Wednesday, June 22, 2011

When What is Needed is Returned.

Two days ago I sprouted like a chia pet.  It was surreal really. My eyebrows came back with a vengeance, and I have a full set of budding eyelashes- short but lively.

Isn't it interesting that the hair that was the most resistant, that held on the longest, was the first to return?
Perhaps the counter-intuitive way my hair fell out, and is returning, is in fact symbolic of my Cancer experience.

Similar to my hair, what I felt I had momentarily lost in the unexpected round 7, is what returned first. My positivity, dignity, and even hope were temporarily tested and thankfully returned upon my release. I need positivity, dignity and hope- it is what got me through this fight. And perhaps the quick return of this dynamic trio has everything to do with those needs. While I may not "need" my eyebrows and eyelashes, their return makes me feel "normal", a feeling I am only recently starting to become reacquainted with, and welcome with open arms.  And in some ways I think we all "need" to feel "normal"- even if it's only for a moment.

As I wait patiently for the return of what was lost, I am learning that I have a deep appreciation of what was taken. This new level of gratitude is perhaps only understood and felt by those of us who know it is like to be robbed of parts of ourselves. As the pieces are slowly returned, I am learning how to put myself together again, and I am learning to be ok with the fact that this version looks slightly different than the earlier model.

Now that some of my needs have been returned, and I am no longer in fight mode, I am trying to figure out what it means to live in the moment.  Does living in the moment mean temporarily forgetting my past in order to be fully present in the here and now? Or rather- does honoring my past allow me to more fully live in the moment?

There are times when all I want to do is forget about Cancer, forget about the last 7 months, forget about what it felt like to be on pause and not on play. And then I think about how it was this experience that has brought me to this moment. In order to fully appreciate today, we have to honor yesterday. We have to consider what has brought us to the here and now. By owning and embracing our pasts, we are more able to embrace the present. My dance with Cancer, has allowed me to more fully appreciate today, tomorrow, and the bright days that will follow thereafter.

Two days ago I received another clean Ct scan. My fight over the last seven months is ultimately what allowed me to fully appreciate this news, this moment, this life.

So Cancer, while I may at times try to forget you, divorce myself from you, and push you into the background- I also thank you.

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