Sunday, February 27, 2011

" I don't want you anymore, cause you took my joy. I don't want you anymore, you took my joy. You took my joy, i want it back. You took my joy, I want it back. You got no right to take my joy, I want it back. You got no right to take my joy, I want it back. " Joy, by Lucinda Williams

O.k. cancer, you took my joy, I WANT IT BACK!! as cancer patients we have our share of sorrow, but we also have our joy. i intend on holding onto mine with both hands. there is the joy of my faith, my family and friends, but the joy i am talking about here is the joy that i find on my own- the kind that just involves me. i tended not to seek this joy out too much before i had cancer . i mean, as caregivers women generally tend to the needs of our families first, and put our needs second. of course there is the expression" if mama ain't happy, ain't nobody happy", but still our joy revolves around other people.

the reason zumba is so important to me- besides getting my body in better shape and stronger- is that it gives me joy. my own joy. this is something that i "selfishly" do for myself and no one else. at my house  we are involved in a huge remodeling project. we are gutting 6 rooms and re-purposing them. my children and their spouses came home last weekend( could not have done it without them!) to help us clear out 25 years of stuff. we filled up a large "pod" in our driveway, as well as cramming the other rooms with some of our furniture.we also made several runs to goodwill, and to the landfill.  we have moved upstairs until the project is over- probably 3 months or so. well, on the last day i had a stupid accident and broke one of my toes. i called my doctor; he said while i could come in and have it x-rayed, all they could do would be to tape it to another toe. so i just decided to tape it myself. i did this on Sunday night. Monday and Tuesday at work were pretty tough. but you know what i was most worried about? Wednesday night- cause that is when i take my zumba class!

this may sound crazy, but i put extra tape on my toes, laced my dance shoes up tightly and went on! i told my instructor what i had done, and if i had to leave that was the reason.( i think that even she was surprised!). of course, i took some Advil that evening, but i did not regret my decision at all- well maybe not too much. that is my joy and i am holding onto it as tightly as i can!

my best advice to any cancer patient is to discover your OWN joy and never let it go. enjoy it and make it a priority. i guess this really is good advice to anyone- sick or not. it has taken me being sick to realize this,though. walk,ride your exercise bike, knit a sweater, take craft classes, or better yet, do zumba! whatever it is, find your joy and go with it.  


  1. Yes, hold on to that joy. I wholeheartedly agree with you. Take care of that toe though. Since my thyroid cancer, I have taken up bike riding with my husband. We pack a picnic lunch and just go. It's great exercise, and fun. I have also been working more on painting. I do get joy from that too. I did find a zumba class local to me. Need to call and find out more about it.
    Good luck on the remodel. I understand that can be quite stressful.

  2. Bea, I feel like you are right here speaking to me! Had been trying to motivate myself to go walk (indoors @ a sports park) since it's still below freezing & snowing. My hubby just hooked up my bike on the trainer last night, and I just learned how to knit and am loving it! Every thing you said is so true, we just have to give ourselves permission to do it for US!!! Such a concept! Thank you so much for validating us and reminding us to take care of ourselves and find the things that bring joy!!
    Can't believe you're zumba-ing on a broken toe.
    Congrats on your remodel. Good reason to take extra time for yourself. Thanks for the encouragement, you go, girl!

  3. Karen and Bobette- you guys are the best!! thanks so much and good luck with your joy!!