Its Been One Year
The State Of Affairs v.12
“Ugh,” I grumble as I lean closer to the mirror. “I have got to do something about these eyebrows.”
I inherited all the Lebanese traits from my father’s side of the family. The good ones – like a thick, dark head of hair – and the not so good ones – like thick, dark eyebrows.
It’s as if an invisible hand slaps me straight across the cheekbones. I have eyebrows. Eyebrows so thick, dark, and unruly that they need to be maintained yet again.
Healing Trip #6 - Ojai, California
One year ago, I was hovering in the space just before my very last chemotherapy treatment. I had no idea what laid beyond that sixth round – and if you had told me there is a pretty solid chance I: (a) wouldn’t have believed you and (b) would have been completely incapable of handling the news. I was already playing around with the idea that I might not do the recommended maintenance chemotherapy – and had made up my mind that I certainly wouldn’t do the entire prescribed year. But I don’t think I was in a place yet where I could have gotten my mind around the idea of saying no to additional treatment in the face of an “incurable” diagnosis.
On The Celebration Of The Resurrection
“When did you fall?”
My head swivels from his gorgeous wife to meet his eyes. “Excuse me?”
“The fall. How old were you?”
You Can't Rush Your Healing
“What is the standard of review applicable to a motion for summary judgment?”
I am afraid to try to answer because I am certain that I will throw up if I open my mouth. I didn’t review this. What were the odds they would ask this – rather than something related to the applicable facts or the pertinent cases?
In The Meantime
“They give you two weeks,” he says and many of us half-laugh. It’s the laugh of those who know something is true, even while wishing it wasn’t.
We are discussing grief and its various manifestations and complications.
And the trouble that comes with the necessity of reentering the “real world” at some point after a trauma sweeps us off our feet.
“So what did you do this weekend?”
I had two issues with answering this question honestly. First, we were tucked in the middle of a crowded coffee shop and I wasn’t sure how prepared I was to be overheard on the subject of how I spent my weekend. Second, the friend asking the question was not only a new friend, but a pastor too. I was treading into completely new territory with him, and I wasn’t entirely sure how the honest answer would go over.
Breakfast, Body Image, & Rage
“You have been through an initiation, a burning down,” she tells me again from her perch in the corner of the sacred space we are gathered in. My body feels full, for lack of a better word. Plump. Not in an uncomfortable way, but in the way I imagine a water balloon that has been given just the right amount of water must feel. And I nod. Because this is quite possibly the perfect word for this last year.
I know the comment that is coming before it even begins to emerge from his lips.
“That looks . . . healthy”
I am standing in the office kitchen making my breakfast – gluten-free oats with chia seeds, flax seeds, organic berries, nut butter, and almond milk if you are curious what it is that caused such a stir. I’ve been getting these comments from everywhere for months and I still haven’t figured out the correct response. “Thank you” seems insufficient and curt. Admitting I’d rather be looking forward to Chik-Fil-A than brown rice and kale for lunch somehow too brazen. So instead I just give a half-hearted nod and wish that everyone could just forget that I ever got cancer again.
From Montana, With Love
“Its pretty amazing, you know?”
“Knowing a real-life miracle.”
“Feel your feet, my love.”
It is day five. Of which chemo round I can’t tell you, but quite honestly it doesn’t really matter. Every round – without fail – I lost my mind on day five.