Sunday, September 18, 2011

Second Life

Here it is... September.

One year ago, I had no idea the turn my life would take.  Just 9 months ago, 2 weeks after my recital last year, I found out I had breast cancer.  From that moment, my life flipped upside down.  While I tried to take each day at a time and deal with what came my way, nothing ever seemed really 'normal'. 

Time marched on and so did all my treatments and doctors appointments.  Previously, I was always so healthy and energetic, but this wouldn't always be the case now. I spent my birthday, anniversary and countless holidays and weekends making the best of it all.  It wasn't always easy, but you do what you have to and can do.

How different yet the same everything seems now.  I feel good.  I am working, dancing, running just as I did last year. Well, almost as I did last year - just a little lazy in the 'training' department.  The difference is that I'm thankful for each day I get to do it all over again.

So, this weekend I spent a few hours at the nail salon.  As bad as my nails were just a few months ago, these people were miracle workers. This one woman in particular (her name happens to be Mary!!) at this salon made them look just as they did before. 

But this time, I had someone else.  She had a heavy spanish accent and we didn't talk at first.  I don't even know her name because I could barely understand her.  She worked on my feet, which still have a heavy ridge at the top of the toe nail as a result of the chemo side effects.  When we moved to the chair to do my finger nails we were able to decipher our languages a little better.  I was marveling at how great my nails look naked!  She thought I was looking at the imperfections in her work!  When I was able to explain why I was so happy, she instantly smiled.  She too had breast cancer 9 years ago and had suffered the nail discoloration, pain, markings, etc. that I did.  Her's still show signs of that.  She was amazed at how good my nails looked.  We talked about breast size and hair and feeling bad.  All the memories that are so hard to erase.

Finally, she ended her time with me by talking about getting a second life.  Congratulating me for getting here and wishing me the best for my future.  I wished her the same.  We were instant friends - kindred spirits of sorts.

It's September.  I get to celebrate my kids birthdays - Sarah will be 23 and Alex 25.  Bob's is next and then mine.  In between is work, work, work, my dance recital and all the preparations that lead up to that, a run or two and plenty of other day to day activities.  It's a very busy time of year and I'm entirely grateful that I'm here to be able to deal with it all and enjoy all the craziness.  And then it's Thanksgiving... it will mark the year anniversary of the dreaded news.   But this year Thanksgiving is met head on as a celebration of life and hope.  I am truly thankful for my second life.

1 comment:

Lisa Buglione said...

We are all thankful for your second life... even the lady that did your nails ;) Lisa