So, as a cancer survivor, I sometimes find myself watching people and wondering. Wondering whether she has been thinking about how her bowels are working, or whether he even thinks about how efficient and effective his body is regulating the this-and-that of daily life. I find myself thinking about those taken-for-granted functions all the time. And with sincere apologies for the graphical picture I am about to paint, every bowel movement that I have (and believe me, they happen far too frequently) is a little adventure. Will it really feel like I've finished - that there is "no more coming", or will I sit and bear down, and bear down, and bear down, only to find that I wasn't as done as I'd thought. And what, pray tell, did I eat today that made that perfectly awful smell?? Can't really blame the chemo anymore, can I? I mean, it's been six months!
I know that I am one of the lucky ones. I (barely) had a tumor high enough to "save" my entire rectum and thus have no stoma to deal with every waking moment. I did not have radiation therapy - thus opening myself to a lifetime of potential side effects. And I have regained my weight and strength rather quickly. Can it be that last year at this time I was barely walking after major abdominal surgery?
We each walk through this life with our burdens, and our memories, and our trials. And the truth is that my trials are really no harder to bear than yours, or his, or hers. We all have those blasted trials. But I find that I am more tolerant these days, because things look and feel a LOT different this year.
And I, well, I really am thankful for that.