Tuesday, May 31, 2016

That Woman in the Mirror

This is the bottom, right?

You know that saying "scraping the bottom of the barrel"?  That idea of not being able to go any lower?  Actually, I don't know that I believe that's possible.  I think there is always a "lower" to reach.  We might not be able to conceive of it in the midst of some current horror, but, really ...

... there's always a lower.

But right now, I feel like I'm living the bottom of my life.  I might be wrong, certainly.  But ... relatively speaking, I'm living my barrel bottom.  And that's an odd feeling.  You might be surprised but this really isn't a negative nelly post. 

Really. NO.

Think about it.  If you truly feel that you're living the bottom, you truly have no way to go but up.

Chemo is changing me.  I look in the mirror these days and don't recognize myself. 

If you're in the midst of this mayhem, or if you're just beginning it, let me give you hope (even if it might not seem like I can at this point).  You'll get through this.  It might be the hardest thing you'll ever do ... but you will get through it and you'll be stronger when it is finished.

When you look at yourself in the mirror and laugh ... laugh because you can't imagine feeling worse about your appearance than you do at that moment, then that is one less thing life can take from you.  I looked at my reflection in the mirror and laughed.  It's truly ridiculous.  I've ballooned up in weight during treatment so far.  I'm at my heaviest ... EVER.

I should be a linebacker. 

And I'm bald. 

Fat and bald.  That oh so heavenly combination.

So what else will cancer do to me before the end?  Take a few toenails or finger nails?  That's possible on Taxol.  Bring it. 

More pain?  Fine. 

Weird eyesight?  Tingling pain in my hands and feet?  Possible.

Life is surreal at the moment.  I never would have thought I'd be in this shape:  bald, fat, with tingling feet, an often bloody nose, and twitching right eyelid. 

You know what?  When life becomes this, I say fuck it.

Okay ... life, you can mess me up.  So now what?  Seriously, what are you going to do to me now?

Take it all?

There's something oddly freeing about that thought.  The idea that I feel so foreign from myself.  I never imagined ever seeing this image in the mirror.

That woman in the mirror?  She's going to get stronger. It's not going to be easy.  Sadly, it won't be a movie-like montage ending with me in the best shape of my life. 

That woman in the mirror?  She's taking it one week at a time.  Seven more Taxol treatments to go. 

Often, she's taking it one day at a time. 

One hour at a time.

Putting one foot in front of another.  [I was NOT expecting Santa Claus is Coming to Town to flash into my head just now but you get the idea.] 

That woman in the mirror?  Soon she'll be walking out the door.

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