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  • Writer's pictureAja McDonald

Creating calm inside a storm

Just a wee update on what I’ve been up to so far this month. . .

After recovering from my week of isolation at home with Covid a few weeks ago, I carried on with my last week of radiation and completed my treatments just as this month started.

Ever since radiation reached completion, I have been going to other back to back appointments! What I expected to become a calm moment after such a demanding routine focusing on taking things slow, ended up being a crazy lift of energy and focus which crept up on me and caused a complete crash. It’s crazy having to relearn how much is too much now that things are changing for me, once again.

As I mentioned in a previous post, I had to have several teeth removed before I begin bone treatments. This has been quite draining as well due to the limited foods I could comfortably eat. My fatigue levels just seemed to grow in different areas as I move on to starting my next treatments.

In the meantime, I have been so desperate to get into the painting studio and work on my paintings. That, and also get myself used to being around people again by hanging out at that tattoo studio and work on drawing and getting my head around how I will approach revisiting bookings that had to be put on hold.

If you know me, I am the kind of person that just keeps pushing forward even when I should step back and give myself a rest. (Something I have grown appreciation for while having to step away from the real world while going through treatments).

Since I started going to the gym and getting funded sessions to help my body find it’s new normal, I decided it would be good mental (and physical) therapy to start practicing tattooing on fake skin. Let me tell you that in my 23 years of being in the tattoo industry, I have never ever experienced a sensation like I have with having 7 months away from it. My hand is not as strong as I remembered it to be and my anxiety levels go through the roof after sitting for a couple hours focusing on the craft.

Last week was the first time I tried to tattoo after that 7 month break and it was a real eye-opener. Today, I was able to sit for 2 hours adding to what I started before. I felt better about my setup and approach but my body still isn‘t ready to sit for more than 2 hours. It’s a crazy thing how much your body changes after being cut open, pumped full of chemicals and then given a 3 week daily dose of radiation.

So, needless to say, I have been so so busy with appointments and trying so hard to make sense of this calm after the storm. I know it isn’t over yet, but it is good to be able to have some sense of independence now that the first major steps have been taken.

x Aja





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