So, wow, once again, another night of weird dreams. I swear it’s carbs. If I eat them too late, they seem to disrupt my sleep. When I have a dream that continues to repeat itself, I toss and turn all night, frustrated that I’m not getting a solid night’s sleep. It was 3 am when the words’ Three Strikes You’re Out’ popped into my head. The dream had turned into another blog post dream. So, I quickly grabbed my phone and texted myself what I believed to be the title for another post.
In a sleepy state of mind, I briefly thought about heading downstairs and grabbing my laptop, so I could start writing. Unfortunately, that thought didn’t last long as I drifted back to sleep. I was sure I’d remember it all in the morning. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case, as I completely forgot whatever the dream was about. However, I had a title, and that’s sometimes where my biggest inspiration comes from.
It wasn’t until later that evening, when I was on a Zoom call with my writing coach, Janna Lopez, that I truly understood the significance of the dreams I’d been having. She’d pointed out that my last blog post was inspired by my dream about typing and writing about grief. It was just the week before; she’d encouraged me to write whenever inspiration hit. It would be my invitation to connect with my words and myself.
So, once again, I was inviting myself to write. This time the words’ Three Strikes You’re Out’ were the invitation. As we discussed this new dream, I shared that I had no clue why those words were so important. But I did know that they jumped out at me and felt important enough to a blog post title. Then, as the conversation drifted towards book covers, it hit me. I interrupted Janna mid-sentence to tell her about my lightbulb moment and what the story would be about. Janna encouraged me and told me the words would come.
They have, and they feel important enough to share.
So, here’s where the story changes, where the connection to the title ‘Three Strikes You’re Out’ comes in.
Three Strikes You’re Out –
I had three rounds of chemo when I was dealing with cancer. Those three rounds were enough to kick cancer out of my body, period, end of story!
I wish that were true…
What’s true is that pretty much everyone I’ve met who has fought cancer has this troll that sits on their shoulder. The troll is constantly reminding them, me, of the big ‘C.’ And that at any time, they, I could fall victim to that diagnosis all over again.
Hearing the doctor tell. Me, I probably had cancer brought on immediate fear and anxiety. Tears started to roll down my cheeks as the reality of what my doctor had just said hit my brain and then my body. The intense emotions were enough to make me want to throw up. I wasn’t supposed to get cancer; I had taken such good care of myself. What the f*^k!
My life was forever changed, as I was immediately plunged into a whole new world—a world where I could allow illness to define me, or I could define it.
I wasn’t cancer. It just happened to reside in my body.
You might remember a while back; I wrote about Preparing for The Mission. Well, this was one of those times that preparation was needed, as the trail of life suddenly was filled with alligator crossings, snakes, and wild boar. I now had some new obstacles to go around and a mountain to climb, and damn it, I was going to climb it.
As a cancer survivor, I’ve learned more about myself, I’ve grown in ways that helped me see life differently, I’ve found peace in who I am and how I show up in the world.
I’ve also embraced the quote from Winnie the Pooh, “You’re braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.”
Before cancer, as a coach and in my career as a fitness professional, I worked to help my clients believe in themselves, know their strengths, and figure out how smart they are. Now, I embrace those words wholeheartedly, as does one of my recent clients.
As the pandemic progressed, she found herself in a state of panic. She had a different type of troll sitting on her shoulder. This troll was constantly reminding her that she wasn’t good enough. Unable to operate in the world as her old self, she became fearful and anxious. After a few coaching calls and a couple of equine sessions with Cody and me, she realized she didn’t want to go back to who she had been. She never liked the old her very much. She was a strong woman. However, she didn’t truly know her strength until faced with what life had thrown at her. It was fun to watch her strength come alive. Through our work together and her dedication to the homework, she embraced how smart she was. And she was brave enough to show up for herself and see herself in a different light. She was loving the woman she was becoming.
Working with her and my other clients reminds me that even the smallest of wins are tremendous victories and that life is too precious to let a troll sit on my shoulder.
If you are struggling with a relentless troll, book a call with me. Let’s find your wins and victories and, more importantly, love and embrace who you are.
P.S. September will mark my second anniversary since my last round of radiation. At that time, I will be receiving a PET Scan, blood work, and a physical exam. Ultimately, the goal is a clean scan and a doctor declaring me cured. I had the type of Lymphoma that requires a two-year bill of health to consider yourself cured. I’ve believed myself cured since the day I decided to put on my Wonder Woman suit and kick cancer’s ass.