The first slap

The first slap
This photo was taken the day after I was diagnosed, and it is my first bitch slap at cancer. I'm the one with the icepack symbolically placed on my boob. My teammates changed our team's uniform to pink at the last minute, and I came off the soccer field that night with one goal and a whole lot of love. Several of these women are my close friends, but they are all warriors, and they all helped me set the tone for this fight.

Monday, November 25, 2013

Introducing Grace

Meet Grace. She is a little fluffy dog that easily fits around my finger or in my pocket. My friend Zanne gave her to me last night: A new companion as I begin what will certainly be an unpleasant series of treatments. (See my post "on strength and grace," and Zanne's and Jim's comments, for a bit of context here.) She will go with me to surgery, to chemo, to doctors' appointments, and to radiation. She will sit by my bedside, both when I'm calmly dreaming of not having cancer, and when I'm quietly weeping. I will wrap her paws around my finger when I feel sad or scared. And I will train her to growl at adversity. I wonder, can I train Grace to deliver a bitch slap?

Those of you who have dogs or are dog lovers know that they can be warm and fuzzy, but also messy and smelly. They may lovingly lick your chin and nuzzle your check, and then turn around and poop on your carpet. Your dog will wag its tail excitedly when you come home, and when she arrives on your lap, you may get a whiff of the pile of dead stuff she just rolled in, having spruced herself up for your arrival. Such is Grace--many forms, at times messy, but always welcome.

Like me, Grace may not always look or smell pretty during this process. She may take on a rough and weary appearance at times. But while treatment won't be easy on either of us, I can now say that I will be going through all of this "with Grace."

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