THREE email's in a short span of time? Join me on memory lane, won't you? It's the very first post. It's Eat Pray Love. It's everything happens in threes. It's Lorraine (my yoga LIFELINE) saying if I doubted anything, recent events and activities should clear all the questions from my mind. It's Carm saying, "Oh AnneMarie," in that soulful manner. It's Anna's thrilling, "SHUT UP!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I'm living. My life.
It seems I am on some sort of a journey and in less than three months, the blog has been both a compass and a light as I head in "Anew Direction" which I DO claim as The Official Name for Chapter III. I had my life Before Chemo, I Entered Fogginess and bounced for quite a long time. From fog to AD and back to fog and on a very rare day, I even entered into BC. Today, I realized I never want to go back to Chapter BC again. Ever.
I am in Anew Direction and I don't recall when I have felt this passionate about anything. The funny part is: I'm not even quite sure what that passion is but I know that my life was on one path and I didn't belong on that path. How did I EVER veer so far from my own truth, from my own identity? There is a line in the SATC movie where Samantha asks how she ever got to a point in her life where she was saying someone else's name a million times more a day than she was saying her own name. I got lost.
It might have been fear, or perhaps a lack of confidence, or maybe I began to question my intelligence, or it could have been that I was insecure about my ability to do ANYTHING. That's what I recall of the latter part of the BC Chapter. I beat my head against the wall in sheer frustration for the past three years while I was mostly in Chapter EF. I think I finally, FINALLY stepped beyond all of that. I may not be exactly sure where I am heading, but I am certain I am not going backwards. Thank you CHEMOBRAIN for stripping me of my ability to perform. Thank ME for finally taking a moment to step back so I could be AWARE of those subtle changes that only those of us who know, know. It sparked a change.
I could live without the chemo and the cancer diagnosis but I'm not looking back. I'm not in that bright shining aha there is a good side to getting cancer because that is just pure unadulterated horseshit. There is absolutely NO good side to a cancer diagnosis. There is nothing pleasant about being cut, poisoned and additionally for some, burned. I didn't have radiation so my burns are self inflicted and I do that very well, indeed, but medical burning wasn't on my particular roster of "How To Lose Cancer In Three Easy Steps."
And it's not because I stared down the barrel of the cancer gun I think that I simply must embrace life because it's just so precious when you realize, "Holy Shit, I'm a cancer patient." On behalf of the sisterhood, I'd like to give a shout out to everyone who has ever thought "breast cancer is a good cancer." Not really and it doesn't really go away either, just saying......Does a diabetic ever get to say they don't have diabetes? I think not. I see my scars. Every Day. Diabetics are very careful about their diet. I feel the implants. They are by no means uncomfortable. They are just foreign. Diabetics stick themselves to check blood sugar levels. Is it normal to deliberately draw blood every day? It's not the same, but yes, it is the same. Both not curable. Yet.
I love life but my life is changed. I suffer anxiety when I have a million doctor appointments (like now). Truthfully, that anxiety is not such a big deal anymore but jeez... FIVE appointments in one month? Entering a cancer facility as a breast cancer survivor during the month of October is shitty. I feel guilty when I see the women with no eyelashes. I feel guilty when I see how frail some of the people look. I feel guilty if someone begins chatting with me and they aren't part of The Club. They are someone's cancer buddy and they are waiting for their pal to emerge from the MRI suite. And as we part company, they say, "God bless you, you will be in my prayers." I FEEL REALLY GUILTY about that one. I don't need those prayers. I think, "Please don't waste them on me. Look around this room. There are some really sick people in here. Please... devote your energy and your prayers toward them."
I really have no idea where I am going with this train of thought. I think I may want to state very publicly the I am acutely aware that, despite what has been a messy time and despite what I thought to be a series of really shitty "life change units" (google it) .... actually, there were a whole mess of really shitty life change units... despite all of it, I am grateful for what I can do, for how far I've come and for how quickly things seem to have taken some shape.
I still don't know exactly what "that" is, but I'm doing it. Following what calls me. Finding my voice. And each day, especially this month when we are all supposed to be raising awareness. I'm raising awareness the right way, the only way. By being the voice of truth and the voice of change. It's not about pink ribbons, it's not about 5K races, it's about a disease-a disease that will take the lives of far too many women this year. And, that disgraces me. The Survivor. Yeah, life ain't fair. But some things are just not right.
Two Percent???? Let me be crazy and say FIVE Percent.... Either way? That ain't right. Period.