Monday, October 1, 2012

Unimportant, indispensable details

Thankfully I am a different person to the one I thought I was when they found my first melanoma, 11 years ago. Mainly because I didn't know what was going to happen.

But now I have that magic power of hindsight and that's what helped me keep it together and not lose it whilst I was going through all those tests a few weeks ago.

The morning of every day I was facing some test or appointment, I found myself obsessively fixating on my looks: what I wore, make up, accessories and hair.
One might say "you're going to hospital, for crying out loud! should you not be worrying about something else?!". Instead, I didn't.

Primarily I think two aspects plaid together behind this: immense gratitude and pride, and that inner, tiny part of me that will never come to terms with the big C.

During my routine yearly tests, I had never met any of the doctors that directly dealt with my case way back when, but I knew that, because circumstances were different this time, I was going to face those amazing people from 11 years ago.  In particular the oncologist that did surgery on me.
 I obsessed over how my eyeshadow was blended, I applied and reapplied a lip colour up to 10 times until it was as perfect as a partially sighted can get it. I changed about 10 outfits, for about half an hour I deliberated over what way to dress my hair.
I suspect it was how my survival instinct kicked in "focus on your looks, no thinking space to be worrying or freaking out about what is actually about to happen".
I took particular care in my appearance because I wanted to show them that their hard work had paid off. I wanted them to see the human being I developed in to. I wanted them to see that despite what happened then, I still bulldozed on in life. Yes, I have massively struggled, and still do, but I'm nevertheless fighting to get "there", to get to the top. I wanted them to look at me and think "wow, look at what we helped to flourish!".

Then there's that part of me that will never get to grips with the fact that, no matter what I do, no matter what great care of me I take, for the rest of my life I will always be prone to cancer.
During those hospital days I probably subconsciously thought "you'll always have this hanging over your head, no matter what you do, you have absolutely no control over it, you might as well control REALLY well what you can. Your looks".

I predict a massive encore next month for surgery and all the appointments there after.

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