In high school, the St. Louis Post Dispatch interviewed me after receiving a leadership award. When they asked me who my role model was, I told them: “a tree.”
I have always seen trees a perfect symbol for balance. They change with the seasons and they give more than they take.
I haven’t written much since my first chemo. It has left me in this thick fog. Everything feels heavy. I had this vision of being a fighter, of bravely and gracefully beating this cancer. Yet, I feel like I’ve been benched. Like I am on the sidelines trying to catch my breath. I’ve been left wondering what it looks like to beat cancer — to fight. Can you do it on your couch? Can you do it with your head down on your desk, or leaning against the wall? It is not the fight I imagined. There is no running, or sweating, or using your muscles. Everything is too heavy.
I’ve decided that it feels like letting go. It feels like fall. Like I am that tree loosing all of my leaves. Like I am preparing for a bitter winter with heavy winds, and even heavier snows. It is not the fight I imagined. There is such sorrow in this change. A deep sadness that comes with suffering. But strangely — it is a peaceful sadness.
I am losing my energy, and soon– I will lose my hair.
A naked tree in the moonlight.
Luckily, I also know about the promise of spring. Your voices, and notes, and letters, and love –remind me. Spring will find me. And all that has been lost will be found. And I will be green, and new in the sunlight.