It Doesn’t Just Go Away, And That’s Ok.
November 2, 2017
Tonight I’m feeling particularly somber. As I think about the anxiety that drastically consumed me when my battle with cancer ended, I’m reminded of a time when my doctor told my family, “We will have to bring her as close to death as possible without killing her in order to kill the cancer”. As I reflect on those words—as close to death as possible—I can’t help but marvel over the consequences of such treatment methods, which, ironically, did save my life.
As many of you have noticed, over the last six months or so I have taken a step back from my regular activity on Instagram, our Sofia Holub Wellness website, and our “Embrace Yourself” project. As I am getting back into the groove with these projects that are so near and dear to my heart, I’d like to share some experiences I’ve had over the last while that have lead me to where I am today.
Our slogan, “Embrace Our New Normal”, actually started long before the development of Sofia Holub Wellness. It stemmed from my personal post-cancer affirmation “Embrace My New Normal” and evolved into “Our New Normal” when I discovered the unbelievable amounts of people who were dealing with such similar post-cancer trials. The phrase is much more than a hashtag; it is a survival affirmation for cancer survivors everywhere.
I didn’t start Sofia Holub Wellness because I found the magical pathway to happiness. I started it because I, seven years in remission, am still on the same journey as all of you. Yes, I have learned and will continue to learn and share tools that can help mitigate the struggle—but those tools would be irrelevant if pain didn’t exist in the first place. I am here to acknowledge any pains felt by others and by myself, to talk about them, and to find connection and healing within them. To me, connection is where healing takes place: connection to self, to others, to breath, to a higher power, to the earth—you name it. Connection is everything.
Now herein lies the question, do I always feel connected? And the answer is no. For me, finding connection is a daily practice that may never be perfected. I have good days, and I have hard days. And that is ok. It is how my story is intended to be, and it is how I grow.
If you are wondering how all of this ties in to where I have been for the last six months, it is probably because I have yet to answer that question. And that’s ok. (Ok that one was a joke.) My husband and I have been in a whirlwind of change for a while now. In short, he decided Medical School may no longer suit him (which I fully support), we decided to self renovate and live in a fifth wheel with a brand-new puppy, and I decided to go back to school and finish my degree in Utah. To me, that feels like a lot of change. Though I am fully behind and so grateful for every choice we have made, change is likely the biggest contributing factor to my anxiety. All of that change was and is still hard for me. So I decided to practice what I preach and try to allow my life to flow organically and authentically. I was feeling really disconnected and distracted just didn’t have the emotional wherewithal to remain so actively involved in Sofia Holub Wellness—at least in a way that felt authentic or sincere.
I don’t share all of this for pity or for any sort of justification; I merely want to illustrate that like so many of you who are dealing with post cancer trials, I’m still right there with you. My stuff has never just gone away. And it’s ok that I took a step back. Life is life, and we are all just a bunch of humans whose lives have been incredibly affected by cancer—for better and for worse. I write this because I likely would not be so passionate about this cause if my pain had just ceased to exist after my treatments ended. I, like many of you, am forever changed.
That being said, this journey is what allows me the opportunity to engage with such a beautiful community of survivors. We are able to find strength, hope, and peace, because of the understanding, empathy, and connection that is inherent within a group of people who share similar experiences—and especially ones that are so deeply rooted and vulnerable. Contrary the common post-cancer narrative that we tend to adopt (that once we are void of cancer we should be able to jump back into who we were before), we don’t need to feel put together after cancer, we don’t need to strive for our old sense of normalcy, and we don’t need to have everything or even anything figured out. What we need is to be gentle with ourselves, to know that we are not alone, to know that we are loved and deserving of love, and to continue to put one foot in front of the other in this arduous and yet beautiful journey.
I’m writing this because to me, the beauty of Sofia Holub Wellness is that I have been there, and I am still here—putting one foot in front of the other—sometimes wearily, and sometimes in stride. I really struggled there for a while, and that’s ok. I’m here now, and am so grateful to be. It is all part of this new normal that is just as challenging and painful as it is beautiful and miraculous.
I guess as I wrap this up I want you to know that wherever you are in your life right now is exactly where you are supposed to be—and the same goes for me. All of our struggles don’t just go away, and that’s what makes us warriors. I feel you, I love you, and I support you. And I am so grateful for the way all of you have lifted me up for the last while because, let’s be honest, we all need it. I want you to know that I read your stories, I read your comments, I try to get to all of your messages, and whether you are at your highest of highs, or in the depths or despair, you guys, my cancer tribe of survivors, my caregivers and caregivers all around, are my heroes.
All my love,