I’ve noticed a theme lately as I work my way through Chemotherapy. I now have 8 weeks to go through a 5 month regimen of chemo. The end is in sight. I am starting to feel better, look better, and my hair is a quarter inch long. My coloring is better and my new blonde wig looks close to my previous hair! People are starting to admit to me how bad I looked a few months ago. I laugh and thank them for their truth. All I had to do was look in the mirror when I felt like hell. Never did I believe all the “you look great” comments. But now as I look in the mirror, I see my old self and a new spark coming back.
Friends and family are tired of my being sick. First they thought I was going to die. I didn’t, I’m still here. Lately, I feel like I am being pushed to be better than I am. I just had a friend ask me what I had planned over the weekend. I said, whoa, I’m not that good yet to have weekend plans! Slow down. They just want me normal again. But you know, even though it is nice to see snippets of the old Denise, everything is different in my world. I think it will remain that way as I have learned so much on this journey. There is a new normal, and I don’t know what that normal is as yet or who that new Denise will be.
Right now, I am happy to take things slowly. This week I drove to the grocery store and went shopping alone for the first time in 4 months. The librarians hugged me as I visited the library for the first time in 5 months. Those were major things for me this week. But those are very small steps. And I know I must continue to make these small steps.
As my hair grows in, so does my new normal become revealed. It is a process. One thing I have learned on this journey, is to listen to my body. So I am. Oh, I still remember what it felt like to be unable to get off the couch for weeks at a time. It is still a very vivid memory, so that slows me down and makes me listen. How do I really feel?
So, I will listen to where others think I should be, but be true to myself and continue on the slow road to healing with much gratitude along the way. Last autumn, I didn’t think I would be here in the Spring. Every day is a great bonus to me.