Every morning and evening I massage the skin and scars on my chest, feeling my ribs and sternum more intimately than I ever have before. I take care not to bother the port that sits just below my right collar bone, and I look carefully at my scars to make sure they continue to heal properly. It’s become a normal part of my routine, and yet there are moments when I am stunned at how bazaar this entire experience truly is. I’ve lost a part of my body, and I very rarely take the time to breathe that fact in. If I had lost a hand, foot, my ability to speak, or to hear, I would be in some sort of rehabilitation and people would be able to recognize and talk about those losses. I would be forced to think about those losses and to acknowledge them. Instead, I’ve been blessed with the freedom to consider my losses on my own time, and to witness my healing in the mirror. What is shocking to me is how strong I feel, even though I see a fragility in my appearance.
This Friday will mark my fourth chemo infusion. I consider that one month down, three and a half to go (ideally). So far, I’m only experiencing mild nausea and fatigue, and I’ve been told some of my symptoms are due to chemo-induced anemia. I’m crossing my fingers for continued blessings in this process, and hoping for strength in the months to come. I’m also ready for a change of scene. The more immersed I am in this process, the more completely exhausted of it I am. It’s the only thing on my mind, and yet it’s sometimes the last thing I want to think about. I want to know what’s happening in other people’s lives, and yet people don’t want to “bother” me with their problems. Believe me, I want to know. Cancer is a big, fat bore. I want to be gifted with other people’s dramas. I want people to stop sensoring themselves for fear that I don’t have the time or the capacity to hear about what they’re going throught. I may have little time right now, but I sure have the interest, ability, and desire to listen. Give me a break from my little drama.