God, I love the way the wind feels through my half-inch hair. A big blow has been exhaling through Michigan for many hours now and my tiny follicles, like the long stringy willow tree out back, have been dancing in the breeze.
One of the first things they teach you at Cancer College is how your perspective on life will change. I keep waiting for a dramatic shift and all I get are little bitty glimpses of appreciation. The breeze through my hair, which nowadays I “wash” only a few times a week, is one of those moments where I remember to be thankful. Shampooing used to be a daily drudgery. Wild, unkempt hair in the wind never looked good on me. “Ha,” I say to myself now, “take that, Suave.”
You also learn at Leuk U. that there are many strange side effects to your treatment. Apparently the tingling in my left arm that I’ve been feeling for a week and a half isn’t a slow-moving heart attack or a stroke taking its time to strike. The technical definition for it is, well, tingling in the left arm.
A doctor has told me this twice, this week and last. I also heard second-hand from Marci’s chiropractor, who strangely knew a whole heap about cancer, that if my tingling was serious, I’d know it by now. I’ll leave it up to you to decide which doctor made me feel more assured, (HINT: The first doctor was the one who missed the warning signs for my blood clot).
As I drive home with the windows down and greet young man willow out back I laugh at how just a few words from a few doctors can completely change my attitude. No longer am I harboring sinister secret enemies slowly springing a trap. Now my biggest fear is psychosomatic illnesses running roughshod in my mind, taunting me with their, “Uh-oh, what ifs,” and their more diabolic, “If you don’t go to the ER nows.”
I love the way my new ‘do and the willow just let the wind blow without a care. Neither are re-shaped, even temporarily, nor do they seem to stress out that there’s a breeze. A logical leap would be for me to wish that for myself, but I think not caring or not being affected just aren’t in my toolkit. I am affected by lots of things, everything. My greatest strength is my greatest weakness. Its name is sensitivity.
I’ll probably still worry, just a little, that the tingling is a harbinger of something nefarious. I’ll wonder why I need to collect 24 hours worth of urine in a bright red jug before checking in for my stem cell swap. And when the centimeter or two of hair falls out then grows back, I’ll probably once again care how I look after a stiff breeze or shower-less morning. My perspective will shift. But will my vanity?