6 x 6" collage on wood
I've been swimming three days a week, like clockwork, for a decade. I swam through breast cancer. During chemotherapy, it was the one thing that suppressed the nausea. I had to take a break for my mastectomy, but as soon as I was healed enough, I was back at it. It was the best thing for me, so they told me—the lymph nodes removed from under my arm put me at risk of lymphedema, or chronic swelling in my arm.
I was terrified of lymphedema. It got to the point where I was actually afraid to stop swimming. I ignored the pain in my shoulders. Of course the pain got worse and finally I had to fold. It's been almost two months now since I stopped swimming. My arm hasn't swollen. Even when I crashed my bicycle and scraped up my elbow last week, I've been okay.
Speaking of biking, without swimming I've had more time to ride. I've been sleeping more. My creative life is expanding. I no longer fear vacation (it's true, I feared not swimming).
But I do love swimming, and I do miss the meditation of it.
So here's a little piece of art in tribute to the sport. Thank you, swimming, for all the good you've brought into my life. All the amazing people. All the hours of lazy-brain daydreaming, losing count of the laps. All the moments I've floated in the middle of a lake on a summer morning thinking about how lucky I am.
Hopefully I'll be back with you soon.