Friday, March 1, 2013

Happy Birthday

Today is my oldest son Andrew's birthday.
It is also the one year anniversary of the day I received the phone call from Dr. W. that changed my life.
At a survivor forum that I read, they refer to it as your "cancerversary"

Whatever the name, I only note this date because I want to express how incredibly grateful I am to all
of you out there who stood by me and got me here to this point.
Never, ever, underestimate the power of prayer.

There were many days when I wanted to just close my eyes and sleep
I didn't want to drag myself from the security of my blankets and get dressed.
I didn't want to eat or drink.
I sure as hell didn't want to be poked and prodded, and sit tethered to a geri-recliner for hours, and watch bags of
chemicals drip slowly into my veins.

Each week I would search the faces around me,looking for familiar ones in the strangers who sat in the cubicles next to me.
I silently breathed a sigh of relief as I saw them walk in.
Many times, leaning on the shoulder of a loved one. Sometimes pushed in a wheelchair.
Hooray for you.
You're still alive.

Sometimes they never returned.
I didn't ask my nurses about them.
I preferred to believe they simply finished and were doing well.
My own version of "Don't ask, Don't tell"

Some faces were older than mine.
Many were younger. A lot younger.
But we were there together, sharing this strange, surreal bond.
We would make eye contact
and we acknowledged each other with a nod and a smile.

I could soon tell the "newbies" from the "veterans"
They looked slightly bewildered. They cried a lot.
They still had color in their cheeks.
They had hair.

The vets were either gaunt in face
or puffy from steroids.
Multicolored scarfs and hats. (me)
Crooked wigs  (me again)
and finally, the "Ijustdon'tgiveashitwhatthehellareyoulookingat" naked bald (me also)

I am humbled by this experience as by nothing else in my life.
Those strangers I sat next to week after week
have no idea of how they inspired me.
They are my comrades. My heroes.
Even now I close my eyes and see their faces.

So I am blessed to be here, and I take this day to salute all of those people.
And to you, my friends and family.
Your love, faith and support have been my rock and
well where I draw strength.

Each day is such a miracle.
Each person is amazing.
You are all beautiful. I thank you all.

Life is good.
Love, Dixie

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