Best. Day. Ever.

I’ve gone on and on about all of the things I’ve longed to do during treatment. I live in a place surrounded by water and rock and I have spent my entire life living on a big body of water. For me to go an entire summer without connecting with that water is inconceivable. That said, I realize that I haven’t done enough of some of the things I really love. We put things off; we get busy and assume there will always be another day. The weather’s not perfect; the water’s a bit cold; it looks like rain. One thing I like to think I’ve learned during this treatment is that I need to jump at the opportunity to do the things I love whenever it presents itself.

Chemo done, PICC line out, I packed the day after, which I know will be relatively side-effect-free, with the things I love. Kids off to school on the bus in the morning, the sun is shining and it’s not-too-hot-not-too-cold and I am SO excited. Trail walk/run on a sweet, secluded, sun-dappled trail that’s had just enough rain to promise lush greenery and beautiful black mud to play in. 4.5 km. Check. Happy, smelly, muddy dog. Check. Elation. Check.

ImageNext is a paddle. I am SO happy to have the kind of friends who can, at a moment’s notice, throw a canoe on top of their cars and swing by to pick me up to go for a quick paddle around a lake. How amazing is it to be able to grab my paddle, drive five minutes from my house and be in a lake within minutes?? Heaven. It’s been over a year since I held a paddle in my hand and reconnected with that rhythm that only paddling can offer. Since having my PICC line inserted, I have completely lost the connection with muscle, and I have watched the strength I had in my arms gained from running and weights gradually turn to roundness. Pure joy to feel my muscles working again. On the water, listening to the splashing -on-kevlar-and-wood, I feel at peace, all chakras aligned. When people encouraged me to find my happy place at the beginning of treatment, this was it. So happy to finally be able to go there!

ImageFinally, after the boys are home from school, we pack towels and bathing suits and head out to a friend’s camp. I am determined to fit it all into one day. Trail, paddle, swim. It’s September, and it’s supper time, and the sun is starting its descent over the lake, and it’s chilly. But I am finally, after longing for it all summer, able to swim. Again – a total reconnect. Legs remembering how to egg-beater in place, body encountering warm spots and cool spots in the spring-fed lake so typical of where I live, and a good long swim out toward the middle of the lake, which is the perspective I’ve been yearning for, with my eldest son, whose grin goes ear to ear and whose pure joy at being able to swim with his mama as we love to do makes every minute of every treatment worthwhile.

There is an innate ability in most Northerners that I know to brave waters right up until a thin layer of ice starts to cover them. I am hoping for a long fall.

There is an innate ability in most Northerners that I know to brave waters right up until a thin layer of ice starts to cover them. I am hoping for a long fall.

Best. Day. Ever.

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5 thoughts on “Best. Day. Ever.

  1. Have you ever thought of Dragon Boating? We have a wonderful group of breast cancer survivors. We are the “Dragons of Hope” and would love to have you on board. Think about it.

  2. So wonderful to see you today, Tanya! You look healthy, strong and happy, no doubt fuelled by such a spectacular-sounding day in our beautiful Northern paradise! Paddle on, girl!

  3. What an amazing woman you are with an amazing & wonderful supportive network. As I sit here at my desk, for what I thought was going to be a quick review of the latest news, I find myself having read your amazing story in it’s entirety, and I have to say…I still have tears. It’s amazing how quickly life changes in that when something like this happens, what we believe to be our entire world, comes to a grinding hault. As a daughter / a mother / a sister / friend, your story has truly inspired me. You are an amazing person.

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