Friday, February 8, 2013

Shadows


When I was young, I fantasized about being
an eccentric old lady with long gray hair,
who wore evening gowns at noon
and played her accordion at bus stops

Six rounds of chemo
eyes closed imagining success
"This is what we call a Pathological Complete Response"
they would say...
"the chemo has worked wonders.  The cancer is gone"
A complete response is the holy grail
you will be one of the lucky ones.
your chances are excellent
smiling through tears I would call my family
and we would breathe  

but today didn't look like I had imagined
I watched on the monitor as she measured the 
dark shadow that sits in my chest
it is still there
much smaller than it was in August
but it is still there
and I am heartbroken

I try hard not to cry... but
I can't control that either.
As I get off the table
the technician hugs me and tells me 
not to worry.  

The radiologist confirms what I already know.
that the chemo worked extremely well, 
but it looks like there is 
still some cancer left.
Will know for certain after
they cut it out
Surgery will take care of it.
She tells me I am so strong
and amazing.
But I just feel tired and broken.
and I cry some more
and try to catch my breath

Everyone says don't look at statistics...
but it is hard not to.
My chances are still good.
I know that I will have surgery
they will take out the fragments
and then radiate anything that remains.
I will take a year of herceptin
and possibly ten years of tamoxifen.
and pray that one day
I can be that old lady
annoying people
at bus stops.




7 comments:

  1. I wish this for you as well...I can't think of anything more lovely than picturing you with long grey hair, playing your accordian at the bus stop.

    Everything you are feeling is so valid and so real and it's so important to let that emotion out -- to let it have a place to go. This cancer journey is not a race run straight and direct. It it like track and field...there are hurdles, and then long jumps, sometimes you get the short jump, then another hurdle, perhaps a bit of a pole vault. It is a race run alone, even though there are so many other women on the track...your race is uniquely your own.

    Cry, despair and feel everything and then you will rise up a little stronger, a little straighter and say "okay, let's get this done".

    And remember...there are many people on the sidelines with water to hand you, and a towel to dry you off and encouraging words as you make each lap.

    Sending love and healing thoughts.

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    1. thanks so much Sherry. I think your analogy is a powerful one because it rings so true. Yesterday was a day of despair. Today is a day for rising up:-) Thanks for helping me do that.

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    2. It's what got me through my journey...thinking about the process in other ways. Visualizing and thinking outside the box...it helped to keep my spirit and my hope alive. Always ready to put out my hand to help another on the road. It's one of the gifts we get from breast cancer. Sending you joy and better days! xo

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  2. I can't wait to bump into you at a bus stop.

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    Replies
    1. For you Ari-Asha, I will take requests:-)

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  3. you are so incredibly beautiful. i can hear the brazen strands of your music slipping through the long tendrils of your silver mane.
    right beside you.

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    ReplyDelete