I’m not particularly bubbly, my resting face looks like I’m totally pissed off, and my eyes water incessantly, so I often appear to be crying. I know this because people keep asking me what’s wrong and telling me to smile. My face is a total sham. In reality, I’m quite happy, a bit low key, and I don’t go around blubbering for nothing. I also enjoy a good laugh and don’t mind poking fun at myself. Sometimes, looks can be deceiving. And sometimes, when you catch it, a look can speak volumes.
I’ve learned a lot about looks in the past few years. I remember the look on my husband’s face when we learned I had multiple sclerosis (MS). I saw that same look again when we learned I had triple-negative breast cancer. That kind of look can break your heart. Then there’s That Look you catch by accident. The one that isn’t meant for you; the one that two people give each other about you. Yeah, I’ve caught That Look, too, and that’s a whole other story.
Getting back to my face, it has changed dramatically since my pre-cancer days. My eyebrows and eyelashes never did fill in properly and my hair seems like it belongs to someone else. But, as I’ve made peace with my sham face, I’ve made peace with my post-cancer face and hair. It is what it is, and the older I get the more I realize how little those things matter.
Remember when Care2 founder Randy Paynter asked you to “shine one glorious sunbeam of collective love” on me? He asked that of you because, as he put it, “together we’ll show that love is the most powerful force of all.” Indeed it is. Thank you, Care2, and thank you, Randy. Love. That’s what kept me going through illness and that’s what keeps me going still.
These days, I’m as healthy as most people I know. My MS is under control and there’s no sign of cancer. I’m alive! It’s 2014 and I’m still hanging in there, sham-post-cancer face and all. The road before me — what it holds and how long it continues — is a mystery. I’m just grateful I’m still living, laughing, and loving my way down that road.
Main Post Photo: Photographer/Copyright PetarPaunchev | iStock Collection | Thinkstock