I love my MAC eyebrow brush.
After their scrape with cancer my eyebrows have grown back slightly moth eaten. As I fill in the gaps between the hairs with my chisel brush, I muse it could be compared to painting by numbers, that’s another first for me, thanks cancer.
This shiny and new thrill of life is constantly stoked by gratitude. There are repeated nagging reminders of where I’ve been. I don’t want lymphedema thinking it can set up camp here, make sure the right arm doesn’t get stressed, carry with my left arm, one armed shopping is slow. The thought of traveling to the States is unthinkable, it would be easier to swim there loaded down with stones in my pockets than contemplate the preposterous insurance premiums.
The news wakes me, in the furure there will be a vaccination for breast cancer. My treatment for the condition will be considered medieval, drastic, destined to be part of the gory history of medicine. Perversely in its existentialist way the experience is something I value highly.
Before I sleep I am crowded with thank yous from the days various experiences. I wake to the knowledge, my body, the complicated machine, has kept on going. Again, my lips are parted as I breathe out, thank you.
I want the safety of the heat of two bodies wrapped together and make my own thick swaddled safe heat, piling my bed with duvets and throws. Mike tells me that sauna is an alternative cancer therapy, I like to think this is my body instinctively doing its thing.
I listen to the tape loop, once more my senses are blotted by the velvet darkness of music. Without asking for help, anonymously, my hand is taken in the black, a moments break from the stress of coping, silently I am guided to the next place. Betrayal is a caustic, scalding pain, sometimes too much to risk asking for help, for hours I sit uncomfortably saving my fading smear of strength to carry me back to the strong arms of home.
STOP! Get back in the moment.
The nurse carefully explains hospital is for the seriously ill. Patients are vulnerable, they are fearful, we must listen, they need kindness. Like a hug, relief washes over, there, I can feel safe, far from the outside familiar, of projections and assumptions.
Cancer free, I celebrate. The metaphorical pruning forced on me, has made good changes. The sifting through the experiences continues. New episodes of life are joined together as I sing, dance, run, jump and twirl, in a rain of cherry blossom petals.