As Simple As A Breath

27 Feb


I took a yoga class the other day and the instructor opened with “Take a deep breath and breathe in the simplicity of life. Each breath is a new start, breathing lets  you know you’re alive.” OK, call me hormonal but I laughed at first because life seems anything but simple, but then I got all emotional thinking about breathing. In my cancer journey, more than anything I was told I was going to lose (besides my life, of course), breathing on my own was the one I was most scared to be without. I’ve talked about my singing and speaking, but as much as I would miss my voice, I knew that those were simple compromises. After my first surgery which paralyzed one of my vocal cords, I was in the ICU for a few days to make sure I would be able to breathe on my own. The fear was that the other vocal cord would snap and close off my breathing tube (trachea) and I would need an emergency tracheotomy (tube in my neck). Fortunately, that didn’t happen. Each time cancer came back, the threat to my voice and breathing was much worse. The last surgery was the most difficult because the threat was imminent considering the cancer was invading the area around my remaining vocal cord along with my trachea. Despite hours of careful surgery and multiple radiation treatments aimed at my neck, I am still speaking, singing, and breathing on my own.

In fact, my breathing and the scar on my neck are my special reminders that I fought cancer and won. Breathing is still difficult for me sometimes. I can’t ‘run like the wind’ or do too much aerobic exercise because my vocal cords sit very close together and I simply can’t get much air in. If I talk too much too fast (which I’m known to do), I run out of air quickly and have to stop and take deep breaths. If I have allergies or get sick and cough too much or even yell too much at my kids’ sporting events, my vocal cords swell up and it gets a little difficult to breathe (nothing a little steroids can’t help). Essentially for me, breathing is a miracle and the simple act of taking a breath has become a reminder that I’m alive.

Is life that simple? Probably. I think we are the ones that complicate things a bit.  But she was right, breathing does let us know we’re alive and each breath we take is a new beginning with new possibilities. Take a minute and take a deep breath, imagine your life without it, there is no life without it. Thank God for today and the air you breathe.

Today I wear Nars Lipstick in Fire Down Below, a matte blood red. Yes, I know, the name….I do love Nars lipsticks because their colors are long lasting and creamy and of course this one’s red and you know how I feel about red lips…I’M ALIVE!! Wear it like you mean it!



23 Responses to “As Simple As A Breath”

  1. sarahyoung1119 February 27, 2012 at 6:21 pm #

    Beautiful post! And beautiful NARS lipstick…I wear it often!

    • Anna February 27, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

      Thanks Sarah! I got that lipstick color from you! I hope you’re doing well!

  2. Kat February 27, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

    Anna, you never cease to amaze me. With everything you have been through and you still have such a positive attitude and are still such a beautiful person both inside and out. Great post.

    • Anna February 27, 2012 at 7:56 pm #

      Thank you Kat!

  3. Daphne February 27, 2012 at 8:02 pm #

    I like that… Take a deep breathe and breathe in the simplicity of life. I completely agree. Nice post, Anna.

    • Anna February 27, 2012 at 9:40 pm #

      Thanks Daphne, I think we should all try to make life a little simpler…just breathe…

  4. Jo February 28, 2012 at 12:03 am #

    Fire down below! Now that’s a good thing. *blushing*
    Might have to get me some of dat dere color, I love red lips, too.
    Breathing is pretty fundamental and very nice to see you’re still doing that. ♥

    • Anna February 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

      Yes, happy to be breathing and I had to get the lipstick simple for the name! It’s a good thing I happen to like red lips!

  5. Kathy February 28, 2012 at 11:07 am #

    I never really thought about how simplistic breathing is and where we would be without it. I am so glad you are still able to take a deep breath, because without you the world wouldn’t be near as nice.

    Awesome blog!


    • Anna February 28, 2012 at 2:32 pm #

      Thank you Kathy!

  6. Claudia February 28, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    I so understand …

    • Anna February 28, 2012 at 7:11 pm #

      Thanks Claudia!

  7. americanwoman February 29, 2012 at 9:18 am #

    i’m glad you had a good yoga experience. i usually get too annoyed at the instructor’s words and get all tensed up. don’t go anymore. 🙂 So good to hear your upbeat take on life.

    • Anna March 3, 2012 at 9:19 am #

      I get annoyed too. I’m very cautious about yoga, but I have found a couple great instructors with challenging classes…one even plays worship music. There’s not much exercise I can do because of my breathing but these particular classes kick my rear!

  8. Diana February 29, 2012 at 2:43 pm #

    I am so blessed to have beautiful people in my life to remind me of the simple things in life … like breathing… just do it .. thanks

  9. Brenda March 2, 2012 at 12:22 pm #

    I loved this line I’M ALIVE!! Wear it like you mean it! I think this applies to all about everything.. but we don’t or some don’t!? I forget too, but thankfully I have found inspiring writers such as your self to keep me on the straight and narrow. I am still wearing Clinique honey berry!! 🙂 (and do love Nars names, so evocative.

    • Anna March 3, 2012 at 9:15 am #

      Hey Brenda! I forget sometimes too, but then I wake up and remember! Got to go try that lipstick!

  10. Denine March 3, 2012 at 2:00 pm #

    Beautiful writing, from the heart. I am with you on your journey…Will have to try the lipstick!

    • Anna March 3, 2012 at 2:24 pm #

      Thanks Denine, let’s journey together!

  11. linda March 5, 2012 at 11:41 am #

    This was a beautiful post! I’ll try to remember to cherish every breath today! Thank you for reminding me how precious life is!

    • Anna March 6, 2012 at 12:04 am #

      Thank you Linda

  12. Beth March 5, 2012 at 2:34 pm #

    You have a wonderful, quiet wisdom and it shines in your every post. Loved this!

    • Anna March 6, 2012 at 12:06 am #

      Thank you Beth!

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