I miss me.
The me before cancer.
I wish my new since-cancer friends knew that me. I wish my daughter-in-law knew that me. I wish my husband could live with that me.
Except for my relationship with Jesus, which has exponentially increased in richness, the take-aways have been many. Some profound.
I have been teaching Gerontology for 35 years. So much of what I taught about the normal aging process is applicable to myself. I have the loss of visual acuity from the vitreous detachments, the loss of hearing from radiation, the muscle weakness and balance issues from the steroids, the huge memory loss. What else can this disease steal from me?
I miss the me that was sillier, more free-falling. I miss the me that was confident in walking 2 miles every day, unafraid of falling. I miss the me that did not have to ask my students to repeat themselves 3 times until I hear their answers. I miss looking out at falling snow without being glazed over by the vaseline-effect on my eyes. I want to read without the vitreous making marks all over my pages. My hair came in thin and sparse and around my forehead and top sides, no hair came in so I have alot of facial flesh. Too much. I don't like that I have been forced to become a germophobe to protect myself against any possible respiratory bug.
I feel more isolated, less quick to commit to anything, less quick to volunteer---not knowing how I will feel on any certain day. Maybe a soft shell started to develop around my sensibilities.
My husband loves me just as I am. For that I am so blessed. He also is the one who is most affected by my losses and the only person who intimately knows how they have changed me. His love and his support allow me to keep walking forward. His faith that healing will come and the old me will be redeemed means more than anything.
Perhaps the upside of all of this is that I have already had to adapt to all the aging-like changes that most of you haven't experienced yet. It is doable, y'all.
And God is still good. All the time.