Buy the Good Shoes and Don’t Take Your Arms for Granted

Buy the Good Shoes and Don’t Take Your Arms for Granted
Change (v): Make or become different. Cancer will change you. It will become a catalyst of transformation, a revolution of your existence. It separates your life into two versions of yourself: You before cancer and you after cancer. My before-cancer self is someone who took things for granted; who was blindly unaware of many things, including her health and the delicate brevity of life. When I was three days post-mastectomy, I couldn’t lift my arms to wash my hair or brush my teeth. I had tubes that dangled under my armpits; they were sewn into my skin and collected blood from the inside of my chest. I laid back over the bathtub as my boyfriend Jeff washed my hair, and I couldn’t help but think how ludicrous this was. At that moment it dawned on me — I had taken my own arms for granted my entire life. Arms! What I wouldn’t have given to be able to use my arms in that instant. Then, a few months later, as I raised my arms to touch my cold, bald head, I thought: What I wouldn’t give to have that hair again, even when I was unable to wash it with my  T rex arms. After things are taken from you, you miss them. We sulk and reflect back to the “old days” with sad, polar eyes. When familiar comforts, like working arms and hair, are no longer there, you realize how you’ve foolishly been unaware of their importance. As Joni Mitchell sang, “Don't it always seem to go, that you don't know what you've got till it's gone.” With cancer, you’ll gain more than you lose. Sure, I lost some physical attributes, but I gained confidence, acceptance and wisdom. When all of my material crutches were taken – pretty hair, long eyelashes, breasts, a skinny body­ – I was left with only my mind and soul. It’s a blank slate, a clean canvas, a new birth,
Subscribe or to access all post and page content.


  1. Georgia Czapiewski says:

    I love this article. It is so inspirational! A great reminder to not let life pass you by even though you have cancer. I love the way she defined the two mes, the pre-cancer me, and the after-cancer me. So true! Thank you for this great article that says a whole lot with not a whole lot of words! Namaste, pink sisters?

  2. Melanie says:

    Thanks for the kick in the butt! I have been getting more complacent and pushing down the thoughts to get busy and do things i need/want to do.
    Prayers and God’s blessing on your life

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.