It was a good day yesterday in spite of feeling awful. I actually saw some rays of sunshine through my clouds, and now that I’m laying in bed reflecting on it, I’m breathing in some much needed relief.

It was a good day yesterday in spite of feeling awful. I actually saw some rays of sunshine through my clouds, and now that I’m laying in bed reflecting on it, I’m breathing in some much needed relief. 


Relief that I’m here tonight writing, free from the nausea that has made me drop more weight than I ever thought possible. I’m drinking water that is staying down and the half sandwich that I ate tastes delicious. The bone pain in my back and ribs has dulled with the help of pain medication and I’m savoring my reprieve. And finally, the excruciating pain in my forehead has dulled and it’s almost easy to forget how bad the last few hours have been.


Almost. …


Such are my days lately and the absence of nausea and unimaginable fatigue leaves a pleasant hole in my reality. My brain fog with all it’s trailing memory lapses has lifted enough for me to remember what I forgot just a few minutes ago. And I’m happy in this moment simply because I’m aware that it has occurred. I’m able to breathe now without the cough that makes my throat spasm and froth mucous that makes me choke. I’m so grateful that it has all stopped and I can remember what it was like before cancer took over my lungs and bones.


But can I really forget just by wishing it so? I can if I want, at least in the absence of nausea, vomiting and pain. How long will it last though? If I remember to stay in the moment, it will last as long as I’m not distracted from feeling somewhat good. While I’m writing, my moments are giving me time away from my reality and transporting my head to where I want to be. And where is that? It’s where I’m able to soar with the clouds that break into the sun. I don’t have to do anything here but feel the freedom of good health. Whether it is in my mind’s eye or my heart, I can escape and remember that I feel good even if only for a few minutes. After all, it is in the midst of good feelings that lay a world of possibility and hope. And it is so easy to forget this as I tend to slither back to my place in the sand. But I must. I must if I want to see myself as I remember I can be.


Joyce Rothman of Massachusetts, a nurse for 40 years, was diagnosed with lung and pancreatic cancer in July 2010. Since then, she has been writing about her diagnosis, her treatment and her outlook on the process, in hopes of helping others. Follow her journey at http://makingsenseofitall.joycerothman.com.