Last week, I attended a wake for someone I barely knew. He had been a bartender at a lounge that my better half and I frequent often. Ok, not as often as we used to, or as often as we would like to, but often enough. Needless to say, I went to pay my respects and though I didn’t know him well, I knew him enough to know that when tragedy strikes our community, we stand together. Even if we are standing in a viewing line at the funeral parlor.
Though the atmosphere was somber and it was quite heartbreaking to see so many faces grieving and in pain, I am thankful that I was able to offer a few hugs to some friends I hadn’t seen in a while. One of those hugs went to my friend Duke.
With a tear in his eye, we quickly hugged, then he looked at me, rolled his eyes around my hair, turned to my girlfriend and said “she’s back.”
You may shake your head and think “ok, that means a whole lot of nothing.” But these two simple words gave me the greatest gift. What he said was something I’ve needed to hear for over 2 years but not sure those words would ever come.
It has been drilled into my head that I need to learn to accept the “new me” or the “new normal” as stated in so many cancer blogs. I know I’ve said this many times in the past, that I wasn’t particularly happy being the old me but I never stopped wanting her back. I grieved the death of the old me. I spent months in therapy trying to grasp how to be this “new me.” A few months ago I wasn’t even capable of going on a job interview because I had such little self esteem that I couldn’t get myself to feel worthy of any position. All of this because I didn’t feel like me. The me that I had been for 40 years. I felt like a shell of me.
Recently, I have felt like me. The real me. The old me. And thanks to Duke, I finally have confirmation that I’m not dreaming. I really am BACK!
So, this just proves that you can do ANYTHING you set your mind to! You can fight your way into remission and when they tell you that nothing will ever be as it was – you can call BULLSHIT!