I'd been excited since scheduling bridal shopping with Steph about the trip even though I knew people were apprehensive about "dragging me out of bed.". The automatic inclination is to let the sick rest, a common thought meant to look out for the best interest. When I was healthy, I wondered too why the terminally ill still had degrees, careers, even kids. Now, I get it. I understand that I'm fighting a battle and that battle isn't to just exist. It is to exist and participate, especially in life's big moments and even if it means some discomfort. So S scheduled her fitting at David's Bridal and I started getting giddy about the "traditional bride experience" I thought she'd love. I wanted it to be full of "this is your day," "you're the queen," and "all eyes on you.". Showing up at the store with S, Aunt L, my mom and I, s got a little culture shock as we flew open the doors, grabbed chairs so I didn't pass out, ran smack into faux victorian desks with consultants trying to organize gaggles of girls, 6 other groups of brides with wedding parties, and immediately got a lecture from a pushy sales woman on the presence of her drink around the dresses, her lack of a date for Sept, etc. It was my job to blow passed that crap to the good stuff: playing dress up and finding a gown. Luckily S got through the gauntlet in good spirits despite the estrogen shock, and we got hooked up with the corner room besides the shoe room for lots of handicapped space. Having the dress options come, picking a gorgeous pair of shoes to "just try the dresses on" then buying them bc they look like jimmy choos, taking pictures and awwing was great, but you never know when a major life moment is lurking around the corner. I felt it in the air before I saw it. I'd stepped away to take my medicine when I saw S out of the corner of my eye, prancing and glowing. My mom rushed to get me back to see. She'd found "the dress!" The perfect one that made her feel regal, like the queen of her castle, a dress she could have dreamed about her whole life, a dress that could start a lifetime. I didn't really believe in moments like that, you know, love at first sight.... With a dress, but it changed the entire atmosphere of the store. Suddenly, all the staff, consultants, managers, district manager, seamstress (and all hands were on deck for the hundreds of women) were lined up and fawning over S. They were at her feet tailoring, bustling and saying she was gorgeous. The other parties were all looking. Everyone knew it was perfect and paid homage. It was contagious happiness. We even got teary. S rang and bell and got a wish before saying, "I finally feel like a bride." The happiness was deeper than I'd felt it in a long time, maybe even different than before, and it was being shared mutually by what had turned out to be a perfect group for the day. How could I ever miss that? Living with plans for the future, shopping for weddings, picturing better days ahead of vacations, even when the next hour is not guaranteed, makes life, and the pain, worth living. I've never regretted participating in what I thought was important. I have regretted missing sports, school events, even parties, especially when I get an infection anyway. I have lived without looking towards the future, and it felt dismal. Its fun to plan for better days even if they may be dreams. Nobody will ever tell you to miss a major life event, but you have to make yourself present and available. Friends, remember, we still want to support you. We're still us. Your lives are important, more than you realize. If you find yourself thinking of omitting someone due to their debilitating illness, talk to them. You maybe surprised being together heals more than hurts.
Sent from my Verizon Wireless BlackBerry
Baldies' Blog began originally in the UK by a 26 year old journalist with a blood cancer on a mission to inform the world about bone marrow donation.
He has since died, and I took on the cause of making cancer care more transparent for everybody.
Cancer is a disease that will touch everybody through diagnosis or affiliation: 1 in 2 men will be diagnosed and 1 in 3 woman will hear those words, "You Have Cancer."
I invite you to read how I feel along my journey and
how I am continuing to live a full life alongside my Hodgkin's lymphoma, with me controlling my cancer, not my cancer controlling me.
I hope that "Baldies' Blog" will prepare you to handle whatever life sends you, but especially if it's the message, "You Have Cancer."