shoes and normalacy

October 8, 2008 at 12:22 am

When my mother was diagnosed with cancer a number of years ago, she mourned the loss of hair that she would get with chemotherapy and even talked about not doing the chemotherapy. I had trouble understanding. Since I work with children with cancer, many of the most beautiful faces I know or have know have been below at least temporarily bald heads. How could anyone choose hair over the chance for life? She did get radiation therapy to her head and chemotherapy and her beautiful hair did not ever really return. About four months after she died, I was told that I too had cancer. In the week I was waiting for other tests, I mourned that I too would lose my hair. I realized then that it was not so much the hair as it was a sign of fitting into life–of looking normal and feeling normal. Fortunately I was told that I did not have cancer on additional testing, but that lesson has remained with me. I think that for Stacey and me and maybe others, the inability to wear “cute” shoes is not so much the issue as it is to no longer feel normal–like a part of young and vibrant life. I know as a single person after this illness hit, I often wonder–who would want me now? Instead of graceful, I walk like someone drunk; I cannot dance, I am quite limited in activities and have to rest so much, etc. This is not to say that I do not appreciate all that I can do and be still, it is just a statement that I miss the potential and the normalacy of life as it was. Excuse me guys, but I also miss feeling pretty and feminine, because almost all the time, I do choose practical and comfortable first. I do not say any of this to complain, just to say that sometimes little things in a person’s life represent more than just “cute shoes”.