Exactly one year ago today, July 16, 2014, I found myself, again, in the hospital. Although relatively recently diagnosed, my complications had compounded and my fight with Breast Cancer was wearing me down both physically and emotionally. In my hospital room I journaled. These were my words:
I cried today. No, I take that back. I sobbed today, heavy sobs. Sobs which included those spasmodic hiccup thingies that carry on even after the tears stop. I sobbed for nearly an hour and when I was finished I felt weak and defeated. Then I mourned quietly. I do not recognize me in the mirror. My muscles are flat. My chest is frail and deformed. I have been mauled and I look like I have been mauled. Yes, I will win the war. But today I mourned that I lost this battle. My halter top would not stay in place on my chest. Without my bags of jelly, the top slid down. Since I had no more treatments until 4:30 p.m., I simply wanted to dress in normal clothes and sit on a bench out front of the hospital and read. I wanted fresh air, summer sun, and a sense of normalcy. But I have been mauled and I look like I have been mauled and my top wouldn't stay in place. And so the sobbing began.
Through my tears I completed getting dressed, applied makeup, and primped my hair. Through my tears I packed my bag purse with my sunglasses, book, lip-gloss, and tissues. Through my tears I rode the elevator down to the first floor. Through my tears I walked out of the hospital into the bright, warm summer sun. I found a bench away from other people and continued my cry until finally reaching the "sup-supping stage." Then I sat back and quietly observed the life surrounding me.
A lot has happened, since I was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, not the least of which is the deepening of old friendships and the blossoming of new friendships. After my cry, I was visited by one of those new friends. In fact, I was visited by the friend who anonymously, and timely, had a clear square glass jar of bright red, orange, and yellow Gerber daisies delivered to my hospital room. I have three favorite flowers -- tulips, orchids, and Gerber daisies. To me, tulips show strength and independence with their single solid stem and upright petals. Orchids exude an air of sultriness and romance. Gerber daisies are pretty and feminine and speak to me as indicative of a season of new beginnings. I have worn my pink Gerber daisy clip nearly continuously since I started my fight with breast cancer. It is my subconscious symbol of a new beginning-- a still pretty, still feminine, new beginning.
Prior to today's visit, my friend and I had concurred on a universal friendship mission statement, abbreviated and paraphrased, but based on Romans 12:9-16.
'Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply; practice playing second fiddle. Don't quit in hard times; pray all the harder. Laugh with your happy friends when they're happy; share tears when they're down.'
A lot of BEAUTIFUL has happened since I was diagnosed with cancer. A lot more AMAZING is about to happen.