The stages of my cancer recovery have coincided perfectly with the seasons. Diagnosed in the fall just after the leaves changed and started falling from the trees. Then chemo winter, barren and stark, like my whole body, parched and dry and cracked. (The best fix – Weleda Skin Food. Stuff's fabulous.) Feeling as naked as the stiff ground. And thank God for spring, and surgery. Getting rid of, clearing out, cleaning out to make way for the new.
On the day after Easter, I spent my first whole day with NJ, and barely any drugs. It was 80 degrees outside. I was tired, and NJ and I napped together for the first time since March 30. We strolled to the coffee shop on Main Street. It felt nice to be among the bustling, busy day and people with things to do and places to go. Business, things being done. I had a latté with coconut milk and raw Stevia (love that they have that there); NJ had a bit of cookie. I hadn't been to the coffee shop in a while. Jon blames the place itself for giving me cancer because that's where I went everyday for sweet treats and cinnamon rolls just before it all went down. And now I'm back, the addict going back to her dealer, her mistress – my love affair with sugar. But, it's reassuring that I'm learning more and more how to genuinely enjoy my old haunts with a new food attitude, and a better picker. That's the hard part. The new choices, and the starting over.
I've started over before, lots, but I thought getting married, meeting my husband meant not having to start over anymore. I was so wrong. Now we begin again. Life after cancer. And so now I feel like I should say something about "surviving."
I don't feel like a breast cancer survivor, just a survivor in general, like, isn't everyone surviving all the time, living through each day, beating some kind of odds? Being one of the marriages that lasts, a writer who gets published, a mom who really does get to have it all, being kind, having real, true faith. We are all survivors when we get through the treacherous, heady, life-inducing, laughter-invoking, lush, pink day. If you live in or around DC, you're a survivor when you get to and from work, and if you get home with a smile on your face, you are truly victorious.
It is not easy always, but it can be, mostly. Easy in the way it is to navigate a ridiculous argument with your mostly-lovely husband, easy in the way it is to shift a trusty old five-speed you love to drive, easy in the way it is to love your children and find them more beautiful every day, even as they get smarter, craftier and generally crazier (and more terrifying in their capacity to become if you're not very, very careful).
I have never been more thankful for God and his seasons, Easter, rebirth, life renewed, resurrection.
|NJ enjoying her first Easter Peeps.|