I’ve been putting off starting a blog for some time now but it keeps coming back and haunting me. I feel like I should be journaling some of what it has been like going through a diagnosis of breast cancer, surgery and then treatment. Perhaps it might help someone else who is just starting the journey or answer questions of someone who has no idea what it is like. Perhaps I need to do this if for no one else, just for myself. I’ll start this today and see where it may lead.
I’m titling this blog site “A pilgrim’s ponderings” for a reason. I did give it quite a bit of thought. I’m obviously not off the Mayflower. Merriam-Webster calls a pilgrim “one who journeys in foreign lands.” Before getting a diagnosis of breast cancer I knew almost nothing of cancer or treatment. I learned a whole new language of terminology, drugs, treatments, options, side-effects, tests, kinds of specialists, etc. Initially it was like taking a journey into a foreign land that is now not so unfamiliar.
The other reason I chose “pilgrim” was receiving a diagnosis of cancer has given me a different outlook on my time here on earth. I could go on forever about that but will save it for another blog. It has helped to put many things into perspective including how short our time here on earth really is. As a Christian it has solidified in my heart that heaven is my home for eternity and I am only a pilgrim passing through.
I know that “ponderings” is not a word. Pondering is a verb and a ponderer is a noun but there are not ponderings, at least not in the dictionary. But they will be here in my blog. Whatever I am thinking about or reflecting on in my brain that comes out on paper is a noun and a collection of them, which I hope to write would be plural. Selah.
So, what has this pilgrim been pondering? Plenty. Chemo can do many different things to each patient because all chemo is different and specialized for each patient but one thing that I have found true of all chemo patients is that it tires you out! When you’re tired, you think and ponder because that is something you CAN do.
I have read and heard from other cancer patients that cancer is one of the best things that happened to them. Sounds strange right? Getting a cancer diagnosis puts your life on a different course, forces you to put the brakes on and really think about life, your life. No one or nothing is taken for granted anymore. Whether you have a good prognosis or an unfortunate one, you have gone through some sort of waiting period for test results that made you think about the amount of time you may have left here in this life.
The sad thing is that for those of you reading this that have been blessed not to have ever received a cancer diagnosis, many of you live each day the same as if you will live to a ripe old age. The truth is that anyone of us could get hit crossing the street or riding in a car and be gone tomorrow. When I got news of my cancer and someone was concerned with the possibility that I could die from it, I reassured them that I was more likely to die from a car accident or something else than from cancer. How much time does the average person spend thinking they should live their life to the fullest and live each day as if it’s the last?
A cancer diagnosis gave me the freedom to have fun. When I found out that I would lose my hair from chemo I went and ordered a wig to have on hand. They tell patients to go before they actually lose their hair so the style and color can be matched. I did go before my hair fell out but I did not want the exact same style or color. This was my chance to have some fun and do something different. I am so glad I went blonde for the first time, not that blondes have more fun but it has been fun having something different! Once school was out and the hotter weather was here I did not want to wear the wig daily. Round 2 of fun started with colorful scarfs and big earrings. Now to the term pilgrim I guess I have to add the word gypsy! Life is too short to be stuck in a rut!
Well it’s time to go have some fun. Let me know if there are any things you’ve wondered about from anyone with cancer and I’ll try my best to let you inside my head. Nothing is too dumb to ask like, “What was it like when your hair fell out?” to “Do you need to shave your legs anymore?”