I have a confession to make. I’m putting out about 1 gallon of water per day from my eyes. I’m not sad, I’m not upset, I’m just losing my freaking eye lashes, oh and my eyebrows are thinning too. I suspect eventually they’ll go the way of the dodo bird. This is what I have to say about that.
Cancer sucks but chemo is hell. Hearing the words you’ve got cancer scare the crap out of you. Your thoughts drift to time; your life is minimized to numbers, such as odds of success, the counting of cells and cycles; and all you want to do is survive. Chemo, on the other hand, is an assault on your body and self esteem. In your mind there are already doubts and fears. This is compounded by feeling tired, nauseous and then the hair loss. There are so many things thrown at you at once and you can’t even say affirmations into a mirror without being reminded of what is being thrown at you. It truly is an assault on your body and mind.
Don’t get me wrong, I know cancer kills. Treatment kills the killer but it also strips you down to your very essence then it builds upon that. For every hair that I lose I gain twice as much resolve. For every odd or uncomfortable stare I get at the store, my resolve triples. For every injection or blood draw it quadruples. My point is this, fighting cancer isn’t swinging for the fences, it’s taking the hits. It is being able to lose hair, feel bad, deal with pain, deal with depression and say “is that all you got?” It is being able to stand back up, stare all the problems in the eye, and say that you took it.
I once doubted I had the strength to do this then I found out the strength I have. It’s as simple as looking at it as a part and not the whole. I don’t have to deal with cancer all at once. No matter the size of the elephant, you still eat it one bite at a time. I take my hit, I say my prayers, I stand back up and look it square in the eye, and I ask “seriously, is that all you got?” Eventually, all these problems will dissipate and I will be standing there with my arms raised in victory with the benefit of a new found strength that will stay with me until my dying day.
My mother always said to me, just as I am certain that yours said to you, “you can accomplish anything if you want it bad enough.” As a young boy I shrugged it off as “Mom speak.” Now I know it was not. It was my mother investing in my strength that I need now. That investment is now paying huge dividends. I still hear those words as if it was yesterday and at the conclusion of this I will look up and say “thanks Mom. You had it right. There is nothing that I cannot achieve.”