Today’s Reality: Boundaries

This is the fourth post in a series titled, Today’s Reality. The series will chronicle my journey to remission from Chronic Myeloid Leukemia (CML). My outlook as I begin this new phase in my life and blog series is living in the moment in mind, body, and spirit. I am not angry. I refuse to be sad. I am determined to live a long life with love and peace in my heart with the confidence of a better tomorrow filled with joy and humor.

We are nearing the end of 2020, a layer cake of political divisiveness, coronavirus global pandemic, an American electoral lunacy iced with our individual malady whatever that may be.

2020’s narcissistic manipulation of us has been frustrating to deal with when we expect honesty and compassion in return. 2020 has delighted in offending us in numerous ways, including those individuals (family members, friends, colleagues, spiritual advisers, leaders, and so on) we thought we knew.

Let them eat cake!

The sobering truth of narcissism is that the person just does not care even if it is recognized – it wants what it is best for them no matter what it may cost to the other person.

I am about to share with you an intimately personal experience because I do not believe one has to have cancer to identify with what many of us are experiencing in our current daily lives. Each one of us is grieving the loss of one kind or another.

Setting Boundaries

Over the last nine weeks since being diagnosed with Chronic Myeloid Leukemia and acclimating to daily chemotherapy has been adjusting to each side effect from the disease and the chemotherapy. It seems as soon as one side effect becomes tolerable or goes away, another side effect becomes evident. I debated whether to share the side effects with my readers because mouth and butt sores are embarrassing. I also risk sounding a bit narcissistic; but what I really want everyone to understand is that the side effects though they are real and sometimes intolerable eventually dissipate.

The loss of empathy

The last few weeks I was struggling with heightened anxiety – not because of my cancer diagnosis – but the sheer lack of empathy living in this coronavirus pandemic. It saddens me to admit that my 81-year old mother is my biggest offender. I apologize in advance to throwing my mother under the bus. I do realize the loneliness that she and her husband have felt during this long year of lockdown and the estrangement they feel from their children and grandchildren due to the coronavirus. Regardless, they continue to go about their lives with doctor appointments, shopping, church and even crossing the Ohio border to eat lunch several times a week. (Restaurants are closed in Michigan except for curbside pickup. She has refused my offer to help her setup pharmacy and grocery delivery.)

My mother explains she does not feel like cooking. I ask, “Do you feel like getting COVID?” Her response is wearing the mask and keeping socially distanced.

She lives an hour away from my home. I have refused her incessant pleading to visit her. I cannot chance it; I explain to her. I further explain I will not allow even my husband to visit her as the coronavirus is surging again with hospitals almost at capacity. Yet, she persists.

What does it cost me to tolerate this behavior?
What might it cost me to not to go along with this behavior?
In either case, do the benefits outweigh the cost?

I must ask myself these questions. The emotional agitation is affecting my already heighten anxiety and the precarious balance of wellness in mind, body, and spirit.

Declining the slice of cake

Just like my CML and chemotherapy side effects, my mother and other’s persistence to do what they want without regard to others safety and a sense of wellness will come back from time to time. The key to overcoming any side effect is to ride it out without emotion and setting clear boundaries. Anxiety is like butt and mouth sores. All are annoying and even toxic like sepsis if given boundless authority.

No Tears, No Fear, God is Here!

There is definite power in prayer! My oncologist sent me a message the morning after Thanksgiving to let me know she is pleased with my progress. My recent lab tests show that I am halfway to remission. I shed tears of gratitude for my family and friends who have prayed countless prayers and added my name to their prayer chains, as well as, to those who have sent me gifts of JOY along with daily messages of hope and encouragement. THANK YOU!

May God bless you all this holiday season with good health and joyful desserts!

One last bit of Owl Wisdom

I am doing my best to be patient, be kind, and allow others to do what is best for them without prejudice or judgment. I must also be patient, kind and non-judgmental toward me too. Let’s all make this effort so we can feel the warmth and comfort of each other’s presence in the New Year!

Blog - Owl Photo
The Blogging Owl

This series, Today’s Reality will also offer a spiritual perspective on my website, The Prayer Journals, as well as, a literary perspective on my website, The Owl Poet. I hope you will also follow me on those blogs too!

“Like” my Facebook pages: The Blogging Owl and The Prayer Journals

(c) 2017-2020 All Rights Reserved

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