My friend Devon told me recently that I am her hero. That's a weird thing. It's hard to feel like a hero when your hair is coming in more white than it was, when you still have huge dark circles under your eyes that seem like they'll never go away, when the vein in your arm still hurts, 2 months later, and when you look in the mirror and see that this experience has definitely aged you. I remember not all that long before my diagnosis looking in the vanity mirror in the car, with the benefit of natural sunlight, and remarking how I was doing pretty well for almost 32. I'm probably still doing pretty well, but I can see the difference.
Dev's mom was going through chemotherapy at the same time as me. She had a very rare form of leukemia and was not doing well in the fight. And when the doctors told her there was nothing more they could do, she gave up. It's hard to imagine that your mind has that much power over your body. Her doctors gave her 7 months, and she died with-in a few weeks. On the other hand, my mom's friend Emmy was given two years and she's been surviving for 20.
I cried a lot when I heard about Dev's mom. We had chemo together a couple of times, and I think it was a weird and sudden dose of the fatality of cancer. It's really weird when someone is there and then suddenly they're not.
Even though my cancer treatment is over my cancer journey is not. I don't know what will come next. And I don't know how much longer the journey will last. Radiation was so fast and uneventful that I barely have reason to talk about it. It has made my breast quite tender, and though the scar was beginning to regain some feeling, it has gone all numb again. And it looks pretty ugly. It's better than it was. But it's all red and peely. Like the worst sun-burn you ever had. And I think I'm still trying to be tough. I refused to get the prescription ointment for it until I was really in a lot of pain and anything touching the breast hurt. I want my life to be back to normal but I don't know what normal is anymore.
I still haven't bought a new bra.