I ride high on life. I admit it. I seek new experience, I crave epiphanies.
I’m one of those people who believes in living full – the enthusiastically examined life. In my 50s, that belief has led to making art, loving more fully and growing my meadow.
My kids and best friends tease me about my “breakthroughs”, moments when the stars align and I see something with crystal clarity… then wax poetically about it for the next week.
Now I know my insights are a blessing, gifts from the Universe. Through my waking hours, I pray to see.
Today I’m like a horse with blinders on. Chemo has been a stone wall, binding tight my roaming.
And I’m getting tired of it all. Which is timely, because today I am going in for my fifth and final treatment.
No insights to share, just what is true:
I feel boring. Tears come easily.
My usually expressive face has been stilled. My hands and arms don’t wave around when I tell stories.
Telling stories has become work.
When I walk around the block, I concentrate on picking up one foot then I concentrate on putting it down. I huff and puff with even the shallowest of inclines.
My thighs are always tired, like I’m on my “last legs”.
I have only wispy hairs on any part of my body. My eyelids are swollen, eyelashes are gone and my skin looks lizard-like. I’m scarcely female.
I’m scarcely myself.
I’m done with this. I get a great swelling in my chest and my throat tightens when I say that. I want to heal! I want to reclaim my creativity and rediscover my enthusiasms. And when my minister Dr. Sinkford invites us to “stand as you are able”, I want to rise up and sing.
I am ready to reclaim life. I’m ready to recover. Thank God I have the opportunity to do so. Til the end of my days, I will never again take that – or the gift of my self - for granted.