It's been almost three years ago to the day that I started radiation for the tumor on the right side of my jaw.
I know. It doesn't seem like that long ago. Yet sometimes it feels as if it never happened--and also like it was just yesterday I started treatments. I still have daily reminders that are visible, as well as visible only to me. Like what? I have a nice smooth neck with a facial hairline that magically doesn't need a trim. (If you call radiation "magic"). I don't have to shave every day--the facial hair has become somewhat glacial in growing. If you read this blog often, you know the deal with my saliva. And because of the glands being compromised, I now have acid reflux--which is the only thing I take medication for, I'm proud to write. And I'm extremely proud of the fact that with so many radiation treatments--35, to be exact--that my skin and whole body isn't glowing like a Homer Simpson-induced, nuclear reaction.
Three years IS a long time when you're faced with death. I often think how we humans would act if we knew when we were going to die. Or at least knew we didn't have much time. Because the fact of the matter is, we all cheat, abuse and waste time. We don't take enough time to live in the moment. Yeah, I know. Our world is all about the clock, the weekend, the good times we are going to have. The time we count until we're over the current project deadline. The time it takes to get to and from work. (OK, enough about time. Seems to be my favorite subject matter for this blog).
I had lunch with a friend the other day whom I hadn't seen in years. They commented on how well I looked but also on how they could see what the cancer did to me. It aged me. Made me look like someone else, not Greg--at least to me. I especially see it in pictures, which I break down into "bc and ac" which is before cancer and after cancer. But lately, I've also seen something else that hasn't been there for a while--a smile in my eyes, in my soul and in my heart.
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