She Wears Pretty Shoes
by Lynda Nuttall
She wears pretty shoes and designer jewelry, and smiles when I compliment her on them. I always wear yellow and I smile when she says yellow is the color of hope. Over the past year and a half she has always been up front with the diagnosis.
“You, Lynda, have colorectal cancer, level 4, and you are just incurable.”
I sit and process that information. Most of the time, I smile back at her because I have a secret. I do not believe her and I don’t need her for the cure. Chemotherapy does not cure it – it just stops the cancer from spreading as fast.
I see her once a month before one of my chemo infusions. Recently, I have been receiving chemo treatments once a week. We talk about her pretty shoes. She orders some of them online from San Francisco and New York. Sometimes she compliments me on my yellow outfits.
“The color of hope,” she says.
I smile and agree. She loves shoes and pretty jewelry from exclusive designers. I am impressed. I like pretty things also.
Early in my treatment the cancer in my rectum and liver disappeared and the cancer in my lungs diminished by over fifty percent.
She said, “Look at this, Lynda. This never happens.”
So she quickly turned the computer so I could see it. My cancer count had also dropped from 25,000 to 9,000 in one month’s time. That was a year ago. Now my cancer CEA count is at 8, 500. The cancer in my lungs has grown a little tiny bit. She wants to add another treatment to what I am already taking. The doctor visit this time was different and I did not mention her shoes and she did not mention my yellow clothing. She now wants me to make a decision on what chemo I will now take.
She explained to me early on when I asked her what was going to happen to me. She explained that they would try all the treatments appropriate for my kind of cancer then I would be sent to University Hospital for experimental testing if I would like and there I would have to pay extra for that experience.
She went on to say that the experimental lab would like to have me after all I looked healthy, my blood work was good and that I was not “yet” all beaten up from the chemo.
Then she hopped on to the examination table looked down at me and said, ”After all Lynda, with your type of cancer you only have a year or two left.”
I have already beaten her odds, yet she has given up on me. She has given me my choices as to what chemo I will be infused with or to agree to be experimented on. I have to make my decision very soon.
In the waiting room on the oncology floor at the receptionist desk there is a beautiful framed list of things that cancer does not do to you. Over this past year and a half I have pondered about those statements and have often been angry about them as I have come to realize that it is true cancer does not do any of those things to you. It is the chemo that does. Once I told one of the nurses they either should say this is what chemo can do to you or they should remove it. It is still there.
What Cancer Cannot Do
It cannot cripple love.
It cannot shatter hope.
It cannot corrode faith.
It cannot destroy peace.
It cannot kill friendships.
It cannot suppress memories.
It cannot silence courage.
It cannot invade the soul.
It cannot steal eternal life.
It cannot conquer the spirit.
No Cancer does not do these things. Rather, the crippling pain and the humiliation from what chemo does to your body steals away love and intimacy and replaces it with pity. The shattering ultimatum of no hope from the doctors causes you to lose your faith in a better tomorrow, or any tomorrow. Peace is out the window somewhere. You, however, are internally torn up in a losing war.
Friendship and memories are what we hold on to in a desperation grasp for all that is good in life. Courage is raging and waning with each new onslaught to the mind and body. The soul screams out its battle song as the invasion devastates the human being that you are. Chemotherapy does not steal eternal life. It sends us there and our spirit lovingly wants us to go, because it cannot conquer chemo.
I have visited other cancer patients – we share these experiences, even if they have been at this longer than me. Maybe what I have not yet experienced is waiting for me. I have a decision to make. Which chemo to take? What side effects will I choose?
I feel hate, fear and kind of lost. Right now, I seem to be trapped in a hate I cannot figure out. Locked into a fear that scares my god out of me at times. I don’t hate the cancer. I think I hate the “no hope” Doctor with the pretty shoes and designer jewelry. I fear the internal effects of chemo, which makes my very essence quake in expectation and anticipation of pain to my body, mind and soul.
Why should I hate the Doctor who wears pretty shoes? She is just doing her job; she is “practicing medicine,” yet she has no answer. Her computer screen is in black and white. She cannot see the yellow essence of who I am on that screen she only sees “no hope.”
Who am I? I am yellow. I am walking, talking and breathing hope.
People like the way I look because I look healthy. My skin glows, my eyes are happy and shining out my soul out for others to see. I need to accept that and be grateful that I look and feel healthy for that is who I am today. I am not hate and fear. I opened the door and let them out. I need to continue to hope, believe and accept what the universe has given me and go for my ultimate reality everyday.
I have a desire. I want to write a book about living life with integrity for it wants to be written. I want to love my love, when he shows up and lets me love him, with an intensity I have not known before. I want to intimately love all others for the god I see in them. The shining god within me.
I am grateful that the rest of my life will be the best of my life. Grateful for the wisdom I am moving into and am sharing with others. Grateful I am finally beginning to be able to observe myself and make changes. Grateful the help I need is here and now, with the rest of what I need on it’s way.
Goodnight Universe. I love you.
Lynda in the Yellow Moonlight