I think I may have created some misconceptions about how I have been handling all of this. How cancer has been for me. You see, cancer isn’t a derby party on the lawn with sun hats and mint juleps and gossip. I crack jokes about my circumstance sometimes because that is how I deal. That is the only way to get through the day sometimes.
I leave the house with a full face of make up on and a hat or headband to cover the fact that you can almost see the whole top of my head. I smile and make small talk. I say things like “Well, it’s one day at a time” or “I’m hanging on” because those things are true but they just cover the surface. I try to spare the people I am talking to because…cancer is scary and you never really understand just how much until you are in the thick of it.
Here is what I don’t say to people. I cry when I look in the mirror because I almost don’t recognize myself. My hair is scraggly. My skin is dull. I break out in weird bumps and rashes. My lips are almost always chapped. I hate shopping now because all of the clothes I want to wear won’t look good on me. I tried wearing my wig one day. Not only was it scratchy as hell but it didn’t feel right. Meaning, it didn’t look right. I felt like the whole time I was wearing it people were thinking “OH SNAP THAT IS A WIG ON HER HEAD”. Which I know isn’t true but it is how it felt. I don’t say how I would give anything, anything, to have control over my life and my time again. My life is dictated by doctor’s appointments and whether or not I will have the energy. I can’t even pursue careers right now because I don’t know when this will be over. How do I interview for a job and tell them “well I don’t know when I will be able to start because…cancer”? So, to all my peers graduating this semester- you’re welcome? One less competitor, right? Sometimes sitting through a 75 minute class on real estate investments feels more like four hours. Confession: Sometimes I can only pay attention to the girls who are sitting in front of me with perfect, thick, beautiful hair.
So no. Life isn’t always easy. But I also firmly believe that how you react to situations is a choice.
Just so no one takes this post as all gloom and doom and gets concerned, I’m going to share about some happiness I got to take part in. Some magic.
Last weekend on Sunday afternoon Thomas and I decided to go to Orlando for the night. It was already 4:00pm but Monday was a holiday and we have season passes to Universal so why not? That’s usually how things go with us. It’s spur of the moment, where ever our hearts take us. We dive head first. It’s one of my very favorite things about our relationship. Anyway, we rounded up a couple other friends and got on the road by 7:00pm. We flew into Disney Springs on two wheels just in time to make dinner at the T-Rex restaurant. I also ran away (literally ran) to the Christmas store before they closed to get a new ornament. That is one of my traditions. The next morning we woke up with not much of a plan of what we were going to do that day. We were sitting around discussing ideas when a rare opportunity arose. Our friend who works at EPCOT rounded up some tickets for us. The day was spent eating around the world and eating every thirty minutes, riding roller coasters and playing games and laughing with some of the best people I know. We went to three parks that day, walked over ten miles and ended with the Magic Kingdom fireworks show. Seriously, if you have never seen Celebrate the Magic or Wishes at Magic Kingdom you are missing out. I tear up every time. We got home super late on Monday night but it was so worth it. That day I got to breathe and smile and feel like just another normal person. There is an undeniable magic about Disney that you never outgrow.
I have been dealt a hand of cards I have no idea how to play. There is no strategy. We dive head first.