Early on in my journey, I met a woman who had already gone through much of what I was going to go through. She was introduced to me by B’s pediatrician (rewind back to episode one where I explained my absolute public meltdown upon learning of my metastatic diagnosis. Reminder- I was at B’s well-child and his pediatrician was the person in front of me just as I received the news that my whole life was to change). This person has become my mentor, the wise peer that knew the ropes and could answer ALL of my crazy questions. She has helped me through this more than I can even explain. She is the only one who knew what I was also going through. I would have never met her if I hadn’t been diagnosed with cancer.
If I hadn’t been diagnosed with cancer, I would have totally missed the feelings that my children’s teachers, leaders and helpers brought out. The absolutely overwhelming feeling of support and love that I have felt from my neighbors, community members and also complete strangers. I wonder every day if I remembered to send a thank you or if I showed my gratitude enough.
I’ve become closer to people that I’ve wanted to get to know better (MEL!), I’ve learned what it feels like to face my own mortality and plan for that (holy shit is all I can say about that! Plan for the worst so your loved ones don’t have to.).
I know what it feels like to be completely stripped of femininity, and feel my very lowest low, only to realize that beauty is fleeting anyway and the things that matter have nothing to do with breast or hair.
I’ve managed to become ok with hugs (I don’t do well with touches), because I don’t know when I will be able to say “I love you” next.
I’m still crazy exhausted from radiation, but should start to feel more normal in about a month or so. My skin is still a rainbow of colors that range from bright red to very, very brown, peeling and hot. That should also get better soon.
I’ve been able to ramp-up some of my workouts at the gym depending on how I’m feeling. I absolutely feel the effects of radiation to my right lung with the lack of stamina though. At least that’s my excuse .
All-in-all, I’d say I’m doing better than expected.
I have realized that I can face Cancer head-on and come out standing in the end.
Now I know what I look like with short hair and what the actual color of my hair is.
I’ve been forced to forgive myself for all the wrongs I’ve done in my life. All of those hours spent laying in bed after work during chemo gave me plenty of time to reflect upon my sins.
I may only have this one body, but I know now what she is capable of.