I just had to share: as I am in the midst of this marathon of travels and errands in the lead-up to my big reconstruction surgery, I have been doing very well. I feel great. Really great. Forgive me if I said this already (I don’t think I have, but if I’m mistaken then just consider that I mean it enough to say it twice!)
but when I was in Turkey with my family at the beginning of this string of trips, my sister wanted to know how I was feeling about things in general. Was I fatigued? Did I feel I could keep up? etc. etc.
I told her that I’ve reached a new, important point in the journey. The point that I was looking forward to since the diagnosis. The point that I day dreamed about to keep my spirits up through out the rough days: the day when it all feels like just another thing that happened in my past.
Now, it’s a little ambitious to say “just another thing”…it will never actually be “just another thing”…but that notion has come to seem real. One day I just realized that on all our travels, as we met lots of people along the way, the task of presenting myself to strangers felt different. For so long, the breast cancer makes up so much of you, of your everyday experience. It is the biggest thing in your life for a long while. While I’d never (of course) meet someone and say “Hi, I’m Sarah, I spent the last year in cancer treatment. Isn’t that crazy!?”, the idea always flitted though my head. For a long while, it actually felt like there was nothing else to say. That it was disingenuous to make small talk about other stuff.
But not now. Now when I meet people, it doesn’t even jump in my head as something “interesting”. It’s just a story from my past that seems pointless to tell them out-of-context. I explained this to my sister in the most casual fashion. But it made her eyes well up. She said she had been waiting to hear me say just that. I was surprised by the emotion it stirred in her, but then I realized what I had just told her: in the mere ability of my thoughts to be taken up by banalities such as whether or not I had promised to meet friends for dinner or what we’d do on our vacation, I’d gotten my life back! In my life inside my head, it was back to being “all about me”, not about it. It made me want to well up too.
It was a milestone I’m glad didn’t completely pass by without noticing, and I thought you’d want to take note of it too. It will come your way, I promise. Keep an eye out for it and take a mental picture of it as it passes. It will look like a dull shot to some, but it will always be beautiful to you.