Sunday, 26 February 2012

Standing in the rain

The amazing power of something small and trivial, and its ability to create havoc with your emotions.

In my hand is a small rhinestone hair slide. It's pretty, sparkly and a symbol of everything I feel cancer has stolen from me; a stark reminder that I am damaged, scarred and hurting both inside and out.

A tiny thing but still big enough to allow reality to sneak through my defences and bring my world crashing down. I have lost so much and I am struggling, floundering, flailing around trying to find a way forward, a pathway through the darkness back to my spot of sunshine and warmth.

Where is that sunshine dammit? Why am I standing here crying in the rain?

The anguish I felt when I happened upon the hair slide was overwhelming. Somehow it really did sum up all that has been consigned to the past, because right now I don't think I'm ever going to feel comfortable and happy with the body that breast cancer has left me. Once upon a time I would have berated myself for vanity but it really isn't as simple as that. As a performance artist, how I look is an intrinsic part of who I am, both on stage and off and it is not the person I see looking back in the mirror. I ache for what is gone, not just because cancer rewrites the path of your life whether you want it to or not, but the fact that even the simple pleasure of putting a pretty slide in my hair is denied me. Well, yes of course I can still put a slide in my hair, but it is not the same because it doesn't add a touch of glamour or frivolity, all it does is emphasize the fact that my hair still isn't growing back properly and that it doesn't look like my hair.

So here I am.

It's raining hard.

I don't have an umbrella and there's no shelter in sight - it's going to be a long, cold night.

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