My Survivor (6 Sentences)

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Dolomiti - Val di Funes e le Odle

lui­gi via Comp­fight

 Can­cer free for a year now after com­plet­ing chemo, my survivor’s hair has grown back shiny sil­ver-white, and real­iz­ing against social con­ven­tions that she doesn’t need long flow­ing locks to be wom­an­ly or beau­ti­ful, she now wears it in smart short Peter Pan-ish lay­ers.

Except, when I enter the exam room I can tell right off that she doesn’t feel wom­an­ly or smart or beau­ti­ful; I have a sixth sense about these things as a woman and as a nurse.

Her guilt, an evil tal­is­man, has grown too large to wear around her neck and now occu­pies the seat next to her so I roll my chair right up in front of my sur­vivor, box of tis­sues in hand, and tell her that she is stun­ning­ly love­ly, because she is, and I push Guilt out of the room, if only for the dura­tion of our time togeth­er.

She is fifty-six years old and will soon need to have the left knee replaced (too) as the pain is too much to ignore, and at a steadi­ly increas­ing 139 kilos, not pounds, she has resigned her­self to giv­ing up on any attempts at weight loss because it’s seems impos­si­ble to fol­low the 1400 calo­rie diet plan the very cute, very young, very (un)knowledgeable, very thin, very-tar­i­an, very well-mean­ing nutri­tion­ist offered her.

I ask my sur­vivor to tell me why this new bat­tle is impor­tant, because though it may seem so, she real­ly has not for­got­ten; it’s just that Guilt as of late has been drown­ing out her voice.

Moun­tains are climbed in small steps one at a time,” I say, then I see the caul of self-loathing lift as she real­izes she can.

(Orig­i­nal­ly pub­lished at 6 sen­tences.)