It’s funny, the things we take for granted. I thought that once my treatment was over, it would be over. But it’s still a growing process. A learning process. A grieving process.
Soon, it will be time to put it all away and move on. Soon. But today is not the day. I came too close, I squeeked by with too little margin, I cheated cancer, and escaped with my life.
Tomorrow, I will give thanks and move on. I want to. Oh, how I want to.
I want to move on, and to play in the sunshine of spring, and to shop with the most normal of questions (Does this make my butt look big?) instead of the weird ones I have now (Do these black pants bulge over my swollen tummy? Do they cover my oopherectomy scars? How will I put this great shirt on over my bandaged arm? Is this crisp white blouse too sheer? (For even the laciest camisole will not disguise a boy-flat chest) And my favorite, is this cut too low under the arms?) I’m not asking to be vain, you know. I’m asking — you, the mirror, myself — because I am having trouble myself determining what is real and what is just an annoyance.
And what is real, in terms of limitations? Am I disabled? I think not, but I have trouble opening doors, lifting my toddler, and such. (We “bump” down the stairs together these days because I cannot carry him.) Am I scarred? Well, sure, but that’s the price I paid for successful surgeries. Should I cover up my wounds? Can I? Should I pretend it didn’t even happen? That I’m just, again, a woman trying to make it through the day?
I don’t know. I want to be in a place where it doesn’t matter. Where I don’t have to think about the cancer or the past, and I can just enjoy the present.
But the wrap on my arm confines me, constantly reminding me about the cancer, limiting my perspective and my world, and in some small way I am reminded of foot-binding, that barbaric practice that limited the outlooks of millions of Chinese girls, so many years ago. It’s not that I *can’t* function well with this apparatus on, or that they *couldn’t* teach each other higher math with bound feet. It’s just, well … more difficult.
And then of course I get all distracted and go on about the suffering of those poor little girls, all those years ago, and how they suffered just to make their feet — important parts of their body, that they needed to be able to use — more attractive to men of their culture. Men who almost never actually saw those feet, even. But just the idea of the bound foot was sexy. Ugh. And double ugh.
I need to get out more.
It’s just … the wrap on my arm confines me.