I am in a strange place. Friday's episode in Subway caught me off guard. I've been working hard. I'm tired. The idea that, after 'fighting' cancer, I'm now 'waiting to see' is actually kind of a stumble-step for me. I can't get used to it, and I can't say that I'm comfortable with it. If the cancer comes back, I'll have symptoms (I didn't have symptoms that I recognized before I found the lump...) My bones ache. What if it's not working hard, or walking a lot, or the tamoxifen? I'm tired. What if it's not from long hours? Getting mistaken for a lesbian was the icing on the cake. Understand, I'm not homophobic. It's just not who I am. A person's sexuality is a part of their identity. I realized that I did not look feminine. I should have realized it already. I was at the Walmart after work, which means I was wearing my visored cap, my jeans, workboot and a tee shirt. A mentally disabled woman went by. She was part of a group and she was with an caregiver who was trying to teach them what was good food and what was bad food. Her attention wandered. She looked at me, mistaking me for a man, and then realizing I was a woman. She actually was so astounded that she stopped pushing her cart to comment on it. The aide was very matter of fact. 'Yes. She is.' and on they went. Like I said, strange place. Strange time.
The fact is, things change. What cannot be changed must be endured. These are my circumstances right now. It is what it is. Last night, I was thinking about it. I've never been comfortable with my looks, and I'm the kind of person that really cannot stand to look at herself. What is the opposite of vain? Whatever that word is, it describes me. I decided, for the first time in my 52 years to find out where one goes to have a makeover. Working hard: while I take pleasure in the fact that I can work hard, I need to ratchet it down a notch. After my long day Friday, I was so exhausted Saturday that I had to lay down and take a nap. I slept for three solid hours and would have probably slept on if the phone had not rung. Wearing myself out is not the right thing to do at the moment, I think. There's the whole 'wait and see' thing: I'm not comfortable with that, but I will take the best care of myself that I can, and I will be vigilent. As I told Cara, that's what faith is all about. Really, this is a 'changing gears' period in my life.
Last night I laid in bed thinking on all of these things and praying in the dark. Much to my surprise, tears began. They were not tears of sadness, but as fast as I could wipe them, they came. I was puzzled about them, but I thought on, and prayed on and wiped these silent tears, and accepted my circumstances, and pondered how to make the best of them. Somewhere along the line, I realized that these tears were tears of release. All these months of stress and treatment and feeling like crap and being brave for the kids and not thinking the unthinkable, all of it was rolling down my face.
And this morning is a new morning. I will go out there, and I will live today as best I can. I feel better. I have a plan. Fortified by silence and prayers, I will step out in faith and I will meet the challenges of this day. And the challenges of tomorrow. And the next day. And the day after that. And...