This week last year I was recovering from my very last chemo treatment. I was waiting on the wig we had ordered, hoping it would come in time for Michele’s Oscar party Sunday night. In the words of my son when we got back from his 5-year immunizations, and he savored a lollipop in front of a Disney movie as the tears dried on his cheeks, “You know what happens when you leave that place? You feel good.”
I’ve been a little bit crazy with happiness during the anniversary of that very great relief, which is saying a lot for a girl who so passionately hates her hair. I remember a time during those chemo weeks when I could only vaguely hope that one day I would wish for things again. Now I have such a list! I remember not having an appetite for anything ever, and you should have seen me savoring a bowl of raspberries today. I was a little bit blue from one of the medicines, and now I’m perfectly pink-and-white and rather proud of it even in this world that much prefers a tan.
When I got through with chemo I loved my house, its million-and-one flaws softened by my gratitude for the love soaked into its furniture and floorboards and walls. I feel grateful again, just remembering that. And, I have to face it: I thought my hair would never grow at all. Jared and Dad, who shaved their heads for me, needed haircuts again long before I saw a smidge of growth. And that makes me grateful for even these frustratingly too-short curls.
I’m alive. That’s the goodness. I know a little more of exactly what I can handle. And I face a whole year that’s blank, blank, blank with possibility. Who knew blank could look so good?