Tuesday, June 2, 2009

And

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...

9 comments:

Pencil Writer said...

Release. Important part of faith facing challenges/trials/tribulations. "Go forth with faith!" How else can we go forward? *Hugs* (And a big "high five".)

Kelly said...

It's hard not to care about how others look at us. But, you have to remember that strangers seeing you at Subway or WalMart don't know you or your story. So...what they think really doesn't matter!

I'm not in your shoes, so I can't say I know how you're feeling about all this... but I can say some prayers for you and will.

Hang in there, Debby!

Cora from Hidden Riches said...

I felt the tears stinging in the back of my eyes as I read your post. Somehow, I just totally understood all the feelings you were having, even though I, too, don't really know where they come from or what they are. All through my treatments, I was the brave warrior, almost no tears, always smiling, and valiantly wore my caps, hats, and wigs. Now that it's all over, my hair is about where yours is, I feel. . . . strange! People look at me, wondering whether to call me sir or maam. And I wonder at every little ache or pain. But, "In acceptance, lieth peace." And it is in the moments of acceptance that the tears seem to release all that we've tried to hold on to for so long. I remember not being sure what I was releasing, or what I was accepting, but it was there, nonetheless. We will make it through this, and I know we will smile again. I'll be praying for you, and please know that you are hugged today!

Roxanne said...

Great is thy Faithfulness! He gives us new mercies fresh every morning! Lamentations 3:23

steviewren said...

Your resiliency amazes me. And Praise God who upholds you and gives you strength. You are beautiful in my book. (I imagine you are beautiful in God's eyes as well)

Bush Babe said...

As you know Deb, I'm not overly religious. I do believe in God, but I also believe in the human spirit. And I think between the two, and with some help from your friends (both real and UNreal - that'd be us!) you might begin to see yourself through different eyes.

Perhaps last night, those tears washed away some of the scales of self-image you have built up over many years... perhaps, soon, you can see what has happened as a chance to clear the slate, start afresh. Sure your hair has fallen out and regrown different - with it (perhaps) some of your sense of self.

Perhaps a new sense of self is needed. Perhaps you can look at yourself in the mirror, really look, and see what we see. Someone strong and beautiful... with fearless eyes and straight back. A woman to be respected. A woman with a razor wit and wicked humour. With talent to burn and love to give. How can you not be gorgeous?? Seriously.

I heartily recommend a makeover... but make sure you be clear about what you like and don't like. Try some groovy earrings, colourful scarves (around neck or head), jangly bangles. Explore what might be YOUR signature look.

Sending you massive hugs and lots of urging to TAKE CARE OF YOURSELF!!!!
BB xx

Bush Babe said...

Apologies for writing a novel in your comments section!!!

Nana Trish is Living the Dream said...

Deb, I just spoke with my cousin last night and she told me about her struggle with breast cancer and her mother's. She said that her mother never really lived life after the diagnosis. She lived for about 25 years after it, but she would put so much emphasis on the checkups and her cancer that she chose not to really live. In the end it was not the cancer that she died from anyway. I see you as such a strong woman. I read your writings nearly everyday. I have seen you fight through hard times and pain. It's hard to just blow off what people say and do, but I have had to do it with my weight. People can be cruel, but remember they don't know you and there's a strong possibility they are just plain goofy. Yes GOOFY. You have the most beautiful eyes and I work with eyes so I know pretty eyes. They are big and I imagine as you talk they are very expressive. Those goofy people don't pay your bills and they don't know the sweet woman that bought those little Amish children the wonderful treats. You have a compassionate tender heart and God has made you beautiful on the inside and out. Just accept it. I know easier said than done, but I will practice it too. love you girl.

Lori said...

All of us get to places in our lives where we have to readjust our balance, and I think that's what you're doing right now. I'm glad that you are going to make sure you take care of yourself. Like you said, just because you CAN work hard doesn't meant you should overwork yourself.