I remember a conversation with a very dear friend of mine, whom had gone through treatment for cancer. Amongst the day to day we shared our feelings and emotions, as I had also completed treatment for HCV.
She wisely observed that what we had been through, not just the treatment, but the realization of our mortality, all the stuff that goes with treatment and there is a lot of “stuff”, appointments, reminders, all of it had changed us. She was right. Treatment changed me. A part of who I am is gone. A part of her had left and would never return. Wounded but walking.
I can’t change so that part of me that was corroded comes back, but what I can do is change the other wounds that I have accumulated. I can always allow for the rest of me to change, to grow or to be constant, to renew its former shimmer. I am not there, a little reticent still, but I look forward to the embrace between myself and the change that is around but not within me and the balance I hope to find when I settle, scarred but healed.
I can change those parts of me that strayed from the part of me that is my core; my values, my practices, my hopes, my emotions. I can change them back to what I believed in and who I was before treatment. It has been a long journey, but I have felt a new sense of safety, of comfort, of hope and trust and confidence as of late. Not only can I return to who I was, I can grow to become who I am which is who I am not in the present but will be soon. My potential. It is achievable again. I will live in my moments again, wholly.
What was turned unhappy is turning happy again and I am rediscovering joy.
My very dear friend said to me once that we will always be connected, our souls, for eternity. I believe her.
I believe in things that I stopped believing in.
It’s amazing what a friend can do for another. I love her for that. I respect her for who she is. Her beauty, her strength, her compassion. Her passion.
It’s amazing what my Doctor has done, my Specialists of various sorts, my Psychiatrist, the Nurses, all of them, the Art Therapist. Separately, they have put me together. They liberated me from a diagnosis.
I believe in joy again.
My friend is far away, the other side of the planet just about, but she is here with me, always, she is with me. I with her. Fragmented and connected. Buffered.
It’s not easy, and I know I will not feel this way every day, life isn’t supposed to be that way, but by being resilient, by having support and feeling supported I know I have the strength now, or at the least I am getting stronger so that when things are difficult, the joy doesn’t sink below the horizon as I felt it always did, it simply hides behind the clouds and emerges again because what I feel right now is connected.