It may seem strange, but in some ways I’ve been happier lately.
Certainly this is one of the worst times of my life. I’ve had to deal with a major threat to my health (and life), along with the meaning of being a woman in our culture. Too, I am no longer working and so do not have that to grab hold of in my attempts to find meaning or a place in society.
Regarding the “woman” question, it’s still a process and not really one of my major concerns at the moment. Although the pain meds help, my chest still feels like it has been bound tightly, often making it difficult to move around the house or do much of anything. I tire very easily. My focus, obviously, is regaining strength.
But maybe not for the company who provided the compression bra for my surgery. Apparently these bras are mainly used for reconstruction surgeries but can also be used for folks like me to hold the drainage bulbs. And the bra also came with a single, fluffy prosthesis.
Yes, apparently the company thought vanity would be a concern right after major surgery. My husband thought it was a cosmic joke to be given this after a bilateral mastectomy. And, to be honest, it made me feel even worse at the time to be reminded of my newly flat chest.
As cancer strips so many things from my life, I’ve been forced to take things moment by moment and appreciate what’s left.
- I can still move around and do some things on my own.
- I can enjoy reading books and watching movies.
- I can drink as much coffee as I want.
- I have the escape and creative outlet provided by Second Life.
- I love watching the kitties bounce around the house with abandon.
- I have a husband who still loves me and takes care of me.
And yes, part of my recovery involves hiding at the moment. This latest bout with cancer has brought with it an overload of experiences, questions, pain, and trials. Many more questions remain, along with the pain of radiation and even more surgery. Right now, I’m simply enjoying a bit of rest and quiet from the chaos of being a cancer patient.
Today will be my first follow-up appointment with the surgeon and most likely hearing the biopsy results from my surgery. I should be nervous, but oddly I feel calm right now. Looking back over my list above, I know that I still have a lot to be thankful for.
“And though I don’t know how today’s story will end, I remember: faith thanks God in the middle of the story.” –Ann Voskamp, The Broken Way