I remember when I was first diagnosed and some well-meaning person said "God knew you could handle it, that's why this is happening." As an aside, that person is an idiot. Okay, not an idiot because I’m sure they loved me and were just trying to make me feel better. But really, who the hell knows how to handle cancer?! I mean, it’s like being at this boxing match. You’re not really paying attention--kinda just fiddling with your phone. All the music is going, it's loud, all sorts of lights and things. Then you hear Michael Buffer: "Let's get ready to rumble!”
THEN all of a sudden there is this huge spotlight on you “Courtney will be our challenger tonight” (this boxing analogy is going to fail soon because I’ve never watched a complete match before, and I don’t know what they say after “Let’s get ready to rumble.”) Point is, you look up from your phone and you think “This is a joke right. I’m clearly hallucinating.” Then they start repeating “Courtney, come on down!” (I think I’ve just switched over to ‘The Price is Right’). So you get to the ring, and people are like “Yeah Courtney! You can do it! Kick cancer’s ass! Show them who’s boss!” And you’re looking around thinking “Either I’m sleeping or ALL of these people have lost their damn minds!” Before you know it, they’re suiting you up—you’ve got these golden gloves, pink boxing shorts and tank top (you don’t even like pink). Mouth guard is in. Somebody is next to you muttering things like “keep your arms up, jab to the left, guard your face.” You don’t even know what all that mess means, you’re just trying to find an exit route. There’s got to be a way to get out of this nightmare and run, right? WRONG!
Before you can even complete your thought BOP!! You’re seeing stars, maybe even birds. Who hit you? Good grief! And why you?! You didn’t even want to be at this boxing match in the first place, let alone in the ring. Wait, and did the bell even ring? You’re pretty sure that was an illegal hit. When did the fight start?! Then you get to thinking, this opponent of yours must be reasonable on some level. You’re certain that if you could just get off this floor and try to reason with him, he’d be down for a peaceful, non-violent communication. So you push yourself up (still dizzy) and before you’re able to get stable again on your two feet BOP! BOP!! Two hits straight to your gut—he’s got you on your knees. And in that moment you think ‘Oh heeeeeeeellll no!’ You tried to be nice and civil but this opponent of yours is not about that. You don’t even know if you are in a dream or in reality but whatever it is, it hurts like hell and it seems the only way you’re going to get out is to fight.
Thing is, you don’t know how to fight! Never threw a punch in your life? Are there rules in boxing? Probably. Do you know them? Nope. Does it matter? Nope.
a) the plan is to do whatever you have to do to get out of this damn ring and...
b) If you are suspended from boxing for the rest of your life you are very okay with that (especially seeing as you weren’t trying to be here in the first place).
So you’ve made up your mind—you and this opponent, Cancer, are about to duke it out. And let’s be real, you’re dizzy and tired, and your ribs hurt from the few jabs he got in. But IT. IS. ON. When you get to your corner and they’re pouring that water on your face and fixing your cuts, someone says “you forgot your shoes!!”
Out of the corner of your eye (the swollen one) you see these super shiny, spiky, glittery blue shoes and in that moment you’ve got your strategy—you know exactly how you are going to win this thing. The bell rings ::ding ding ding:: and you are on fire—you’re pissed! You charge straight ahead towards cancer, full force. And WHAM! A kick right to the balls! You may not know how to throw a punch but you sure can hit ‘em where it hurts!
One of my most prized possessions going through chemo was my pair of Healing Heels. I wore my shoes during each of my chemo cycles. On the days when my body was too achy to bother, they sat on the ground right next to my chemo chair. It goes without saying that these shoes don't make all the pain, frustration, exhaustion, and cancer disappear. But they sure are FIERCE! They say powerful, resilient, beautiful, strong, and unstoppable. They say "cancer, you're an idiot for stepping to me! I am so ready to kick ass! By the way, have you seen my shoes?!?!" These shoes say “I am this strong and this powerful even as I sit here snoring during my chemo infusion or vomiting into this bag—so, don’t get it twisted!” As you continue in this very-annoying-unwanted fight, remember to:
- Laugh a lot
- Cry whenever you want
- Call/text me when you start panicking (anytime day/night)
- Try to relax
- Pray always
- Let God.
Love you, sis. Hit ‘em where it hurts!