Monday, May 19, 2008
Today is treatment #4, which means that, once finished, I will be halfway there! It's hard to believe, it's all just whizzed by. It is also another landmark treatment in that it is the end of the Adriamycin/ Cytoxin infusions; future infusions will be with a different drug, Taxol. On Taxol your hair can actually start to grow again between treatments (although, ironically, it often makes your eyebrows and eyelashes fall out, according to the oncologist).
And most importantly, my parents, Brother Robert and Harris will be there with me.
One thing I have been avoiding that I know I will regret if I don't do is to get pictures of myself while I am still hairless. I have such a hard time looking at it, but I know this phase in my life will go by so fast- I will want to remember where I've been once it's over. And I will want to be able to show others who are starting out on the same journey, too. I think having Brother Robert there will help, as he is also a cue ball right now and two cue balls in one picture will be less uncomfortable, somehow.. The more I think about it, the better an idea it seems...
This period in my life will go by so fast. By Spring break of next year I should be done with all the surgeries and reconstruction, my hair will be maybe down to my shoulders and I will have received my upgraded mammies. But there are some things about this time that are unique and unrepeatable. For instance, when I am out in the community people look at me with compassion and smile encouragingly. Or look away in discomfort. Or just stare. For the last 15 years of my life, I have worked with people with disabilities; I've always considered myself a compassionate person. But now as I go through this, I know it's not really me and them anymore, I'm ONE of them. Not only in spirit, but in body as well. This feels like another of those odd graces that God is showering me with right now, a "talent" that I will be held accountable for later.
Hey, that's a good title for a book- "An Odd Grace". Is it too much like "A Severe Mercy"? As I write this, I realize that Sheldon Van Auken and I are both reaching to describe the same experience.