breast cancer, life, teaching, Uncategorized

Light

Maybe the light at the end of the tunnel is becoming brighter.

Tomorrow is (hopefully) chemo appointment 6/6. Prior to the chemo appointment, I see my oncologist, and I’m hoping Dr. O has positive news for us. A is coming to my appointment. I’m so grateful he’s been able to come to almost every appointment I’ve had since this roller coaster started. We agreed that I don’t go to appointments alone. Someone needs to be with me to hear what the doctors say…not what I think they said. Thankfully, he’s been able to make every appointment except for one, and my mom came with me to that one.

I’m not nervous about tomorrow. Not yet. The nerves will come when I wake up in the morning. But, I’m going to do my best to live up to my #oneword commitment for this year: courage. I’m going to get up, put on my fleece lined leggings (best $5 I’ve ever spent), my Cancer Sucks shirt, and my new wig.

Several months ago when my hair began falling out, a chunk happened to fall out during my after school tutorials when I had 9 students in my room. Two of them saw it happen, saw my look of horror and shame, and one of them chose to say something about it. He told me, “You know what’s awesome, Mrs. V? Next week, you’ll be able to wear bright green or bright blue, or even purple hair, to school, and no one is going to be able to say anything to you about it.” Then, he went right back to what he was working on and didn’t see the tears in my eyes, or he pretended not to see them. It was a perfectly timed and perfectly meant statement from a kid who had known me for less than two months. His words meant (and still mean) so much to me.

Not long after that, he turned it into a dare. Every few days, he asked me when I was going to wear a crazy colored wig. I told him probably never. I didn’t want to draw attention to myself. I didn’t want people to know I needed to wear a wig. But, he was (and is) persistent. So, the last day of first semester, I wore a crazy wig…a red and white striped one. My students loved it. The one who dared me thought it was awesome. A lot of them smiled, grinned, and giggled when they saw me. My coworkers loved it. One of my principals and I did a selfie that she promptly posted on Facebook with why I wore that silly wig. And, you know what? It felt damned good to do something silly for my students and for myself. I even wore it to my chemo appointment. My doctor laughed at it and congratulated me for daring to wear it.

On New Year’s Eve, I decided I wanted a new wig. I wanted another crazy colored one. I wanted one for me. I went out in search of a black and purple wig. I came home with a black and bright blue wig. I love it. It makes me feel good. And, I would’ve never, ever, bought it were it not for my students daring me to be silly, my coworkers supporting me, and my friends, husband, and family encouraging my newfound appreciation for absurd hair choices. So, tomorrow, when I’m sporting those leggings and my Cancer Sucks tee shirt, I’ll also be sporting my new blue and black hair.

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It may not seem like much, but it’s courage. My courage to be silly. To be positive. To see a light at the end of this long tunnel.

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