I’ve always regarded life as one great big experiment, full of daily practices meant to help discover what creates harmony or dissonance. Viewing living as a practice allows me to assuage my guilt when I really mess things up, and create a habit when a practice works exceptionally well. Today I find myself in the practice of maintaining a sense of humor, my sanity and some levity while I navigate the rocky terrain of Stage III rectal cancer.
I live in Austin, TX and work as a home health PT. In January 2015 I began a Pilates apprenticeship that is a true passion project, and brings me more joy and inspiration than I could hope to express. I love my family, I love my friends, and I love the act of living. I’m hoping to find some truths by writing this blog, and if it helps someone else in the process I’ll have achieved success.
Update: I survived Stage III rectal cancer, and I can now say I’m surviving surviving cancer, which is what survivorship really means if you ask most cancer “survivors.” It’s a hefty word, and I’m inclined to believe that most people who make it through the day are survivors. My life was turned upside down, wrung out, and left for me to pull back together. I have said, and I will probably say over and over, that I love Newton’s first law of motion: an object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force. Cancer was my unbalanced force. I would have stayed in motion at the same speed and in the same direction for a long time unless this outside force had acted on me. It’s been a bitch, and it’s been liberating, between the two my life flows. In May of 2017 a metastatic tumor was removed from my lung.
I am now teaching Pilates full time, and developing exercise protocols for cancer patients. We don’t exercise in spite of cancer, we exercise because of cancer. Movement is treatment, and movement heals.
Update to my update: After another recurrence to my lungs in November of 2018, I’ve been upstaged to Stage IV metastatic rectal cancer, but they keep cutting them out, so as of this update, I’m NED. I continue to teach Pilates in Austin, TX, and have recently begun my training for the Gyrotonic method.