There’s an old (about to be paraphrased) story about a woman who buys a monkey’s paw from a dusty old emporium and is told it will make her wish come true. She wishes for a million dollars and goes home to find a man with a suitcase of money… which turns out to be compensation for the fact her son has been accidentally paralysed at work.
I’ve thought about this a great deal of late. What if The Secret isn’t actually ‘ask, believe, receive’ but rather ‘ask, believe, receive…at a price.’
There are a few things in my life that wouldn’t be here if it weren’t for the little c. Silver linings, blessings in disguise, call them what you will but while you wouldn’t wish cancer on anyone, I think a tally at the end of this bastard’s banquet will reveal a net gain.
New boobs Earlier this year, I bemoaned the unevenness of my breasts and flirted with the notion of having them cosmetically altered. I even researched what it’d cost and decided it wasn’t worth $10,000. Now, I have paid that princely sum and more to a cosmetic surgeon and am on my way to having perfectly symmetrical breast-shaped objects. True, there’s no nipple on one side and I’ve lost all sensation within them but on the plus side, I will never have to wear a bra again. All because the real ones tried to kill me.
A writing opportunity At a similar time I remember feeling extremely frustrated about wanting to write or blog about something truly meaningful. I wondered about becoming a mummy blogger. I’m sure I could have churned out a number of witty pieces about becoming a professional arse wiper, losing your identity and your shit, but the notion just didn’t excite me. Lots of head racking later, the universe whacked me around the head with a doozy of a muse. And here I am.
I’m less hefty Also at a similar time (I must have spent months whining) I was annoyed that I couldn’t squeeze into pre-baby clothes and so embarked on regular exercise, which kind of helped but only marginally and only slowly. Then those stubborn post-partum kilos flew off during the what I like to call the “waking at 2am and fearing for your life” diet. Fact: people with cancer do lose weight. Anxiety will do that to a person.
An increased appetite for risk I’ve got a severe case of the “fuck its” these days. That bit of money under the mattress, let’s invest it (once we’ve paid for the new boobs of course). Faye, you’ve been saying for ages we should chuff off to Surfer’s Paradise for a night out. Shall we do it? Let’s do it! Because, well, YOLO, right? Please trust me on this: Y really, really, really OLO.
Reasons to be cheerful The broader, low level, lingering depression I talked about in this post has all but gone now. Instead of plunging me into a ‘proper’ depression the cancer diagnosis flung the windows open and all the whiny, fusty air flew out to make way for my new reality. I was shocked, scared and anxious, but not depressed. There was shit to do! Still is.
But when it’s all over, which it will be soon, I will regard life with a renewed sense of gratitude.
I will sleep at 2am.
I will make packed lunches with a smile.*
Each and every God-given day, I will celebrate the fact that I’m here.
I am here!
*except for this morning. This morning having to do that made me batshit cranky.