jump to navigation

Reminders November 21, 2014

Posted by Judy in Musings.
Tags: , ,
2 comments

Surprised that I’m still here, writing posts about breast cancer? I mean, I’m done with treatment now. Although no-one has officially said it, I’m most likely cancer free. So, this is the end, right? This chapter is over and I can move on, right? Well, not exactly. The truth is, cancer will all be there, greeting me at every corner. Everywhere I turn, there are reminders. Reminders of the past year. Reminders that my life, the lives of my family, will never be the same. Reminders that life is unpredictable.

It was one year ago today when I got the call from my BFF. “I have some news. Blah blah . . . . discomfort. Yadda yadda . . . pain . . . Etc. etc. . . .tiredness. I have breast cancer.” I stood in my living room, shivering on the inside because my BFF had just told me she had breast cancer. I stood in my living room, shivering on the inside because the intermittent pain in my left breast had chosen that precise moment to remind me of its existence. And now, every year, one week before Thanksgiving, I’ll be reminded.

Last week, a wonderful lady I know died because of breast cancer, and I’ve been riddled with survivor’s guilt ever since. There is no reason why I survived and she didn’t. It’s not that I did something she didn’t do. It’s just cancer, striking willy nilly, without any rhyme or reason. So every time someone I know dies from complications due to breast cancer, I’ll be reminded.

The biggest daily reminders, of course, are the three scars on my chest and the scar in my armpit. I’m not really bothered by them from a cosmetic standpoint. Sure, they are a bit unsightly, they are scars after all. But they’ll fade and eventually the skin will smooth back out. And let’s face it, that part of my chest was basically doomed thanks to four pregnancies. But, when the port scar is pokey and bothers me, I’m reminded. When my armpit scar makes my armpit feel weird and numb, I’m reminded.

My hair is growing in quite nicely. It’s long enough that I actually have to comb it every day. But I’m ready to just shave it all off and be permanently bald. You see, every time I look in the mirror, I see the little girl who had a really bad afro all through middle school. I see the woman whose breasts tried to kill her so now she looks like a boy in more ways than one. And so, I’m reminded.

Everywhere I look, the reminders are there. They are scars, which will gradually heal, but they will never go away. Cancer will always be there.