Friday, December 14, 2012

inspiration and bravery?

It's a puzzle to me how my diagnosis of breast cancer can be like some of the others I hear about: Stage IV metastatic brain cancer, pancreatic cancer, esophageal cancer. Those seem a lot more dire and frightening and I wonder how those folks keep going. They must be the brave ones, the inspirational ones.

Maybe it's that once you don your boxing robe, it doesn't seem so bad and you just dance on, forgetting what the words on the back say.

Cancer is a mad procession of appointments and medications and procedures. Some have left me bruised and battered but most have been tolerable, even the ET hut I was in the other day to have my port installed. We wonder how people do it but maybe this is the answer. We all, we just do. Without thinking of the choices or the fairness or the conclusion, which will not be any different, really, than anyone else's conclusion in most ways that matter.

Some of my sweet friends in the social media and friends who send me cards say I am an inspiration and that I am brave. I don't feel like that at all. I am only doing what many other people do every day, get up and face the dragon. At this moment, in my life, the dragon happens to be breast cancer.

In a few minutes, I could name ten people who are facing far more dire dragons that this, and probably with far more bravery than I am. In some cases, they are more alone, or in more pain, or in worse financial straits, or their prognosis is not so good. Lots of reasons that one's lot could be worse.

I wallow in self-pity sometimes, I spend a few hours some afternoons in my bedroom nest reading and napping, I let things go that I should be doing, I forget things, I am lazy some days. Some days I cry.

Then I get up and watch the cardinals in the bird feeder or I take Gus in the back yard for a romp, or I try to organize my helter-skelter Christmas card list. I go to River Rock for a gingerbread latte and hugs from my dear, young friends. That's life. Good and bad. We buck up and do our best.

Dodge the shadows, friends. Always look for the sunshine wherever you find music or poetry or birds or your big, fluffy dog. Life is very good.

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