I put this video on Facebook recently…but I made it a month ago. Actually, I was finishing it up as the year went from 2013 to 2014. A new year, one without surgeries and chemo. This year is going to bring it's own challenges for sure…but it felt good to leave last year behind…as much as I can.
This past year, I have been writing to deal with everything but I have also been taking pictures. Not that I need reminders that it happened, but I did need reminders that it happened and I could still find reasons to smile. Also, I took pictures because it seemed so surreal. It was happening to me and through the whole thing, I couldn't believe it. Also, the pictures showed the good people in my life. Not all of them, but some of them. The pictures remind me that even when things seems the worst, you can always find a reason to smile…even if you smile through tears.
I have had a few close friends watch this video while I debated about posting it. Each said they couldn't believe I smiled through the whole thing. I think part of the reason I did this was to remind me that it wasn't all tears, fear and completely loosing it. Because I did cry, a lot. I begged my mom to make it stop more times than I can count! I asked her over and over if it was going to ever end! It doesn't matter how old you get. When you are this miserable, all you want are your parents and all you want them to do is make it go away. And I spent a lot of nights just crying all night. And there were so many days and nights where all I could do was lay in bed…laying very still so I wouldn't get sick…and just feel this miserable. I couldn't think about anything. All I could do was lay there feeling so tired opening my eyes was a chore sometimes and feeling this horrible sickness all through me.
These pictures in this video, and so many others I didn't use, helped me remember that after each chemo…no matter how long it took…I was going to start to feel better. I was going to be able to get out of bed and move around a little. I was going to be able to stand outside and take a deep breath of air. So every time I could take a picture I made sure I was smiling. I was smiling because in that moment…I was beating this horrible thing. Or I was outside…not in bed. Or because I was able to do something for someone else and not dwell so much on myself.
I had a friend who would text me every day. More often then not I would wake up and there would be a text there already saying good morning and asking how I was doing. Then throughout the day they would send me texts just telling me about their day. Every day stuff. Often, I would be smiling in the picture because I had just gotten a text from them talking about work or their dog or just random things. Being pulled out of myself made me smile!
These pictures help because they remind me of that. Even now, months later, I'm still not anywhere near where I want to be. But I keep looking at these pictures and know that just like chemo, this too will pass. Yes, it goes inch my inch but in time, I'll be looking back at pictures of this time and remembering the things that made me smile in those pictures. And maybe that will help me keep future problems in life in perspective.
That is why pictures help.