Friday, October 29, 2010
Living with the Monster
I never thought I would ever say I have a relationship with Breast Cancer, but the truth is I do.
Did I dream about walking down an aisle, pretty in a torn pink dress as a little girl, nope I sure didn't. Did I ever daydream about looking the beast in the eyes and saying" I do"...absolutely not BUT in a way that is exactly what I did!
I entered into a marriage of sorts with the pink monster the day I lost my breast to cancer. Unwilling , you bet, but for better or worse I am married to the beast. I came to the alter of cancer kicking and screaming, hands bound and breast removed but none the less I was sealed to this beast, this monster in February 2006.
Do we see eye to eye? No we don't, but by making this relationship personal, I am able to understand her presence in my life a little better. I know she is afraid the day will come when these chains are broken on my terms and not hers. I know she needs me to thrive yet I know a cure is waiting, and she will be unable to stop it. She may see me as her pet, a silly girl with a crazy plan I realize the truth: I may not be the one to cut these chains but one day some one will!
I have those why me moments, especially when I see pictures of my breasts staring back at me. Somehow seeing my mess of a chest in a picture makes this battle even more real to me. I did not chose this fight, but I do chose the life I lead, and I did make a vow to the beast when I said I do... to live my life with courage and hope. Seeing my breasts captured by both light and color is a wake up call reaffirming who I am and the journey I am on this very moment.
I honestly do not notice my scars on a daily basis. I know they are there, I do look at them, but they have become such a part of me, I am blind to their presence. Yes I do look into the mirror, but I see through the looking glass in front of me. I am aware my breasts are not the beautiful well shaped bosoms of my youth but I am not ashamed of their lope sided, scar seared and unseemly sight when I see their reflection. What I am is a Breast Cancer survivor. I am a woman who has found the real me in the journey. I am a mother, a wife and a daughter. I am loved and I am thankful for each day I am given. I am not brave, but I am stubborn and I am committed to finding a cure.
I have come to realize my journey, my one on one time with this beast , the monster in my life, has made me who I am today. No I am not defined by breast cancer itself but I am surely defined by the battle I wage against her daily! My strength, my courage. my hope comes from a deeper relationship with this monster. She has touched me in a way nothing else can. She has scared me for certain and she has shaken me to the core yet she has not stolen my joy, my heart nor my faith! These things she can never take from me.
The truth is for now I am living with the monster. Each day I wake I do so to a monster waiting to greet me. I roll over and she is the first face I see. She follows me to the mirror, smiles and laughs in her most sinister way. She makes a pot of fear and leaves her dirty footprints across the floor. Yes, she growls a lot and at time she even brushes her painful scales across my body while touching the very scars she herself imprinted upon my chest. BUT she also knows I have entered into this relationship with the knowing one day I will break free from her chains!
Yes, she may have taken my breast and along the way she may have even chipped away the years I have here with you, but she can not take away the hope from I have within me. My life is a tapestry of experiences, some for the good and some for the worst, of love, laughter, of tears and of my personal journey through them all.