Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Alice in Wonderland

I never noticed how blue Alice’s eyes are before. I don’t know if it was the loss of hair, or if identifying with her journey made me see her more clearly, but I’ve recently noticed that Alice has the kind of eyes that make me feel like I can see into her soul.
I didn’t get to know her all that well when we were on the Busting Out dragon boat team together, but I recognized all too well the look of shock and disorientation on Alice’s face when I saw her shortly after the recent diagnosis of bone metastasis. It’s kind of like watching a movie that I’ve seen before, only I’m seeing it through someone else’s eyes, rather than my own this time.

Just about every week since her diagnosis, Alice has shown up either to walk with our Saturday morning group or meet us for breakfast afterwards. What amazes me about her on those Saturday mornings is how often she smiles. She talks about what the doctor says and her treatments, but she continues to smile (just like in her picture). I’m sure Alice has shed her share of tears, but there’s something hopeful about the human spirit’s ability to continue to smile, and even laugh, despite the knowledge that cancer has once again taken up residence in your body.

Alice has a new wig. I think she looks hot and especially like the soft pink streak she had added to one side.

Alice writes: I look at life today with hope and joy at being alive, feeling good physically, being able to go for long walks, continuing my paddling, looking forward to the paddling outside and the festivals and the summer which is my favorite season. I have always been a positive person and love to help others and I am getting all of that back now through all the support. This is also true of my work situation where I have been very supported even though I have not been there long.

My advice to others with a recurrence is to stay positive, have someone with you when you see the medical professionals, don”t read too much that is negative, stay as healthy as you can, accept support from others, don”t work too hard and be good to yourself. Enjoy each day and don”t think too far ahead.

You can read Alice’s full story, in her own words, here: http://fullstory-edge.blogspot.com/2008/04/alice.html.

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