He watched me cry tonight. It’s hard, walking this line, trying to be normal yet knowing you’ll never be who you were before those four words, “you have breast cancer,” came out of the doctor’s mouth.
The tears that ran down my face were tears of mourning. I cried for what I’ve lost and what I’ve gained.
I lost my breasts. I gained fake ones. I lost feeling below my belly button to create those fake ones. I gained a flatter stomach with an incision still trying to heal where fluid leaks and stitches come through the skin. I lost my hair. It’s slowly growing back. Do I want to keep it short so it’ll be easier to shave off if cancer knocks on my door again? Do I grow it out in defiance, as a middle finger, to cancer should cancer knock on my door again? I lost my sense of well-being. I gained an appreciation for moments. I lost a year of my life to treatments. I gained stiff joints and aching feet.
Pinktober is overwhelming. Being a young breast cancer patient is overwhelming. Advice comes from all corners, and it makes me question everything I do. Eventually, it becomes too much, and when it does, he watches me cry. Silent tears run hot down my cheeks. I feel safe enough to let my mask, my facade, slip away, to let the cracks show. I don’t let the mask go with many people, but I do with him.
It renders him helpless, the tears, the quiet cracking, the slipping of the mask. He wants to help, but he can’t. The emotions are mine. The losses are mine. The aches are mine. The scars are mine. He has his own, though. This journey changed him, too. Scarred him, too. He hides them easier than I do, and I’m envious.
Time hasn’t healed my wounds, yet. Maybe it never will. Maybe I don’t have enough time left for time to heal these wounds. Maybe I will be lucky and live long enough for time to scar the wounds on my soul.
I’m ready for October to be over. I’m ready for less pink. Pink is my trigger now. The sight of it, of the ribbon, fills me with apprehension. It puts me on guard for it symbolizes that which causes the tears. It reminds me of the aches and pains. Somehow, they’re more acute.
Can’t you just let it go? Can’t you just move on? Can’t you celebrate the fact you’re alive? Can’t you be you?
Look at the tears. They are my answer