I went to lunch with a friend and colleague today and it was so nice to get out of the house for something so “normal”. We got to talking about a lot of things happening in our lives… and not a lot about cancer. Which made me think – how refreshing! Right now at this moment – I’m just a 33 year old mom enjoying lunch with a friend and having a perfectly lovely day. (Thanks Erin, it was fantastic).
I haven’t had a lot of these days lately – while Taxol is treating me well physically, I have to just admit it here: man am I feeling lazy. More than anything else, it’s lack of motivation to form a daily plan, schedule tasks or basically just get my shit together. Some days are better than others, but a lot of them consist of my inner slothy self lazing about the house aimlessly. Then again, on days like this one, I find myself doing laundry, paying bills, lunching and writing… so there’s some optimism. Cancer takes my motivation but it can’t take my determination.
When I was getting ready today I went back and forth between what to wear… on my head. I love my wig and it definitely does a good job of hiding what’s going on with me, but ultimately I chose a head wrap because let’s face it, wigs are hotter than sin. One of the side effects I’m having a lot right now are hot flashes – if you’ve had one, you know what I’m talking about… if not – it’s like someone set a heating pad turned to max directly on your head. For me, it’s especially bad on the back of my head first and then gradually spreads to the front. I sweat, turn red and usually need to find something cold immediately. I don’t really love going out in public au naturale, mostly because I’d rather blend into the crowd as much as I can – like I mentioned above, it feels good to feel normal. The greatest news? My hair seems to be growing in more. I never completely lost it, but the past few weeks the fuzz is coming in strong. Cancer took my hair but it can’t take my confidence.
Tomorrow marks my third Taxol treatment out of twelve. I will be one third of the way finished and that is SO awesome! I just also realized that we are halfway through July, and while I knew that it would fly… it’s slightly shocking how quickly summer is actually going. Through the years of my dad’s cancer journey, I learned a lot about appreciating time given and I would never wish it away but I’d be lying if I wasn’t looking forward to fall this year. I’m anxious to get there and put this whole nightmare behind me. Cancer took my patience, but it can’t take my appreciation of slow summer days.
Speaking of my dad – I miss him so damn much right now. My emotions are all over the place and I can cry almost at the blink of an eye.Why did he have to go? I can’t believe this is a journey I have to take without him physically here to help me. Some days the grief is overwhelming, but I know I can be strong for him, so I will continue to do that. I look up into the sky almost everyday and talk to him, asking him to watch over us and help me find the strength to keep my attitude positive and my mind clear. Cancer took my dad, but it can’t take my faith.
Cancer takes a lot.
Motivation, hair, patience, self-love, energy, stamina, loved ones, time, opportunity…
But it also gives.
Anxiety, fear, insecurity, brain fog, doubt.
Hope, thoughtfulness, strength, perspective.
Perspective… that might be the most meaningful thing cancer has given me. When you’re in it – as I like to say – it’s astonishing how every little thing that happens; all the small things, are seen in a different way. I am far more sensitive to words I choose to speak, comments I make and mostly, how I view other people. I use to say this all the time in my life before cancer but it is even more true now – you never know what other people have going on in their lives. You just don’t. So remember to be kind.
I’ll end with a part of a passage from my daily devotional that spoke loud and clearly to me, and even though it was for July 12th, it rings true every day of the year:
” Do not compare yourself with others who seem to skip along their life-paths with ease. Their journeys have been different from yours, and I have gifted them with abundant energy. I have gifted YOU with fragility, providing opportunities for your spirit to blossom in My Presence. Accept this gift as a sacred treasure; delicate, yet glowing with brilliant light. Rather than struggling to disguise or deny your weakness, allow Me to bless you richly through it.”
Until next time