Friday, August 01, 2008

It's Fall

It may only be August 1st, but it's fall now. I go back to work on Monday and on Friday the kids start their fall semester. I went over to the high school today to take care of some business and get my "Sony Money." We teachers are given $100 to buy school supplies with on the tax free weekend. It's nice. I appreciate the money. Sigh, it is also, however, a complication to get it spent and on worthwhile things, in a hurry. You don't really get to buy things that you might want the most. Oh well. Thanks Sony. It's probably the only thing you do that I think is worthwhile. I am so NOT a fan of our governor.

Jewel goes to a different place on Monday to be cared for, and so do I. It's a bit of a commencement of sorts for me, in that I'm starting my life again, after it de-railed last year. Tomorrow is the one year anniversary of my diagnosis. 366 days ago I was well. In the next 24 hours my life would change forever. In the last year my body has been fundamentally changed. My peace of mind this last year has been forever stolen. My confidence has been altered along with my body. "Do I look ok? Is anything showing? Is my clothing adjusted properly? Are my prosthetics where they're supposed to be? Are they still where they're supposed to be? Does my pain or discomfort show? Can I do what I've got to do today? Am I ok?" And those thoughts go through my mind like every other minute. Close friends and family get to see a bit more of the anxiety, less of the "window dressing" and more of me without makeup or prosthetics. But ultimately I'm not comfortable with myself yet. I'm not sure I ever will be, but I hope I will. It's going to take a while to get used to the "revised" me. I'm still startled by my short, short, short hair. I haven't had hair this short since I was an infant! It is not ME that I see in the mirror yet. My curved, caved-in chest that no longer has that full, feminine set of "headlights" -- who does that belong to? My fat ass is shrinking as I work on eating more healthy. Twenty-five pounds of my ass is no longer there, so I really am continuing to change my body. Nothing is like it used to be. Who you see today, is not the ME that I have been. I don't have confidence in who this person is; I want to slid back into myself again, but I don't think that can ever happen. That ME is gone. This ME is ...someone I don't know or feel comfortable with yet. Boo, hoo. Get with the program and just get on with life. Well, I think I am, but that doesn't mean I feel right about it. The skin I'm in has literally had some significant changes this last year.

I see lots of positive and good things. I'm happy to be alive. I do not regret any of my decisions. I'm just getting used to a different self than the one I had grown into over time. So, be gentle with me a bit longer. I need a little longer to get used to this particular incarnation of myself. I admit to being a bit unnerved to go before the 9th grade students and their particular brand of cruelty. My backbone isn't as evident as it used to be. I have stage fright. Gotta sleep now. Definitely have to sleep now.


Watercolor said...

hugs and prayers.

Anonymous said...

Love to you for all you have been through, all you do, have done and will do.....You simply amaze me and call me to be more. Love, R

Anonymous said...

Go to yesterdays comment board!!!

Calypso said...

You are doing just fine, Joann!!!
From where I sit, we can all learn a lesson in humanity from you.
Thank you for sharing such personal and intimate times. I can only speak for myself, but I draw much wisdom and hope from your writings.
We can only hope to be as courageous as you are if we ever get in a situation like yours.
I have seen your pictures.
You are beautiful!!!


Amber said...

Do I need to come over and give you a shot of the Amber style of loud, pushy, and aggressive before going back to those morons... I mean freshmen?

I know you can do this. You are the strongest person I know. You looked at cancer right in the face and said "You can't have me. I may not be able to change the fact that you arrived, but you are leaving as quickly as I can make you, and I won't take no for an answer."

Why in the world do you think that you can't conquer a bunch of pubescent pimply-faced walking hormones? You beat cancer, and that is worse than teenagers any day.