Finding the zen

In preparation for this posting I’ve tried to enter a relaxed state. Therefore, I’ve just taken a warm shower with a variety of scrubs including goats milk soap and cucumber body wash (sounds like a nice salad), as well as washing my head fluff with some lemongrass shampoo. Following this, I splashed my face with water and patted it down with almond oil (a drop will do you). And now, while sitting beside my dad’s puzzle and typing on this keyboard, there is a hot cup of ‘oh so good’ tea, mixing chamomile lemongrass and peppermint. It’s DavidsTea, so you know it’ll be quality.

All of this in effort to forget about the other night and recapture what I was feeling the days before. What was that feeling? Pretty freaking zenned out (i.e. good).

Last week kicked off with a facial from my mother’s long-time friend, Jane. Ohhh delicious. I’ve never had a facial before, so it was quite something. Hmmm, one word for a facial: refresh.

Chemo leads to exhaustion, and exhaustion means a lack of attention – I stopped washing my face, stopped wearing make-up, stopped trying to look pretty. Heck, I stopped enjoying showers, which was unfortunate for anyone within 2 meters.  The facial Jane gave was a refreshment, it stripped off the past six months through lotions, soaps and scrubs, and helped me find a new face (and neck and chest).  I’ve since been trying to reinvigorate my skin. And just the other day my good friend said I have more colour than before. Awesome.

Two days following the facial (and an afternoon of rest, for some reason I was knackered after the facial, though Jane did warn it would happen) I had a massage from Brian at my parent’s office. It focused on my lymphatic system, targeting areas that were holding stress. Any guess where my stress was held? Ding! You’ve guessed it: my right breast, arm and back area.  Apart from being relaxing, the massage is designed to get things draining. One word for a lymphatic massage: release.

Funny, in England cancer patients have access to free massage therapy, acupuncture, reiki and aromatherapy – but I never managed to use any of these services (except acupuncture, but not free since I wanted TCM). So, why not? Partly because the treatments took place at the hospital, and party because of nerves – I was too nervous to accept this complimentary help. Chemo drugs are tricky, for me they really affected my anxiety. However, now that I’m having complimentary therapies, it is clear that massage would have been really helpful during treatments. But at least I had the acupuncture.

Finally, last Friday, I cashed in my Christmas present: a trip to le Nordik. Going to the Nordik is somewhat like having chocolate fondue – decadent, hot, and oh so amazing. This is a spa set on the outskirts of Gatineau park. Amoungst the trees, rocks and waterfalls, the Nordik visitor goes through a circuit: sauna, cold pool, steam room, cold pool, rest. And repeat as desired. Mom and I love this place.  By the time we hit our third cycle, sweat was pouring down my face. This lack of hair means that sweat can drip unhindered (drip, run, pour, glisten, gush). One word for visiting the spa: escape.

All these treatments are designed to remove toxins from the body – facial, massage and sauna. Whether you push it out, scrub it out, or sweat it out: key word is out.

And last Saturday I was feeling excellent. Woke up singing, put on makeup, went out with a friend, and had a great time. Yes, later in the evening I had a panic attack – but I don’t blame the detox, not to say it wasn’t involved. A rash on the body is the body’s reaction while trying to remove toxins – but it’s also an indicator that the body’s garbage-removal-service isn’t in good order. But let’s not focus on the down moment. There are better things to talk about.

Anyhow, this week I’m back with my brother and the acupressure. Therefore, I’m back to feeling good about feeling good.

It was a lovely week, which might explain why I didn’t write (too stuck into the good vibes). Since this ordeal can be so overwhelming, it’s got to be broken down – helping my body heal is a great first step.

Hmm, now it’s time to stop typing. Computers are wonderful, but they’re totally not zen.  Right now, I choose to relax. That’s another awesome treatment and totally effortless (which is the point).

Bye!

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2 thoughts on “Finding the zen

  1. Hi Catherine,

    Love the sauna picture, especially the purple bikini (purple is my favourite colour). It’s great to hear that you’re doing all these wonderful things to feel zenned out… hum, I’m getting zenned out just reading about it.

    Today is a wonderful day for me. At 3 a.m. this morning, I rescued a black cat, Midnight. He’s an abandoned cat who has lived on my street for many years. In the past few months, his health has deteriorated to the point where, today, he provided no resistance to me picking him up. Off to the vet for blood work and urine analysis to determine what’s wrong. I told him, “Your destiny is now in my hands.” He seems to be quite happy to accept that.

    I figured conservatively that he was 8 years old. My vet guesses more like 12. Yup, Midnight’s days on the street are now over.

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