Thursday, September 2, 2010
No Ordinary Princess
What has cancer taken from me? Well honestly this is a very loaded question. If we look at just the surface we can find many, many things…like for starters my breast? I can tell you this one was not easy to let go of. Seriously I was not keen on this detour life offered me.
I did not go into the O.R. skipping while whistling a joyous tune I can assure you! It was not like I said yepee and accepted an invitation to Cinderella’s Ball or anything like that. Nope it was more like losing my glass slipper on the way to the ball and walking on broken glass the rest of the way to get there. The truth is I knew if I did not walk through the shattered glass beneath me on my way and let go of my breast I would have had to let go of my life.
Yes I lost my hair, my eyebrows, and my lashes (Not ideal for a princess. I mean seriously how does the crown stay on?) And I lost time with my children…time watching them grow, giggle and laugh through what was supposed to be an ideal childhood. But look deeper and you will also see I lost my fear, my vanity and my idea of what the world told me I needed to be. Truly I lost “the me” I once was and came back through the door a stronger, better me than I ever knew was possible. Far greater, would have been the loss of this knowledge and the friendships I have forged along the way than losing my breast.
Yes looking at the whole picture, cancer has stolen many things from me, robbed me in many different forms, yet she has also given me many wonderful opportunities as well. For one I am no ordinary card carrying princess and I am ok with that. I can be a lope sided, pieced together, broken, glued back together, bent tiara wearing kind of gal without fear of how I look to the world. I have never walked this path alone; each step has been taken knowing I have the grace of my faith and the love, support and encouragement of those closest to me. I have been given a second lease on life, a new standard, a way to live my life without the rose colored glasses. I am free to be me, a woman with one breast and happy to be so. I know you may be hearing this saying yeah right, rolling your eyes, thinking you are out of your mind lady! But seriously having a matching pair of boobies does not make me a woman nor do they define me as one either! Living life one breast at a time is not just a challenge but actually a great way to live life with humor, action and grace. I know you are thinking to yourself, better you than me, and you may be right there, but the honest truth is I am not ashamed nor am I embarrassed by my one boobed chest. I am who I am, a fighter, a mother, a wife and a survivor. My battle scars are just that, scars, proof of life, reminders of this battle we call breast cancer and of the life I did not have to forfeit.
Broken glass, well it is in no way my idea of a fun day at the park, yet with each mark, each cut, and each suffering I have felt along the way I really have found the deeper meaning of life. All the pain I have been allowed to feel has come with a promise, a hope and yes a price. Has it been easy? No way, not in a million years but even with all the broken tomorrows I was promised when this journey began I am tied to this journey, to see it to the end. Nothing is worth gaining without struggle. I see the struggle of living as a gift, a reward meant to empower each of us.
So I sit here today knowing I am a testament of life’s struggles, of the beast’s wreckage and of hope’s calling. I may have fallen at the beast’s feet many times during this battle yet I know in the end I will overcome either by death or a new day. Wishful thinking won’t keep the ship from sinking… honestly the ship will sink! One person with only one bucket in hand, bailing out water of a sinking battle worn ship, well let’s be honest here… the ship will sink to the bottom depths.
But… with the right tools, some push and shove and the strength of humor, determination, numbers and team work you realize you just may have a fighting chance! This I know, I may be one soul, but I am surrounded by thousands, all part of the effort, the cause and the voice of hope we call survivors. In the end, after you have walked across broken glass, taken off your rose colored glasses and arrived fashionably late for the Ball you learn the greatest part of this journey we call life is not the destination, but the detours along the way!