Spiritual Bad-Ass

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Recently, I had the opportunity to be interviewed by author Debbianne DeRose for her new Spiritual Bad-Ass Tv YouTube series. The series highlights a bunch of Spiritual Bad-Asses who have a lot to say in how we can all get in touch with our Spiritual Bad-Ass selves.

The interview was a chance to really put the message of this blog in a nut-shell. Being diagnosed with cancer is an opportunity. For me, it was a catalyst to discover who I really am and make a choice to live a more authentic life. In the process, I discovered self-love, self acceptance, and got in touch with my creative self – through the healing art of drag.

Please check out the video and podcast via the link below on Debbianne DeRose’s website:

http://spiritualbadass.tv/mimi-mackensie/

Bones, Bones, Bones

There are two things that I think most people don’t look forward to when they are told that they have to have chemo. First, they believe that they are going to be hunched over the porcelain throne for hours at a time. Second, they believe that every hair follicle is going to go ballistic.

If this is you, chemo has come a long way. They pre-treat you with so much nausea medicine that you can forget about being bulimic. As my oncology nurse told me, “throwing up is unacceptable.”

As for the hair, yeah…it falls out, but not in one big pile. It is more like a waiting game. A bucket load might fall out one afternoon from your head, but those pesky little hairs on your arms and legs are still there, mocking you. I don’t know if or when they may fall out. I am kind of relieved to still have the eyebrows though.

The biggest issue I have is the pain in my bones. It can be excruciating. My hips, legs, joints all ache. I have never had a broken bone, but I believe it may be like the pain someone who has had a broken bone feels when the barometer changes. I must expend a lot of energy when this happens, because it makes me feel so tired. I just made my bed and had to rest a half hour afterward to do something else.

I feel ridiculous when I describe this because I feel like I have it good. In reality, I could be riveted in pain, puking, holding my gut…and I am not. That is how far treatment has come. Still, I have to allow myself to be a little more patient with myself. This isn’t suppose to be easy and I know that even if today isn’t my best feeling day, it does get better.

One other thing I will never take for granted is the power of pooping. Cancer drugs can make you either constipated or vice versa. I have been a fairly regular girl, so I really never understood how painful it is to be plugged up. Yesterday, I felt like I had a mini emergency. I felt vomitous just because I couldn’t go to the bathroom. Luckily, they make a drug for that too… but it is scary. I worry about all of these drugs and what they are doing to me.

Like anyone else, when you are not feeling a hundred percent, it is hard to be very motivated. My head is a little foggy. I finally found something to eat, thank goodness! Being broke and sick is never very fun! I have visions of doing laundry or some other task but I have no motivation. I don’t want to stay in bed all day, but I don’t really have any gas to go out.

Yes, I am complaining. As much as I have come a long way, I still have my weak moments. I don’t really get super down in the dumps any more, and that is because I have decided to just cut myself some slack.  You don’t have to be at your best all the time. On occasion you just need to surrender. I am allowing myself the space and the time to relax, regroup. There is no expectation. When I am ready to continue the journey, then I’ll just go. Right now I am just trying to enjoy what I got and where I am, and the journey that it took to make it here in the first place.

All by Myself

It is a Sunday night and I have been sitting in my house, alone, for most of the day. I feel okay, but I am mentally not great. Since I cut off my hair, it feels as if I have lost my super powers. I know I needed to cut it. It was falling out in tuffs. Yet, day 17 passed and none of the rest of my body hair seems to be leaving. Did I cut it too soon?

I have been living on my own for nearly 20 years. I am used to it. It doesn’t mean that I always like it. One thinks that at 36 you should already be married off with kids. This isn’t the path my life took. Yet, you seem to feel pathetic when the first thing anyone asks you about is if you have kids or a significant other.

I do have amazing friends, but I can’t see them every day. I have been out of work during treatment. Old friends have been out of rotation for so long that I wonder if I am even remembered.

My real family is around but we are not on an everyday check in basis.

Sometimes I wondered if I didn’t leave my bed, how many days would go by before anyone else realized it? The fact that no one really worries about me can be freeing, but it is also sort of disturbing.

It makes me feel alone in the universe, more often than I like to ponder.

I know on days like these, the fact that I feel good should inspire me to go out and do something fun. Unfortunately, sometimes I can’t muster the will to want to do it. I try to check myself, but it is like I can’t stop stalling out.

I have come so far from the depression I was originally in; I don’t want to fall back into the death spirals that controlled my life for so long. Still, I don’t know how to reach out.

I can understand how loneliness and depression can derail cancer recovery. The whole journey is about loving and taking care of yourself. You can’t do it when you don’t feel up to it. If you don’t have help, it is really easy to decline super fast.

I am okay, but I can’t let myself get any further down. I just can’t.