I woke up yesterday to the sight of a fresh layer of snow on the ground. Most people were complaining, after all it is almost the end of April, but surprisingly I didn’t mind a bit. In fact, in an odd sort of way it felt right, almost comforting.
I realized it’s all about perspective. This same snowfall five months ago at the beginning of winter, at the expected more appropriate time, would have been considered welcome and breathtakingly beautiful. The sight is just as beautiful today; it’s only that our perspective has changed. Now people are tired of winter, snow, cold and this particular kind of beauty.
I don’t seem to mind spring slowing down.
Spring taking this step backward seems to coincide with my own reluctance to let go, but let go of what? It’s not like I want to hang on to winter or cancer. I certainly do not want to do either.
Perhaps it’s because seeing the flowers that only started poking through and blooming mere days ago looking fragile and bent, represents how I feel too. I am only beginning to “poke my head out of the ground.” I am only beginning to “come back to life.” Just like the bulbs are stirring, stretching, growing and trying to shoot out signs of renewal, I am attempting to do the same. Like the flowers, I admit I am still more than a little fragile and bent.
I am one year out from the day cancer made its first appearance in my life. I am supposed to be moving on. My husband even mentioned to me the other day, “You can’t live in the past. You have to try to look to the future.”
The trouble is, I can’t seem to forget, not yet. I don’t think it’s time.
Will I be caught in this vice-grip of cancer forever?
I don’t think so. I think the grip will slowly loosen. At least I hope so, but for how long? That’s the scary part for anyone with a diagnosis. That’s the part other people don’t really understand. We realize cancer’s grip can tighten up again at any moment in time.
My perspective on the whole cancer experience is changing and evolving since that first day last spring.
April 19, 2010 was the day of my “heart attack.”
It was the day I visited Urgent Care, reported what I thought were heart attack symptoms and was whisked off to the ER. It was the day the ER doctor didn’t take me seriously at first. “Everyone gets aches and pains at our age,” he half-jokingly told me.
It was the day of my clear EKG. It was the day I felt a little silly at first for being such a bother. It was the day a questionable blood marker showed itself. It was the day a C-scan was therefore ordered. It was the day of the mass sighting. It was the day my life as I knew it changed for good.
I got out my old journal and read my entry from that day a year ago. So much was still unknown on that first day. My perspective back then was quite different.
That day feels so long ago, but yet it feels like yesterday. Yes, I’ve come a long way, but it feels like there is still quite a stretch of the unknown ahead of me.
Just like it takes a year or more to complete the circle, so to speak, when you lose a loved one, it’s sort of the same for cancer. A year ago the person I lost was my old self. She’s gone. That’s just a fact. I’m still adjusting. I’ still figuring stuff out.
I want to move forward and let go, but I also feel a need to remember and reflect.
There’s still so much to figure out, even on this side, even from this perspective.
How has your prespective on cancer changed over time?
Does the “vice-grip” ever loosen?