This past Sunday was the Lurie Cancer Survivors Celebration Walk. I was all poised to go with 11 family members & friends. I had registered, order and picked up the t-shirts. Family was parked in various positions in small living room. Friends were ready to meet us at Grant Park.
And then…The Freakout.
All I did was put on that stupid, I’m-the-survivor-in-purple t-shirt and it started. A creeping of the skin, a growing nausea in the pit of my stomach and then….
I bawled. And bawled. And bawled. On and off. For like four and a half hours.
It felt like that by putting on that shirt I was putting on my cancer all over again. Wearing it. Out there. For all the world to see.
And I FELT it -the oozing, creeping, lurking black-sludge adenocarcinoma that I will not survive.
It’s in here. It’s in me. It IS me.
Why the hell was I putting on a purple t-shirt and planning and going out there and celebrating it?
The family, confused at first, rallied around me. My oldest told me, “Mom, if you don’t want to do this thing, just say so.” I replied, “I don’t want to do this thing.” “OK,” and she was off to call people who were on their way.
My wondrous husband who is largely cerebral held me and told me to let it out. He talked to me and helped me go through all of the emotions with my mind, using language like I like.
My sister arrived and told me that it was so good that I was doing this and talking about it. It was healthy.
It felt like a hard vomit - the kind that leaves you sore and exhausted, and still a little sick after.
Then we went to my sister's and had burgers, brats and hotdogs.
Today, I still feel a little dazed and tired, but I am mostly profoundly and solidly thankful for my family.
I will celebrate them – instead of this crummy, nasty-ass cancer.