I’ve had a wonderful 489 days. That’s how long I’ve been cancer free and feeling pretty darn great. I wish I could tell you I’ve appreciated each and every moment of each and every day. But, hey, I try to be honest here.
So here are five things I said (and truly believed) during treatment that I haven’t quite lived up to:
I’ll never complain about gaining weight again. Cancer treatments affect different people in different ways. Some people gain weight, but I tend to lose. It was great in the beginning, when I was happy to be rid of a few extra pounds, but eventually I found myself fighting to keep the weight on. And suddenly I understood all those annoying people who complain that they just can’t gain weight. So I vowed that I would never complain about my weight again. That is, until I gained back what I’d lost and then some. And my clothes were too tight, and nothing looked good, and well, you know how that goes.
I’ll love my hair, no matter what. You’d think, after being bald a couple of times, I’d be happy just to have hair. And I am, most of the time. After all, I have great hair – for at least an hour after I get it cut or colored. And then I do something stupid like run errands in the rain, or, you know, wash it. And it just doesn’t look the same. You want the truth? Being bald isn’t so bad when you have chemo as an excuse. Everyone tells you how great you look, because, let’s face it, they were expecting you to look really, really, really bad. So you get lots of truly genuine compliments, instead of comments like, “Wow. You got bangs…” Long pause. “You look really…young.”
I’ll take the dog on a long walk every single day. Yes, I do that. Every single day. Unless it’s hot. Or cold. Or raining. Or too early. Or too late. Or I’m busy or tired or hungry or, you know, just not feeling it. Poor Mattie. Thank goodness she loves me anyway.
I’ll invite friends over for dinner on the spur of the moment – even if the house is a mess and I can’t think of anything creative to cook. I know. I know. This one should be easy. But, there is a HOLE in our ceiling. Yes a hole. Still. Eight months after we had a pipe repaired. Our friends know there’s a hole in our ceiling, because I complain about it at least once a week. Also, the tiles on our kitchen floor are coming loose, and our dining room table has become a repository for old photos and receipts. So, next month. Yes, next month – for sure – we’re going to invite some folks over.
I won’t sweat the small stuff. Big stuff: Illness. Hunger. War. Small stuff: A few extra pounds. A bad hair day. A hole in the ceiling.
Yeah, enough said.