Annie and Me

Annie and Me right before last chemo


Blake and Jake- I took this right after last chemo

One of the things I have realized over the last month of "between chemotherapy 2 and 3" is that I have been telling myself two really conflicting stories.  The first is that I am a positive, energetic, upbeat, and lovable person.  The second is that I'm sick, lethargic, negative and not likable, let alone lovable.  How can these two stories be simultaneous and congruent?

When I was diagnosed with leukemia six years ago, I didn't have any symptoms.  My doc told me I would not die from CLL (chronic lymphocytic leukemia) and might never have any symptoms.  OK, scratch that scare off the list.  I did.  I denied that I had cancer which my hematologist told me was a good strategy.  Remember, I'm positive, energetic, upbeat and lovable.  I wanted my docs to love me too, of course.

In November of last year I felt yucky.  Went to a new doc (you've read this before) and found I now have symptoms of CLL.  Bingo.  New story.  I'm sick, lethargic, negative and not even likable.  I don't like this story.  So I take me off to Awakening Joy ( the live course, and I try to renew my membership in the first story.  Hmmmmm.  It hasn't been working perfectly.  In fact, it has hardly worked.  Tuesday night I sat in the back pew of the North Berkeley Community Church for the first 15 minutes of the program and cried--silently, of course, so nobody would notice, or God forbid, ask me what was wrong.

So, this post is most definitely not about how I have had a complete transformation and am now firmly back into my first story.  BUT, I'm feeling pretty swell today, pretty positive about most everything, and it is hard to hold onto the second story too.  More about the stories we tell ourselves and how to change them at  James Baraz said at Awakening Joy on Tuesday that sometimes the best we can do is say what we are NOT feeling bad about.  Today I am not nauseous, not lethargic, and definitely not lonely.  I've talked to my webmaster on the phone, caught up with my email, thought about the coaching courses I'll teach this spring and summer at Winona State University in Minnesota and San Francisco State University in the great city of San Francisco, and made both homemade bread and, not one but two pans of lasagna for a party on Saturday.  Wow!  And Tuesday night I was weeping for my pain and suffering.

Some version of, or some parts of both my wonderful positive self-story, and my poor me, I'm a wreck physically and emotionally self-story are true evidently.  Today I can laugh about how each one is sort of true some or most of the time.  I am an emotionally in-touch kinda gal.  My emotions have cilia that are always waving rhythmically  on the edges of my cells.  How am I feeling NOW?  How about NOW?  So if this is really true, and always a part of my story, might it also be true that I am both upbeat and lethargic (some of the time), that I am both positive and negative, that I'm mostly lovable and sometimes really a pain in the ass (still lovable by and large).

Personal change under construction.  Self story ditto.