oral chemotherapy and worrying whether or not it will be successful. This is my life; this is what it is and it is not likely to change, anytime soon.
So, back to the realization I had during a conversation that suggested that maybe, by dancing and holding dance classes, once a week or so, that I was putting too much of a strain on my body and pushing myself, too much. After thinking about that for about a millisecond, I responded that it I were to “listen to my body” and allow it to “rest” whenever it told me to, I would never get out of bed, or leave the house. I would easily become a hermit that had no reason to live. I would quickly become depressed and my ability to “push” myself would rapidly decline. My body would join me in a downward spiral. My muscles would deteriorate and my spirit would wane; I would cease to be “me” and lose my fighting spirit.
Losing that fighting spirit would allow the cancer to have a stronger hold over me; and my body. So, no matter how crummy I feel, I force myself to get dressed everyday (sometimes not until the afternoon), and either go for a walk or turn on my Yoga DVD; sometimes, I even accomplish both goals. Making it to a night time dance is a little more difficult because it is at the end of the day, but when I am there, seeing my friends and hearing the music, lifts my spirit and gets me dancing. I find that as long as I keep moving, I can trick myself into believing that I am OK, and I can keep on dancing, despite the wobbly legs and shaky hands.
Sometimes, pushing yourself is just what the doctor ordered. The way I see it is, that I can either push myself to the grave, dancing all of the way, or just start digging the hole! So, for now, I will continue to push myself, right through the rest of my life.