In sports we all control our performance even if we are reliant on our teammates. We control our effort, our decisions, and our execution of moves.
In running, I couldn’t control how fast other runners were but I could control my pace, how aggressive I was, my form and when to start my kick for the finish. My placing would then go into the team score even though my performance was individual.
In basketball I was both a shooting and point guard. Offensively, I couldn’t control if my teammates got open or made their shots but I could try to create openings to find an open man or shot. Defensively I could control my effort but defense takes five players and if a team beat our zone or man to man, I could only control my man or area.
In softball I was a pitcher. I could could control what pitches I threw, how hard I threw, if I threw balls or strikes. What I couldn’t control was an umpire’s strike zone. Sometimes I got lucky and had an umpire with a really low strike zone that called all my drops (my best pitch) strikes and I was pretty dominant in those games. But with other umpires, I would not be as lucky and have to adjust my pitches. I couldn’t control how my team fielded. Errors happen and result in unearned runs. I couldn’t control if a team picked up on my pitches and hit well. I couldn’t control if our offense came through with run support.
Looking back I realize that as much as I wanted to be in control in the sports I played I wasn’t as in control as I thought. There are so many different factors at work that my success was dependent on a lot that was out of my hands. I could only control so much.
I like to be in control of things and that is probably one of the hardest things I’ve had to deal with during this cancer battle. I can control if I’m physically active, I can control my diet, but I can’t control that I have cancer. It happened and I have to follow the treatment and recommendations of my medical team.
This is why my upcoming surgery is making me so nervous. I don’t have control. I can’t control how long it will take to heal and get back to normal activities. I can take it easy and do prescribed exercises to keep arm mobility to help but it will still take time. I can’t control the pain (meds will
help) and how limited I will be. I can’t control that I need the procedure and when I need it done. This summer is going to be limited and tough and I’m
worried about how many things I will
miss out doing with my kids.
But with this lack of control comes control. The bilateral mastectomy will
hopefully mark the removal of this breast cancer and a progression towards a return to normal for me. I didn’t want to have to undergo chemo, especially while pregnant, but it’s what I needed to do to manage the cancer and it has been working. I got through the exhaustion, nausea, hair loss and other side effects. I got a healthy baby boy who brings us so much happiness every day.
I didn’t want to stop working because as a manager I had control of two facilities. I controlled the usage and staffing of these facilities. I haven’t worked for months and dread the return to work and how much things have changed since I’ve been gone. But it was best for my health to stop working immediately so I could focus all my energy on my own health and my family. And I realized how hard it would have been to work while dealing with the exhaustion and side effects of chemo while also trying to take care of my five kids. I had to give up that control.
So as much as I want to be able to control things, it’s learning to let go of that control that has been most helpful during this cancer battle. Instead of worrying about the control I want to have, I have shifted the focus to how can I respond to this lack of control I have. I have learned to let go.
As I have mentioned before this year the focus is all about survival. I need to do whatever it takes to survive and most of this is out of my control. So I’m learning to let go, trust my medical team and make the adjustments to my life I need to, to get through this cancer and hopefully reach remission.
It hasn’t been easy especially since I’m a control freak, but it’s what I have to do to survive.
The lack of control is just one of many reasons I am growing so anxious about the surgery but I need to focus on how much control I have learned to give up throughout this process. Letting go of the control is how I have gained the most control over my health throughout this process.
#lettinggoofcontrol #onetoughmother #pregnantwithcancer #sportsandlife