I spent 2 hours at the orthodontist Friday, at the end of which I found out that they’re ready to “begin treatment”. She’s been going to the orthodontist for 2-1/2 years now, so what that really means is that they’re ready to start preparing her for braces. I thought to myself, “Great! I’ve had all those bags of money sitting around, taking up space, now I can just bring them along to the next appointment. I was trying to figure out what I was going to do with those! What a blessing!”
Believe it or not, I spent some of that wait time not only thinking, but reflecting. I decided to jot down things I’ve learned from this whole cancer experience so that I could share some of them with you guys. By the way, mini Post-its and felt tip pens are not, I repeat, not the best tools for writing down such things. But, it was either that or my hand.
*I’ve learned to appreciate normal. The ability to do the things I’d do during the course of everyday life. Tasting. Having nose hairs–do you have any idea how much your nose runs without those things? Not having to schedule things based on whether it’s “good week” or “bad week”. Being pain-free. I’m 36 for crying out loud! Yet, it seems to me that lately a lot of my time has been spent living the life of someone much older with all the bone aching, doctor visiting, and pill popping. I relish normal these days. Even when I have to wait 2 hours at the orthodontist—hey at least I feel like being there!
*When you’re bald, scarves make you look like a cancer patient. Cute hats are better. Just plain bald shocks people, but seems to actually make them more at ease—as long as you have a good attitude and a smile—after the initial shock wears off. Plain bald, especially with the right accessories, says, “Hey—I’ve got cancer, but you know what? I’m still very much alive and kicking!”
*Most people who go through this sort of thing say that they learned that they’re stronger than they thought. In my case, I’ve learned that I’m not as strong as I thought. I’ve always been stubborn and had the attitude that I could do just about anything (except algebra) through sheer willpower. However, this time I was in over my head. Yeah, I’ve made it this far, but at my lowest points it was not by any strength of my own. In fact, being Miss Tough Stubborn Pants worked to my disadvantage, I think. It’s very difficult to go from having the mindset that you can do whatever you set your mind to do, to literally not being able to do the simplest thing. What a tragic day it is when you find out that your ego was full of crap, and you’ve been woefully misled all these years. The talents and abilities that I have are given to me by God to use, but I don’t own them.