For nine months I showed up, twice a month, then every week and then every day. I showed up, every time, to willingly hand over a piece of my identity.
I could make a list of everything I consciously submitted to this process. So many tangible sacrifices. I gave up privileges. I gave up my ability to recognize myself in a mirror and gave up days at the park with my girls. Yet at the end of the process, these aren’t the sacrifices that are leaving me raw.
On the last day of my cancer treatments I was not jumping for joy, like you might think. Instead I sat, quietly, with tears rolling down my face. Raw, is the best way I know to describe the feeling.
I expected, as my strength returned, I would find myself as I was last November. Instead I find myself changed. The landscape of my heart has been altered more than that of my skin. I feel as if I have shed an old identity. One that served me well but was not to be carried into a new era.
Here at the end, I realize I spent nine months focusing on the external changes and haven’t spent enough time acknowledging the internal.
Now that the season has passed, life looks different. I look different. I feel different. And I am not sure how to start again.