What cancer took away

1.  My sense of taste.  Things that used to be sweet now often taste bitter or metallic or just plain gross.  Salty foods can taste bland.  I hope this side effect will go away in time.  My figure will attest to my love of food, and while I’d like to become more svelte, I’d rather not do so while hating the taste of everything I eat.


2.  The color of my hair.  Another side effect of pazopanib, I can probably live with this.  Who doesn’t want to be blonde?  I am hesitant to deal with the fading green dye job on my head because I want to see the blonde roots grow out.  Meanwhile, I can spend ages marveling at how hairless my legs, arms, and upper lips look, even when they are covered with hair.  I may never have to shave or wax again.


3.  My continence.  No!  Don’t fear!  It isn’t always that bad, but I can’t ever be certain whether my stomach and my bowels will be kind to me on any given day.  I tend to try to remain close to toilets when possible.  (Yes, that upcoming camping trip is making me nervous.)


4.  My inhibitions.  I’m so much more willing to let people in and to let them let me in.  I can take people as they are and value them as is.  And let them do the same for me.  What’s the worst that can happen?  I’m already dealing with that which will kill me, so the worst would be that I grow stronger.


5.  A reliable brain.  If it isn’t in front of me or if I don’t do it immediately when I think of it, it probably won’t get done.  Sometimes it won’t get done if it is right in front of me.  In my previous life, I’ve been a fairly organized person, even doing work as a professional organizer.  Now I can better understand the people I’ve worked with.  I look at the clutter on my dining table, and I just can’t make the decisions about how to deal with each piece.  Decisions that used to be easy are so difficult or energy draining now.


6.  My future.  What I thought my life would be has been taken away.  I always hoped to be a grandma; I looked forward to when my children would grow up, leave the house and become adults, giving me time alone with my husband;  I wanted to grow old with him.  Will I get any of these experiences?


I no longer have a prescribed path to follow.  My old future is gone, but a new future has opened up.  One that is different and unexpected, but also one where I feel I have more power to make the time I have be what I really want.  More chances and risks to take, more experiences to try, more ways to push myself, more ways to live while I can.

photo credit: arnoKath via photopin cc
photo credit: {Guerrilla Futures | Jason Tester} via photopin cc


3 thoughts on “What cancer took away

  1. My doctor said that those that survive are the ones with a positive attitude instead of anger. You sound like a survivor to me. Isn’t it amazing how when life seems it might be snatched away, we really learn to appreciate every moment? My thoughts and prayers are with you.

    • I keep trying to be positive. This week proved difficult on that count, but hopefully next week will be better. School is over, we can sleep in and get rested, and all of that should help my levels of cope, that’s for sure. I’ve been reading your story and loving your voice – the humor, especially. Thanks for coming by!

  2. Please hang on to your sense of humor. It’s the one thing cancer can not take away, although i promise it will try very hard. Laughter eases tension, allowing your body to rest, rest = heal. Additionally, laughing at anything removes it’s power. Stay strong, you can do this.

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