Sunday, February 13, 2011
You Don't Know What You've Got Til It's Gone
Don't it always seem to go that you don't know what you've got til it's gone...
When I was approximately 12 to 13 years old I could never have imagined losing anything. The fact was I was gaining something new, it seemed, nearly every day. And dumb me, I wasn't ready for these changes. I'm almost embarrassed to admit that now, but it's true. Twiggy was just so IN back then. All the IN clothes were designed to fit a skinny boyish girl with huge eyes, pouty lips, and a pixie haircut. She was British. She was perfect. I can't even begin to tell you how desperately I wanted to be Twiggy. The only people who knew this fact about me were my sister Susan, and my three best friends Anne, Jane and Frances. My Susan and Anne didn't have to work real hard to look perfect in Twiggy clothes. Jane was comfortable just as she was. My friend Frances was blossoming about as quickly as I was. She and I commiserated in secret and plotted how to stop this unwanted growth. We tried Ace Bandages wrapped tightly around our chests before we went to sleep at night. That worked about as good as putting a brick on the head of a toddler to stop him from growing taller (A stupid people trick -- do not try this at home).
My good friend Frances is no longer here on this earth for me to laugh about this with. But I'll bet she'd have a few interesting and comical things to say to me now, if she could. As I look at the long purple scar that runs across my sunk-in and flat chest, I'd give anything to hear your voice now, Fran. Bet I'd laugh and I'd really love to laugh right now because I really miss what used to be. How could I have known I would eventually get my Twiggy wish -- only now it's 44 years later and Twiggy is not the IN British model anymore.
Dwain lost his good childhood friend Tom about 7 years ago. He was Dwain's commiserating friend. I was shocked about how they would hee-haw on the phone all the time about the most serious things. And it was usually Tom who would see these things with such a dark sense of humor. He did not hesitate to share his observations. His wife, Susan, e-mailed us recently.
Megan, I knew you were tough, now I know how tough. Do you remember when Johnny Nichols cut off his finger and what Tom suggested he do with it? I remember the total silence on the other end of the phone when Tom told him he should make it into a key chain!! There's no telling what he would come up with for you. All my good thoughts and prayers are with you. I've always been told that suffering brings character. Your will be HUGE after this! Hang in there and all will be well.
See what I mean about Tom's sense of humor? Well, Tom and Frances knew each other very well, so I'm guessing they are having the time of their lives right now in Heaven playing practical jokes on us. Tom was never the type to let anyone feel sorry for themselves. But Tom, I have my days. Okay? So do your stuff. Cheer me up. What would you come up with for me right now?
I've come to realize that although I've lost my hair, it will come back. But I want it back right now. I want my life back. I just want to go on and be ME. I want to run and play and sing and dance and cook and clean and go to work and walk my dog and be creative every day. When you're on chemo, you never know how you're going to feel. Sure you can plan things, but don't depend on them real hard because you may be sick and nauseated. Your resistance may be lower than low. You may be exhausted beyond explanation. You might look like utter hell no matter what you do to improve the situation.
Last fall before... I guess our lives will always be before breast cancer or after breast cancer... Dwain secured tickets for us to see a musical group that we simply adore; The Chieftains. They are from Ireland, but not a rock and roll band, although they've shared their stage with more famous rock and roll performers than I can name. If you've never seen them, you can look them up on You Tube. If you click here, you can see them perform Raglan Rose with Van Morrison. I wouldn't know how to begin to describe them. They are going to be in Fayetteville at the Walton Art's Center on Sunday, February 27. I have my third chemo on February 25. It would be ridiculous to even try to go, given the past history of how I react to chemo and how unbelievably exhausted I'd be before the concert even started. This just breaks my heart so much that I could cry. This is but one example of how we joyfully planned ahead...
I don't want to have cancer. I don't like to admit that I feel sorry for myself. But it's a fact, I do.
I know that I was just a silly teenager back then, but why did I wished for something that I was never meant to be? Now I miss those cumbersome things that used to stick out of my chest. I miss my previous life that I soooo took for granted.
Like Joni Mitchell said in her song Big Yellow Taxi: A big yellow taxi came and took away my innocence [except in her song she said, A big yellow taxi came and took away my old man]. Don't it always seem to go, you don't know how much you've got til it's gone?
*Note: For anyone reading this, please know that I'm not sinking into some sort of unhealthy depression. I just want anyone who is going through this to know that it's bound to happen, this grieving over the unexpected trauma you've been through. It's a lot to take in.