Once, I was listening to a woman talk about cancer. She said, "Your life will never, never be the same. I did not understand this. I thought she was being just a trifle overdramatic. That was while I was still in treatment. That was when I was expecting that when treatment was done, I, my friends, was going to have a party. I figured that kicking cancer's ass warranted a major celebration. Whoo-hoo! Bring out the party horns.
The reality, though, is a little bit different. I feel a little bit like a child playing hide and seek, crouched in a dark place, the sound of my own heart pounding in my ears. 'It' is cancer. Will 'it' find me again? I don't know. I've got myself in a fairly safe place...treatment is done. I'm mindful of my diet. I'm mindful to stay active. I'm mindful to be mindful. However it is too early to yell 'Hooooooome freeeeeeee' and do a victory dance. I'm not sure how long it takes before a person can do that. How do you know you're safe?
I've been really thinking on people's responses to cancer. I guess that Daria was right. You make the journey. Along the way, you deal with shock, anger, fear, grief and probably a lot of other crap that I can't think of right now. Somewhere along the line, acceptance comes. Each of us stops at the waystations though. Some of us stay angry longer than others. Some of us stay shocked longer than others. Some of us grieve longer than others. We all however, make these little stops on our journey, and finally we get to acceptance. I seem to revisit these waystations, strangely enough. I think that I'm as shocked as I can be, and than *slap* I've discovered something new to be shocked about. I think that I'm beyond being afraid, and then I come across something that scares the living bejeebers out of me. I'm getting to where I need to be, I suppose, just as everyone else dealing with this is getting where they need to be.
I find myself thinking of that woman who spoke about cancer. "Your life will never, never be the same." It sounded overdramatic then, but I'm starting to realize that she was right. There will always be another oncologist visit, there will always be tests. Drugs. I'm physically different then I was. The scars are always going to be there. The differences are not alway a bad thing, mind you. I'm a lot more mindful of the pleasures, the infinate number of 'small' blessings that enrich my life each and ever day. I am aware of the ticking of a clock. If you all stop this very minute and listen, you will hear the ticking of your own clocks. Most people don't notice it until something likc cancer comes along, but once you do notice that ticking, your life will never, never be the same.