A woman swimming in tranquil water

Staying Afloat

Last updated: November 2022

I never learned how to swim, so I have respect, though slight fear, of the water. After taking my toddler to swimming lessons and eyeing the trust and skill of the student and instructor, I got rather emotional and in happy way. I thought of it as what many go through when they find out they have some form of blood cancer, and the process entailed in what is next, going with the ebb.

What lurks in these waters?

So when we look out into the huge spread of water, we really have no idea of the depth underneath or what lurks in the corners- literally. Blood cancer has that same presence and we don’t know what to expect until we step into the water, get adjusted, and proceed with skepticism. As I smiled from ear to ear, I related this to how nervous we are in the beginning not knowing what to expect.

Well we do know that we may be challenged along the way and that’s usually the case, but the clear space of what to expect and how it will turn out is up in the air. In some cases, it’s up to us to get to the other end without going under.

Deep end

Trusting the process, and taking the chance on being comfortable with those milestones that are made in the water, is epic to some degree. As I saw my little person, though very small and trusting the instructor as they swam towards the deeper section at 5 ft., learned to move their legs and blow bubbles, I thought, in some cases again, it’s similar to the trials of cancer.

Remember that first course in treatment, so very nervous but not really sure what to expect? Will we hurt? Will we be sick and collapse? Will the team be helpful and courteous? The answers to all of these vary and for some, the experience in treatment may just not be as horrible as first thought. But again, that sentiment may vary for us all.

Once we make it through that first, second, and third treatment with meds, eventually it becomes a walk in the park, just like swimming. We finally graduate towards the deeper end, by either upgrading to different meds or other methods to jumpstart a better result.

Doggie paddle

I'm not a swimmer, but I sure recall the term, especially when making some kind of splash when in the water. The doggie paddle is a basic swimming technique that pulls attention towards the catch and pull of the arm stroke when swimming, which is similar to when a dog is in the water swimming. How will this go, better yet how do I look?

Well, that’s the uncertainty of the cancer journey, at times we’ll not look our best, but we’re still in the trenches with our heads above water, and trying to make it from one end of uncertainty to the other.

Ebb and Flow!

The time to fight is now, with integrity, grace, hope, and a smile….when you feel like it

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