Sunday, July 11, 2010

Balancing My Life


By Tzvi Freeman

Everywhere in the world, parents play peek-a-boo with their children. It is a major discovery of life, a cornerstone in human development: To realize that something is there even when you cannot see it, that the world is not defined by your subjective perception, that there is something that absolutely is--whether you know of it or not.

All our life, all of the world, is G-d playing with us that same game. He peeks with a miracle and then hides behind nature. Eventually, we look behind nature to find Him there."

By Tzvi Freeman
From the wisdom of the Lubavitcher Rebbe, of righteous memory; words and condensation by Tzvi Freeman. To order Tzvi's book, "Bringing Heaven Down to Earth, go to: Rabbi Freeman is available for public speaking and workshops. Read more on his bio page

We are within the 3 weeks of counting down to the 9th of Av now and I am looking at my life and watching how I am in the mode of "cleaning up". The 9th of Av starts sundown on the 19th and it coincides with several historically bad times for the Jewish people: the "scouts" bad report to the flock who were going into the land for the first time; Spain's expulsion of the Jews who had to leave or get burned or convert; the start of WWI, which some say led to WWII; the destruction of the 1st Temple by the Babylonians; and the historic event we commemorate on the 9th of Av, the destruction of the 2nd Temple by the Romans. It's totally that "peak-a-boo" moment when you realize all these events happened on the same day.

It's kind of an insecure time and as I hear about the heat in NYC and feel sorry for all the travelers to S. Cruz on this very foggy 4th of July week, I am laying low, driving carefully, and wondering what more I will be faced with during this time.

The heat of NYC makes me afraid of going there on July 30th. I don't want my arms to swell in the hot, humid weather. But on the other hand, I am so looking forward to it. I am going with Aimee & Jason and meeting my parents and niece for my cousin Susan's daughter's wedding!! We have planned out a 10 day trip - 6 in NYC and the rest visiting my family down the Jersey shore. My kids have never met my side of the family, so that's very exciting for me. I hope all my cousins will be around. Geoff's going to stay home and hold down the fort, the dog, and his parents.

If you have any suggestions or tips for our stay in NYC, please email me.

Unfortunately, I will be missing my dear friend's son's Bar Mitzvah, which all of us really, really regret.

Update: My practice has been full for awhile and I've gotten to see how stressed I can really get from working. I have done a lot of things to help re-balance my life to make it work better for me. It's is so much better now. I have made the time for my family and now have the time to relax and write. It's been really stressful but I am finally slowing down now and paying more attention to the fact that I am in recovery!!! (Work was such a good distraction...until it started reminding me of how fragile I am and how protected I need to be.)

Only I can protect myself and I had to do something that was very hard after the 17th of Tammuz that was so important to my work and my sanity. It's like I was able to rebuild that Jerusalem wall that the Romans had breached. Yay!! Hopefully I will continue to keep that wall strong so I can continue to enjoy my work.

I also got the results of my blood tests. My Vit D was on the low-side of normal according to the medical community, but 27 is too low for optimal health. So I've been increasing my intake and getting more sun (before the fog came in). The optimal range is 50-80 and I will probably get retested in January.

The urine test I took showed me that my estrogen metabolites are very low. This means that my body is metabolizing very little of the bad estrogen and very little of the good estrogen. Whether or not that means that my body is producing very little of each kind is a question I have. For sure, I need to raise my good estrogen somehow, for my bone health, etc., and get the ratio between the two larger. So I'm increasing supplements that help the liver to metabolize estrogen, like DIM, and increasing supplements that help me produce good estrogen, like flax meal, omega 3, and broccoli. I will also get this retested after awhile.

One very important thing I am doing for my mental/emotional health is meeting regularly with my new friends, Paula & Nancy. They are the women I met while going through radiation. We meet for coffee at Gayles every Friday morning that we can. I love them!!! When we meet, we can't stop talking and time flies too quickly. I love hearing what they have to say and I love sharing my thoughts and experiences with them. No one else but my new friends can understand just where I'm at and it's so nice to compare notes and discover that I'm not the only one going through what I'm going through.

I've learned that the most important time during this diagnosis, treatment, and recovery, is the recovery part. When you get the "all clear" and the doc says, "I'll see you in 3 - 6 months" and you no longer have anywhere to go with all of your questions, thoughts, and concerns, it's hell. My new buddies have bridged that gap for me.

Luckily I also have my acupuncturist who specializes in cancer and who I see every other week. I didn't realize how important her services were to someone like me. She definitely got me through the chemo and even visited me in the hospital with some congi and helped my immune system recover and stay up, but after the treatment is over, Emmy plays a huge role in my life. I wouldn't have known about the urine test without her and wouldn't know the optimal levels of D3 or how much to take to increase my levels. Plus, her presentations at WomenCare every month are so informative and give so much hope.

I don't know how she does it though. I can only be friends with two other people who have my same diagnosis. I can only let myself have the chance to be triggered by two new friends in case they stop being "all clear".

So I am very happy with how my life is going. I'm looking forward to the trip, meeting with my acupuncturist twice a month, and meeting with my support group of 3 each Friday. My client load is perfect and I get as much down time and family time and writing time as I need. Wow, maybe my house will even get cleaner!!