19 December. I am grateful we made it to Sydney, for my own words whispered in my ear by my sweetest Jem, mom, this too will pass, and for the best sister imaginable.
We were discussing the mid life crisis thing yesterday. And the scary obsession with youth. It is interesting how very few of us escape it. Whether it is that nagging feeling and fear of being anonymous. That slight irritation when only old men glance in your direction these days. Whether it’s the need for the ongoing botox and fillers to try and recapture what was. And the sadness at realising you can’t. Whether its that panic feeling in the middle of the night as you wonder is this it. Or that even more panicked feeling when you see your slightly saggier face looking back at you in the mirror as you wonder, is it too late for me? Is it over? Is it too late to follow my dream? Do I have a dream? Everyone in some way starts to wonder and question and too often regret. Sadly on a physical front earlier and earlier. I am surrounded by exquisite younger women who inject themselves with all sorts of things to try and make themselves look as beautiful as they once did. To me they are even more beautiful today. And all they are doing is losing the expression of themselves. I so understand the fear of ageing, especially it’s toll on our bodies. And on our sense of self worth. And the middle aged are generally ignored by all. So we can become slightly desperate.The middle aged. Shit, how funny is that. I am middle aged. Actually ten years older but the anonymity thing remains. I am filled with questions and wonder and sadness and yes regret but I genuinely find a little more acceptance of myself and a little more appreciation of my wisdom and a stronger sense of self. I love knowing that I have so much more to offer, because of my path, which has led me to here, lined and all. I love being me, saggy bits and all. I want all my friends just to realise how beautiful they are, how lucky they are, how lovely it is to be able to read the expression on their faces, to see them. And how much they have to offer that goes far beyond the physical. How just being them is enough. There is no crisis unless we make it one.
I had the worst day yesterday. I saw my oncologist, my breast cancer surgeon, my radiologist, my gynaecologist. I had a mammogram, an ultrasound, a bone density check, blood tests, a gynaecological internal and then some, I was examined, prodded and pricked from head to toe. I sat for three hours amongst all the new and existing chemo patients at the Donald Gordon, filled with compassion and a desire to tell them all it would be alright, even though for some it wouldn’t be and what they should know, and then filled with nausea at the smells and the memories, the tears and the fear. I sat in virtually the very same chair that I remember B said he saw the realisation of what had happened and was going to happen finally dawn on me. As I waited for my first taste of adriamycin, aka the red devil, the penny dropped and I nearly ran for my life. I would have if he hadn’t put a steadying hand on me. I sat there yesterday, overwhelmed by it all. I saw all these people sitting with their support teams, but you can immediately see who is in treatment, just by their eyes. It is a lonely journey. I wish everyone who is on it the inner strength to see it through and the ability to see the love that is around them. I had the worst day, but also the best day, because I felt different. I felt like an observer.