Cancer is weird.
For 3.5 years I looked into the mirror and didn’t recognize the person looking at me.
First, it was scared eyes. My eyes had lost the look in them that made me feel invincible. I had learned I wasn’t.
A week or so later, I saw the cut on my chest for my port.
Then it was a bald head.
Then a bald, steroid filled, and puffed up faced person looking at me.
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Sometimes it was a teary-eyed, defeated person. Someone who had been up all night in pain.
I saw prickly hair come in, but “I” wasn’t looking back at me.
There was weight gain in my face and a haircut I didn’t choose.
Years of those different versions of myself constantly looking at me in the mirror, but today, I looked in the mirror and saw myself.
I saw my thin, straight hair and my excited eyes (as I was getting ready for an author visit and to meet a friend).
I saw someone who’s hopeful for the future.
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Someone without another surgery planned for 10 years.
Someone who didn’t feel the need to look away from the mirror.
I didn’t see the cancer version of me, or anything else, but simply me.
Cancer is weird. It brought me to realize that life is all about joy and finding it. I was okay with all the sacrifices, but I never saw me until today. It’s the first time in a long time I felt like I was getting a small piece of my old self back. It felt comforting.
Originally published on the author’s Instagram page