My room smells like breast cancer, and...joy?

On Monday morning, after my family members were all off pursuing their various educations and professions, I walked into my room and I was taken aback with a huge sense of deja vu. It was quiet. It was clean. Bill had left on the air purifier (which had in recent months taken up residence in Emma's room). Most importantly, the light was just exactly the same as it would have been two years ago when I was in that same room, recovering from my mastectomy (daylight savings time, still no leaves on the trees, sunny but with no snow on the ground to make it shocking...). I was taken right back to those early days of my breast cancer.

It was almost a nice familiar smell and scene - the peace of kn0wing I was on an upswing (in one way - the cancer was cut out, and I only had one way to go - up and out of everything) mixed with the fear that I still had some hard things in front of me. I think remembering that upswing - feeling it, in that instant - gave me some hope.

Sometimes I feel like grieving is a cop-out. How can missing a person, missing being a daughter, and the pain of hard memories actually cause a person to be as "off" as I feel like I often am? Am I just lazy, and making excuses for that? I have a hard time feeling like it is OK to be "off", and I have a hard time believing that I'm not always going to be a little wrecked from all of this. I have not really been so certain that I could be on an upswing, any time soon (though I tell myself it will come, I'm not sure I always believe it).

Then I walk into my breast cancer bedroom - that quiet, clean-smelling scene - and FEEL something again...or then, yesterday, for just a teeny-tiny instant, while I was running on my treadmill, I felt one flash of my joy. Both sensations were so quickly gone that I can barely believe I felt them - but I am so grateful for those flashes.

I think they mean that the girl that I am when I am at my best might still be here, somehow. Could I manage to catch that upswing?

1 comment:

Amy said...

IT can't possibly be laziness, or a cop-out- the "off" that you are feeling; I feel it too! The sadness hits me at different times- out on a walk with M and see a boat on a trailer in the shop, or seeing the pictures that Bill sent of Matthew THAT day. These things make me tear up- and that is not just laziness.