Thursday, May 22, 2008

Who needs eyebrows anyway?

I went to see the cancer physical therapists earlier this week. They seemed confused. They told me I was healthy. I guess when you work with aged, cancer patients, I'm a little out of the ordinary. I passed all my strength and dexterity tests despite my incredibly diminished abilities. It was almost a little frustrating--I felt like they didn't take my weakened state seriously enough. Being told you're in great shape when every day you encounter things that used to be easy and are now really hard is really annoying. "I used to be better."

I could go two ways with this. On one hand I've been spending a lot of time prepping kids and crew leaders to hit the field this summer and compared to them I feel completely inadequate with my current physical capabilities. On the other hand, in comparison with old, dying people, I'm in great shape and totally able-bodied! The therapists did recognize that my balance is pretty bad lately, so I'm going to get some exercises to improve that as well as toe strength. Apparently the neuropathy has lead to serious atrophy of my big toes which is a contributer to my lack of balance. Fun updates.

When I think about how little I knew about cancer or the reality of what it would mean for me, I never would have imagined this life. I mean, cancer has this huge stigma in our culture of death, infirmary, people "fighting" and being "strong"... and most days I feel really alive and normal. I don't feel like I'm doing battle. If anything I feel like I'm trying to hold my ground in a big windstorm (like the Cay.) And a lot of days I don't even feel like this metaphorical wind is blowing very hard. I forget that I have cancer constantly. I'm bald, I run into walls, I need to sleep more often, I go to the doctor all the time... but I don't feel like, sick. I forget that there is something potentially lethal going on at a DNA level and that life didn't used to be like this. It's kind of strange. I don't know how successful I am at communicating that to others or if my friends and family can see past the cancer. Not that people make me feel especially cancer-y, I just wonder...

1 comment:

flashlightmonster said...

the cay is truly a fabulous book. do you think this summer we should have a hands-across-america-internet-middle-school book club? because i do. the cay. the giver. secret of the andes. and something very full of sex. it would be perfect.