The Day After

Day After

All my life I have felt the most myself when I am in, on or near the water, preferably the ocean. I went there today so I could feel that peace and feel like myself on a day when I feel nothing like myself.

It is the day after.  It is the day after I was told “it is cancer”. With no history of it in my family, at 47 years old, I am now in a club I didn’t want to join. I have breast cancer.

It is the day after. There have been phone calls and texts, tears and lots of hugs. Telling people seems to be getting tougher as the reality sets in and as I absorb the loving reactions of those I have talked with. It is the day after and I am tired and this is just beginning.

But I want to tell you about the day of, the day I learned I have cancer. Just before I went to the hospital to get the results from my biopsies, I had a commitment to keep. I have been a reading volunteer in a Portland kindergarten class. The nurse had just called me before I walked into the school and I could tell from her voice that it was not good news. She wanted to see me right away. I told her I would come to the hospital after I finished reading to the class. I walked in the school with fear in my heart and feeling vulnerable. And then as I waited in the lobby, I felt a little tap on my leg. I turned and saw one of the little boys from the class. He said, “I remember you!” and before I knew it, I was being hugged. We walked into the classroom together and then I was overwhelmed with more hugs and big huge smiles.  And I forgot about my fears and the appointment to follow. I cannot explain how those three words soothed my fears. “I remember you.”

It is the day after. If I did not call or text you or come by to see you today to tell you in person, I want you to know that if we are “friends” here it is because I remember you. I will always be ready to give you a hug and will be happy to see you. I am just at the point where individual conversations about the diagnosis is too much. So I write because that is one way I feel like myself. Writing has always been how I process and as I have the energy that is what I will do.

It is the day after.  As I looked at the ocean earlier and then sat down to write this, I felt more like myself for a moment. We will see what tomorrow brings.

-Mug Up Mermaid

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