Some people find exercise as a way to get them through dark periods of their lives. For me, it’s blogging. I guess this is the focus in the physical benefits of exercise for me. Maybe it’s a mental benefit too. When I’m shooting I’m not really paying attention to those health benefits either, like how many steps or calories I’m burning while shooting. Instead, I’m just moving to the way my body wants me too.
I do know when I’m out shoot for my blog, I have problems, but I’m not thinking about my problems. I’m smiling for the camera, and sometimes those forceful smiles are the cure that I need in those moments. This to me is a pretty nice summary of dealing with the pain of what cancer looks like. It empties my mind. The first few minutes of thinking what I want to do for the next blog, or preparing a cool outfit, is a transition, and in that transition, I tend to not focus on the discomfort –you know the pain.
Still with me? good.
It’s getting to where my mom can’t do anything. Even going to the bathroom, she is short of breathe. The days of us traveling far and near together are coming to an end. This is where the pain comes from. Like this past weekend, she even struggle riding in the car with me to town. We both cried. In these moments this is all I’m thinking about, and I know all of our tears are out of fear. Blogging is the one thing that has never disappointed me. The pain seems to ease. Plus, it’s usually different scenery, too.
But even better now, I have Newnan too help me get into the groove of things, and then I feel my endorphins pumping through me, and my problems seep back into my head, I’m in a totally different mind-space to think about cancer and fear. Newnan gives me life. I view him as my best friend that I can come up too, and I know he will be there for me. Like, the other night I literally threw myself on the kitchen floor in despair, after seeing how surreal my mother’s health is becoming. (We all have those break downs right?) I felt his fluffy white fur slide across my face. It was Newnan hoovering over me with one of his gigantic paws. I started rubbing him, and then I giggled over his goofiness’.
I am a huge supporter of mediation. For me, growing up Catholic, my meditation usually goes straight to dabbling in my spiritual and prayer life. This is not for everyone but sitting still in prayer is a beautiful thing. I’ve never been a writer before, but when my mom got sick, and especially on the road to the Cancer Treatment Center, I often ramble off long, boring notes to myself to help try to make sense of our day. I think writing has become a really important lesson for me that I’m still in control of myself at times of my own story. What is happening to my mother is completely out of our control, but I still don’t have control in how to explain the situation to myself. Or for that matter to my child. Blogging is a huge insight to help me remain hopeful. This has not been easy for sure. A lot of times I’m not up for it, because it’s so emotionally draining, but somehow I get through it.
I wanted to share this journey in a blog because when my mom first was hospitalized I felt completely alone. I tried to make sense of what was happening, but everything was happening so fast. I was surprised to find so little about ovarian cancer that could help me explain my situation to myself. I had no idea what might lie ahead, because I can’t find anyone talking about my side of the spectrum. This is my journey and even in this shitty situation I have received some very powerful prayers from people how they feel less alone knowing that someone else out there has gone through what they’re going though. I can’t overexpress how incredible that feels.
About this shoot:
I find inspiration through all sorts of sources – my own trial-and-error, friends, bloggers, magazines, newspapers, websites, you name it. But, my favorite inspirations are from my very own closet at times. I think we all have a love-hate relationship with our clothes, but having Newnan to dress up in my very own pieces has been so easy to play around with. I came across this “I *heart ATL” tee in a hotel gift shop, and I knew I had to have it just for these pictures. You see, Newnan is wearing my old “I *heart NYC” tee that my dad purchased me years, and years ago when he went on a trip to New York for a few weeks. This was Newnan second bloggers shoot and I think he is such a natural!
All pictures by: Jocelyn Phillips Photography