Today we had a photo shoot. A very talented photographer offered to donate her time and talent to capture this stage of our journey. At first, I almost turned down her offer. At first, I thought why would I want to get any pictures taken of me now?
And then, I said yes. Because I vowed to myself that I would feel and do all of this. Whatever that means. And besides my boys (all three) are adorable.
She sent over this picture tonight. I keep looking at it. Who is that woman? Is that me? It still blows my mind. I have cancer. Dammit. I have cancer.
But I’m in there alright. I know those eyes, and that mole at the end of my nose. Yep, that’s me. Somehow the port doesn’t look so creepy, and my bald head doesn’t look so sad. I mean, she kind of looks like “easy-breezy-cancer girl”. And by “she” I mean “me”.
And that’s the crazy thing about pictures, and Facebook, and Instagram. In this picture, I look brave, and strong, and happy. And I am — all of those things. But sometimes, I’m not. And luckily Joel hasn’t snapped a picture of me in the middle of one of my break downs. And I have no desire to be photographed while hooked up to the chemo chair. Those are pictures (if they existed) are the ones I don’t want to share on Facebook. (I am too old for Instagram — right? If not, someone needs to give me a tutorial.) Pictures tell stories, but sometimes not the whole story. That’s why this blog is so important for me. If I weren’t writing it– and just posting pictures on Facebook, you might think I was breezing through this thing.
And- for the record (in case you haven’t read all of my other posts) – I’m not.
But — I am surviving it. And I am seeing those slivers of spring.
Today I pushed my kids on the swings at the park (Actually I only pushed Andy, because Alex finally learned how to do it himself!). I raced them down the slide, and played Spiderman tag. I ate Indian food on the couch with my really cute husband, and watched both of my boys fall asleep cuddled up next to me. Life doesn’t stop for cancer.
My chemo #5 was postponed because my white blood cell counts were too low. I’ve decided the only thing worse than getting chemo– is not getting chemo on schedule. My finish line just got further away. But I also got a water break.
This picture tells part of my story. The part about my strength. The part about how while standing in the studio I was envisioning myself there a year from now with more cleavage and a pixie hair cut. I can see myself on the other end of this. I’m gonna raise my boys. The woman in that picture knows– without a doubt– that this cancer is temporary. A fire to walk through. It will burn me, and leave me with scars, but it will not stop me.
My roots are too deep.