I now have a clear plan of what my next few months are going to look like. What I’ve discovered is, probably around February 14th, I will be going into the hospital to get prepared for my stem cell transplant and recover from it.
Once I can leave the hospital, which will be about 2-4 weeks after the transplant, I have to live in Denver so that we’re in close proximity to the hospital. We’ve rented an apartment there so we’re all set to go, really.
But for those of you who know me, you know this is going to be hard. I’m a home-body. I love my home. I love my animals. I love our horses. I love living on the ranch. We run Believe Ranch n Rescue and take care of 23 horses. And nature is my favorite place in the world to be because it centers me and grounds me.
Obviously, the thought of being in the hospital for up to a month and not being able to go outside is a terrifying thought for me. I’m doing everything in my power to do what I did as an athlete — leave no stone unturned. That meant I would do everything in my power that could make a difference for me, as an athlete, that I could do. That meant I would do rest and recovery, eat well and eat the right things, do all forms of recovery from massage to salt baths, and all those things.
So, what I’m trying to do now is leave no stone unturned to prepare for what is probably going to be the toughest part of this whole journey. I know it’s going to be tough and I know that I’m going to be challenged. But I also know is that my hope is to arrive at the hospital on that day with everything I need inside of me — mentally, physically and spiritually — to handle it as beautifully as possible.
Let’s relate this to an athlete going into their A-race. It’s the world championships. What I always say to my athletes is that we need to build up your mental reservoir of strength. It’s usually about 4-weeks out of the main race, and at this point, we want to keep as balanced as possible. We don’t want to train so hard that we’re having to dig deep into our mental reservoir of strength, toughness, and grit. We want to build up that reservoir so on race day, we can dig deeper than we’ve ever dug before. And there will be so much to get out of there, whether it’s courage, bravery, toughness or strength. Whatever it is you need, you can dig deeper than you have ever dug before because you have built up that mental reservoir of strength.
And that’s kind of what I’m doing here.
I have been having chemo all week and I thought to myself that suffering is optional. I don’t need to assume that this is going to be awful, I’m going to feel terrible and that I’m going to be lying around all day. If I feel good, I’m going to go out for a walk. If I feel great, I’m going to go out for a run.
This morning, I went out for a run after my chemo. Well, I’d probably call it a jog, but I don’t care anymore. I just want to be out there in the fresh air and that cool wind on my face. I want to be out in nature, feel my strength and feel the health that I have. It was the ultimate gift to give myself.
So, what I try and do every moment is, when I have the energy, I’m going to go out with the horses and do all the things that are going to fill me up. I talk about this so much. Do all the things that fill you up. Make more time for those things. And in my mind, most importantly, I needed to consider that even being on chemo, I needed to feel well enough to do these things. That I can get on my Peloton bike and do an easy ride. That I can be outside with the horses and feed them their hay.
Because, really, we determine how we feel. Yes, certain things are going to affect us. The chemo is going to affect my energy and how I feel. But mindset-wise, I can believe that I can feel well enough to do these things. And if I do feel well enough, I’m going to do all the things that I love. I am simultaneously filling up my reservoir of joy, happiness, fulfillment, strength, health, and energy. This way, when I do go to the hospital 4-weeks from now, I’m going to have everything I need to dig deeper than I have ever dug before.
So, why does this matter to you?
I think that in life, when we’re going to have a challenge ahead that we need to be at our best and strongest for. Sometimes, we sit and worry about that challenge and how hard it’s going to be. It leaves us paralyzed to a point that we don’t do anything to prepare ourselves for it. We just sit in the dread that this is going to be happening, I’m so sad and I am dreading this. But that’s NOT what you want to do.
Instead, think about filling yourself up the best that you can with everything that you love. Give yourself everything that makes you feel alive, strong energized and joy. Fill yourself up with those things like you would fill up a car before a long trip. Fill yourself up with everything that you need so that when that challenge begins, or when that A-race comes, you have everything you need inside of you to dig deeper than you have ever done before to have that most incredible performance. Or to have that most incredible trip. Or solve that big problem or challenge in your way. Or, for me, achieve my greatest triumph which will be getting completely and permanently healed.
So, this is what was on my mind today. I hope it helps all of you. Thank you for tuning in. I love you all and thank you for your thoughts, love, support, and prayers. It brings me so much. It really is helping me heal, and I appreciate you more than words can ever express. So thank you. I love you. Have an amazing day.
For more tips and advice about living an authentic life go to https://www.sirilindley.com/authentic/