I put this song on Facebook last week. Amazing Grace is my favorite and coupled with the lyrics to Fight Song (even though this version is instrumental) is just so powerful. I’ve been thinking a lot about how we “fight” cancer… about the terms we use to describe how we intend to get rid of it. Fight, beat, battle, strength, conquer- they’re all sort of “war words.” And I get reminded on the daily from other people that I have to fight. Yep, I know I have to fight. I never said I was going to crawl up in the fetal position and quit?! Before cancer, I wouldn’t have known what “the fight” meant. And I realize I’m still new to this and am grasping for understanding, but I think I’ve got it.
The fight is a mental game. It’s deciding to see the enemy for who he is and what he’s done. It’s coming to an acceptance. It’s knowing there is no other place to be except here, right now, and ready to deal. It’s repeating the same minute by minute mantra that got me through my divorce; “I am ok. Right where I am.” It’s waking up and instead of counting down the days until this is over, it’s being grateful for each day… especially because every time I wake up, Sam is there. Maybe since I’m so new to this mom thing, it’s hasn’t gotten old, but I literally wake up and just want to look at my baby. MY BABY! I have a baby. We have a family. Amazing. The fight is willing the mind to stay quiet so that the body doesn’t flail around like a fish out of water all anxious and nervous and scared. On the opposite of that, it’s willing my mind to stay active so that my body doesn’t complain out loud, sulk and throw a pathetic pity party. Those parties are the worst. Anytime I see one getting thrown, I want to punch that person in the face. Again, nothing is guaranteed. So stop that party; it’s boring and no one wants to be at it. Not only is it boring, but it makes me want to take a screen shot of you and then send it to my friends so I can shit on you for being such a bad partier. Believe me, I’m no Mother Theresa, I’m still me- with cancer and I know no one likes boring. BE BETTER.
The fight isn’t easy. It’s already gotten harder. Last week I was pretty much arm muscle emoji for 5 days straight and then my stomach got queasy and I had to rip off my tshirt in the middle of the night because it was soaked with sweat. This morning when I took a bite of Mike’s peanut butter toast, I let it fall off of my tongue and into the trash because it tasted like cardboard and the texture was unfathomable. How could I ever swallow that? Oh and turns out Chemo Tuesdays aren’t so bad after all except for feeling really tired, because I get so many steroids to mask what’s going on in my body that I actually leave feeling better than when I go in! Without rehashing all of the side effects on my horizon (mouth sores), there should be prescription pain management for all of them. The fight that everyone talks about is all upstairs. It’s a mental warzone. It’s mind over matter.
That being said, I wish I could escape. It’s true. I’m jealous that Mike can drink a few (and by few I mean a lot of) beers and have our reality be a little easier to handle. I mean I JUST spent 9 months NOT giving my baby fetal alcohol syndrome and then THIS?! I want to drink AN ENTIRE BOTTLE of dry, crisp, cold, bubbly champagne. I want to take off to Florida or Puerto Rico for 4 nights and introduce Sam’s little toes to the ocean. I want to go to a yoga class and sweat, hold planks and feel strong and energized. Cue the Fight Song because this is where the mental game comes in and the fight is on: I’ll do those things. I just have to finish this first.
Lyrics to FIGHT SONG are below… and if you don’t know the lyrics to Amazing Grace, I’m not religious, but go to church.
Like a small boat
On the ocean
Sending big waves
Like how a single word
Can make a heart open
But I can make an explosion
And all those things I didn’t say
Wrecking balls inside my brain
I will scream them loud tonight
Can you hear my voice this time?
This is my fight song
Take back my life song
Prove I’m alright song
My power’s turned on
Starting right now I’ll be strong
I’ll play my fight song
And I don’t really care if nobody else believes
‘Cause I’ve still got a lot of fight left in me