I am haunted by an image that lives only in my fears. It is an image that I worried about last summer, only weeks after I was diagnosed with inflammatory breast cancer:
a young mom, bald, struggling to push a stroller with two baby boys
It’s an image that I worried about for a long time because I was afraid of being seen in such a state of weakness.
Ironically, the image that I feared never became reality. As I lost my hair, I lost my strength, and I was never able to take a walk again. From June to April, I was struggling to walk, to sit, to even lie on the couch and play with my children.
But now it is May again, the flowers are in bloom, and the weather is perfect for strolling. I have cleaned the cobwebs off the stroller, put on my walking shoes, and I am walking, once again, one or both little boys with me, keeping me company and cheering me on when the hills get high. We are walking to the park, watching the squirrels scamper over driveways, listening to the birds cheeping in the trees, smiling at the children playing as we pass.
And we are passing them, because we are walking once again. One, two, three, four miles a day. It seems unbelieveable that one, two, three, not even four weeks have passed since the last radiation treatment seared my skin with the promise that cancer cells will not be able to live there again.
Three weeks. And yet, every day I am stronger. Every day we go for walks, and instead of being worried that people will see us, point and laugh, I am delighted that people can see us, that they can see ME once again. I am no longer alone in my bed, watching the world out my window.
I am wearing my Avon Walking tank top proudly today, and I am walking.