Failing to Slow Down

In week 8 of my treatments, I received good news – my tumor had palpably disappeared, and my genetic tests came back negative for the BRCA genes. that same week, I stopped needing to use my anti-nausea meds after my chemo treatments, and I felt so much more like myself physically without all the drug side effects.

From weeks 8-10 of my treatment, I did things like take back to back trips – one by plane to Vermont to celebrate my grandfather’s 100th birthday and the other by train to Boston to see my therapist. All the while ramping my half-time work hours up to full-time, and squeezing in another 10 hours of volunteer work each week. I just felt good in my body and the old pre-cancer me bounded onto the scene with a force and energy that just left me hallow after two weeks at super pace.

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After failing to slow down, I had to face the fact that I was again on the wrong side of my Time Paradox. I was effectively running myself over the precipice both physically and mentally. My cancer diagnosis has provided the space for me to grapple with and create new ways of being, ways I had been working hard to change towards for years. Yet at my core, I hold on to my perfectionist tendencies and my pathos of finding my self worth by serving others. 

Both of these core features of served me well in the past and served others well, but they are not the core Sarah features I want to continue embracing and bringing forward. They drain my life force. Only in facing the limits of my disease have I found the clarity and motivation to slow down, to walk a new path forward.

with grace


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