Wellness has been a focus for me this week. I’m coming up on the one-year date of my breast cancer diagnosis, so that might be why I’m thinking more about my health. Plus, the weekly Sustainable Wellness group has me pointed toward that, too.
As a part of my wellness “plan,” I decided to have weekly massages this month to try to flush the chemo remains out of my system. I don’t know if there’s a clinical trial that investigated how long chemo stays in your system, but I’m quite sure all of mine isn’t gone yet. The deep-tissue massage of three weeks ago seemed to stir up some of the side effects, especially the effects on my tongue and taste buds. For a couple of weeks, I felt rotten and chemo-y. But this week I feel I’m coming out of that. I’m hoping that last chemo is leaving my system, aided by massage. It amazes me that the human body can stand being poisoned like that and still survive – and even thrive.
I’ve also been having acupuncture since January. I have six weeks on and three weeks off. I’m currently in a six-weeks “on” period. My last three-weeks off period was while my acupuncturist was at the Olympics working with a track and field athlete. So I know I’m in great acupuncture hands.
There are so many ways to “treat” the body other than with drugs, and I’m experiencing some of them.
Attending to my spirit is another way of “treating” myself, and Wednesday was a trip devoted to that. I went with a friend to the Monastery of the Holy Spirit in Conyers, Georgia, outside Atlanta. For years I’ve intended to go there. So I finally went – at my friend’s invitation. We went to two services, Sext and Vespers, and in between had lunch and toured the Monastic Heritage Center and bonsai garden and garden center . . . and browsed the bookstore. That last one is the dangerous one for me. I love bookstores and am always tempted to spend lots of money there. So I had to restrain myself. Somewhat. I did buy some books, plus I had a wonderful, magical experience. But that’s for my next blog post. For now, I’ll mostly share some photos of the monastery church, the Monastic Heritage Center, and bonsai trees, and the views around the monastery.
Balancing my body and spirit have become even more important to me since my cancer journey. My body has been through surgery and poisoning and being radiated, and it’s still healing, now four months after my last treatment. It’s not well yet. But it’s closer.
My spirit has been the steady one, the one keeping me attuned to the miracles of the everyday. And to the more profound miracles like the one of last week when the veil was so thin.
I’m grateful to both body and spirit. They’re both me, the me of this incarnation. And for this “me” to have wellness, I have to attend to them both. Massage and acupuncture and a monastery trip. That’s the “how” of some of my wellness this week.