|Minutes before my mastectomy in July..............where I buckled in for this roller coaster.|
People who have problem with change have issues with traditions changing...it is my assumption that this would extend to life events including cancer, loss of a job, etc..... (important to remember that I love to have control of things, I make lists miles long, just to add another list to them the next day, and I am would tighter than.............well something really fucking tight). Though I am a person who loves to have control, I am adaptable............I am a freaking doula! You can't control babies or mamas-you have to let things happen and embrace each change, same as life. So when I found out I had cancer I used both 'sparkling' sides of my personality---I bought every book possible and did more research than I did in graduate school, and accepted that I was never going to be the same, everything was going to change and buckled myself and loved ones up for one hell of a ride.
This is not the first time traditions changed in my family.........when I met Scott (who works every holiday) my family and I decided that it isn't the day that is important--it is the time you get to spend together, so not just on the 25th of November...........we can do thanksgiving anytime, as with other holidays. Scott and I are on the same page and we have celebrated holidays since we have been together on random days, random hours, random, random, random...and wonderful. Once we have kids we are excited to create traditions with them and bring what we have done and bits and pieces from the Greenaways and Barkleys into a beautiful blend of love, tradition, fun and laughter--I can't wait!!
When my dad passed away, the holidays were still coming at the end of the year--traditions were going to change..............a lot. My mom and my sisters and I became a meld of tears, laughter, a fuck load of kleenex, beer, love and Greenaway blood. We all changed when my dad died, we had to adjust--we weren't given an option, we couldn't bury our heads in the sand, there was no going back. Our family will never be the same, but what came out of my dad passing away what the incredible strength he had instilled in my sisters and I and how incredible and empowering my mom is! We Greenaway girls are tough--I know my dad is proud and I also know that when I need it in this tooth and nail fight I am in with cancer, he gives me a kick in the ass.
Holidays are hard too........it isn't always a love fest, not always rainbows, kittens and marshmallows. I have been lucky enough to have grown up with a family where holidays are great and not full of tension (yeah, we have some crazies....myself included on occasions) but in the end it is love and laughter. For the first time that I can remember, holidays are hard for me right now. I am not myself, I have fucking CANCER, no hair, no boobs,a bad memory, infections on top of infections, I am exhausted, I am fat, I am in pain, I shudder when I look in the mirror, and I really don't feel like celebrating much. I don't want to get dressed up to sit and eat turkey, even surrounded by those I love. So I didn't. My sister came over, we drank mimosas, she made challah bread and we ate pizza---it was wonderful. There was a range of TV watching, stand up comedy, oldies music clapping, and laughs--and I did it all in Scott's pj pants and the same t-shirt I wore to bed the night before........................fancy.
|this battle is hard work|
I am looking forward to the future where I am not locked in a battle with cancer. This battle sometimes takes over my life and I forget that someday it will get better. I have minutes, hours, and days where I feel sorry for myself, and have "poor me" moments. Sometimes I scream and yell--the only reason being I can't think of words to express what is going on in my head. With tragedy comes change, it is inevitable--but you can chose how you come out of it, what you will be when it is all over. The roller coaster will come to a stop, you adjust a few things, wipe the tears out of your eyes, adjust your hair a bit, throw up if you need to, and move on to the next ride. I am really looking forward to unbuckling my safety belt and running for the fucking door. This ride sucks, I want off now.
--------I am still me, it's just me with cancer and the changes that come with cancer. Soon I will be me, just me putting myself back together after cancer.........................then I will be the new me---she is yet to be determined..............but I assume she will be pretty fucking fantastic.