What you carrying there…

by Val

I woke up wanting to hide under the blanket but also being bored of hiding under the blanket. I never wanted to hide under a blanket until I met cancer. Now it’s this strange thing that I do and I don’t understand it.  

I forced myself to go for a walk. I’m home now and the only part of my walk that I remember is the lady who had a sheet tied together in a makeshift knapsack thrown over her shoulder. I wondered what her story was. There was sadness in her eyes. I wonder if she saw sadness in my eyes. Maybe we were a reflection to each other.

I didn’t even know that there might be sadness in my eyes until I came into the house from my walk and the tears began to tickle my check. Two years ago I wrote a goodbye letter to a dream. I surrendered to what I knew in my core was coming and I began to try and make peace with it. 

I suppose I am still trying to make peace with it. 

My body is different than it was two years ago. People think that a mastectomy and reconstruction is a boob job. I made the joke about myself before I had the surgery. It doesn’t bother me when others say it to me but it is a very sensitive subject for a lot of women. This kind of boob job is not a prize at the end of at all. I have no nipples. My skin is two different colors on my chest. The skin they took from my stomach is a pale yellow color and shaped like a football cut in half on both sides. I’m scarred from hip to hip across my abdomen. The tummy tuck others “wish they could have” made me flatter from my reconstructed belly button down but above that I’m bumpy. It’s not glamourous. Today the scale said a number I never wanted to see again. That number is what pushed me out of the house for the walk.

I’m detached from my chest. It’s just there. I feel very indifferent about it. Perhaps that is why I cannot land on deciding what tattoos I should get to cover it.  There is no timeline for the tattoos, only my own timeline saying it is something else to check off. Maybe I am scared to tattoo it. Maybe it feels a bit like tempting fate.

Today is the day my oncologist would call my cancer-versary.  I have been saying that I get to celebrate my birthday and cancer-versary all month long. I don’t feel anything today except the tears tickling my face and the aches that keeping the cancer away brings. 

I guess I am in a bit of a funk today. I will bounce out of it. I took the day off and already have some self-care scheduled. 

Maybe make somebody’s day a little bit brighter today with some randomness. You never know what they are carrying in their knapsack. 

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