Monday, July 25, 2011

49 - 28 - 35

Measurements?  Maybe if you were Barbie!  These numbers are not physical measurements but markers.

49 - Way back in the beginning of my writing this blog, I mentioned an article I read about other survivors and the goals they had.  Reasons to feel the pain of chemotherapy and radiation and cure yourself just to see your children get married or hold your grandchild.  I couldn't wrap my head around it back then.

I used to be the one who never broke the mold - laughing in adversity, enjoying any situation, serious professional when I needed to be, concerned for the safety of my family, a caring friend and supporter, tough enough to stand up to the big boys, etc.  A force unto myself.  Never really getting 'that' close to people so they would know ALL about me.  I created a good cover - stone cold Mary.

In my 49th year of life on this planet, I've become a different person. Many of these things about me haven't changed.  I still laugh and smile to make the best of a situation.  Life is fun, after all!  I always look on the bright side as an eternal optimist.  What has changed is I'm not emotionless as I once was.  I wear my vulnerability much more on my sleeve.  Tears flow a lot more easily than they ever have.  Sometimes uncontrollably - it's not my comfort zone, but I can't seem to help it.

Over the course of these last 7 months, the outpouring of love and support that has come my way has been overwhelming.  Cards and letters, internet chats and emails, flowers and plants all meant so much to me.  With each note, I felt my armor crack and finally crumble away.  It helped me to realize how many people I've effected and how I'm not done making a difference in others lives. 

My family, my friends, my dancer family, my office - all of them are the reason I did chemotherapy, surgery and radiation to cure myself.  I love my life and want to live more of it!  I'm not done yet.

28 - This week I finished my radiation treatments.  The extra safety measures to ensure we got all the cancer. I didn't feel the fatigue they described, just some soreness like a sunburn with the worst of it under my armpit.  It feels better each day.

35 - About a year ago, Bob and I were driving past a cemetery and we started to talk about heaven.  Being Jewish, Bob doesn't believe in the concept of a life after death but I do.  He asked me what I would look like when I'm in heaven.  Back then, my answer was I'd be 35.  When I was 35, I was in the best shape, my hair was still red and I was just in a good place.  Bob listened intensely and devised his own plan.  If I could be whatever I want, then he would be Brad Pitt!!! I think I have him on board with the heaven concept!

But seriously.  I've changed my mind.  When I go to heaven, I want to be who I am today.  I am incredibly satisfied at this moment.  I have some really fulfilling relationships as a result of this disease and wouldn't trade them for the world.  New friends, old friends, my family - they've all brought me to this place that I just wouldn't trade.


Elisa Hirsch-Cotter said...

Thank you for inspiring us all and taking us on this journey with you. You are an incredible, beautiful woman.

Wendy S. Marcus said...

I like who you are today. Well....I also like who you were yesterday...and the day before that...and the...well, you get the idea. I like YOU! On any given day! XO

Rosie said...

The blogs have been great and very courageous. I've always liked you, yesterday, today, and in the future and I love you for all the inspiration and kindness you have given to my daughter.

Sia said...

You have given us such inspirati0n to look at our lives and reevaluate "how important is that"
much love special Mary- you are a gift from God to the rest of us.

RitterBlog said...

But you won't mind if I show up as Brad Pitt! :))

Lisa Buglione said...

This might be my favorite blog of all! It really gets us in your head and heart. You are a strong woman to share all of these thoughts without hesitation! Thank you again, Lisa.