Actually I like good excuses. They come in handy. 2 years ago I had the cancer excuse, when I felt like. I don't think I ever really abused that. But it was nice to suddenly have an excuse to stay home and read. Mostly, it was a good excuse to take a look at my life and routines, friends and "work" and to decide what's important. We shouldn't need excuses for that.
I've been growing hair back over a year. It was kind of nice having an excuse for my bad hair days. I also had a great excuse for trying out new hair-dos. I never would have been bold enough to choose a pixie cut. It just suddenly appeared.
Now my curls are straightening. I won't be able to blame all my bad hair days on chemo curls forever. Yes, I'm already sort of missing the curls that drove me nuts. My hair still misbehaves terribly, but I don't spend any time on it, either. I love being able to just let it dry in the air... in whatever way it chooses.
My knees and toes feel a little arthritic, too. I assumed all this recent stiffness was due to old age. I noticed the symptoms a year ago when I turned 60. My oncologist suggested I stop Letrozol, (my hormone blocking med) for a month, since joint pain is a possible side effect. Nothing changed and I was a tiny bit relieved to just go ahead and take the meds for 4 more years. I don't want to be tempted to stop the drug that lowers my chances of cancer recurrence. I guess I'll just act like an old person and finish my morning run, with a wincing, slow-motion stoop to get the newspaper off the sidewalk.
What Has Changed?
Has cancer changed me? Do I need an excuse for extra wrinkles or achy joints?
It's been almost 2 years since Don and I posed with our kids. The photo was taken a couple weeks before diagnosis. Not that much has changed besides my hair... and Scott's.
The few changes have been good ones, like both kids being married. All 6 of are healthy and happy and I know not to take that for granted. I also know to appreciate every moment we're together, whether we're traveling together or just on the phone talking.
No Excuses Needed
After pondering over excuses, I decided my aching joints (which really aren't that bad) were a good excuse for using some of my sweet scented, pampering gifts. I soaked in the tub and I realized... I don't need an excuse for this.
Lounging is Good
Tub soaks and rocking chairs and lounging in general, is plain good for you. Especially, if it leads to some kind of good thought.
While soaking, I thought about the ridiculous noun, excuse. It's a negative word, associated with blame. I've decided to use that word as little as possible. If I just swap it out with the word motivation, it takes away the blaming tone. Nobody is blaming me for having a bad hair day. I need no excuse. My cancer was a motivation for change, not an excuse to change.
Ahhh. I feel much better now. If only I had a view of the Blue Ridge Mountains and a rocking chair. No one needs an excuse of old age or cancer, to enjoy that scene!