Thursday, May 15, 2008

a gift and a curse

Some things about my near brush with cancer I wish I could keep with me forever. I know I am changed, but it's astonishing how quickly life bounces back to its former colors. Anno just wrote a beautiful, succinct post that reminded me how clear certain pieces of my life became when I was awaiting my biopsy results.

When I first was told I needed a biopsy, I was overwhelmed. My thoughts ranged from gory to gorier, and at that moment I could almost understand why some people choose to run away from knowing the truth. I imagined myself needing surgery. I imagined myself needing chemotherapy. I imagined myself dying eventually. I didn't sleep and didn't think straight. I couldn't write. I could only be with my children and grab whatever hugs I could as they become young men.

And then something changed. The smell of my children's hair and their freshly folded laundry reminded me of my role in this life. And I decided I would fight. I decided I would fight no matter what it took, and that I didn't want to die. I decided I would face it down and live to tell about it. That was the most empowering moment I can remember in a long time. It compares only to the moment that I pushed my ten pound babies out into the world. It was the moment of crystal clarity.

So now that I know I don't need to fight that battle today, I walk around in the daily doings of life a little starstruck and off kilter. So much really doesn't matter to me. So much matters more, and I am even more impatient than I was before, one of my greatest faults. My clarity is unsettling and uncomfortable at times, for others and for me. It is a gift and a curse. It is slipping away and leaving me changed forever.
It scares me what I might do.


anno said...

It sounds like you have been left with a powerful lens for perceiving the world, and I was interested in the story you told about deciding to fight. I'm glad that battle, as it turns out, is not ahead of you.

Thanks for a beautiful post. You are right. There is only time for things that really matter.

Jen of A2eatwrite said...

I'll second what Anno said at the end of her comment.

The clarity may become less sharp over time, but will stay with you, I'm guessing. I had the same epiphany after my sister died of cancer. It's something I have with me every single day.

cathouse teri said...

What a beautiful and lively response to your situation.

And I'm so happy to have made your day when you stopped by my place. I can't think of a greater reason for my "work" there. :)