And … I am Storm.
Let me introduce you to her … as a thunder and lightning storm rages outside. It is only fitting!
Cancer may have raged inside of me, but I am determined to beat it and rage back.
Today marks the end of Phase 13 – I think … if I am counting out phases – of my journey with Triple Negative Breast Cancer in the Pink Dot Detour. I am done with the AC Chemo cocktail! ForEVER! There is no next time … We are DONE.
I’ve never wanted a tattoo but I think I will have “I AM the Storm.” tattooed on my right rib beside my breast. Or around my wrist as a bracelet of beautiful typography. My father had the most perfect handwriting I’ve ever seen. And I don’t have one thing with his beautiful cursive on it. He created a monogram of my initials LJ which looked the same upside down. It was amazing … I can picture it in my mind. My furniture was white and he painted the personalized monogram in my then favourite colour … purple.
As the last dose of the Red Devil courses through my veins, it is transforming me into my own superhero. Today, thanks to Fran for the lift and the gift, I am Storm of Marvel comics and the X-Men line. Storm called for the thunderstorm today … because it is only fitting that we have severe weather warnings in the air while I fly around town gritting my teeth for another 100%-strength round of chemo and rescuing local kids from the rain, thunder and lightning.
As I dressed today, I put on a casual tshirt, leggings and my favourite black Guess boots with a chunky heel … I felt that Storm was edgy … but not so edgy that I wanted to resurrect my Catwoman outfit into a Storm warning … I will leave that for Hallowe’en at Richard’s most epic of epic parties! Ohhhh … to be The Fox!
But then, my Mother, who passed away in 2013 spoke to me … It is like a whisper. You have to believe that they are there.
I could feel her strength and her presence by my side. I leaned into the feeling and cried. I need the grace, grit and determination of this amazing lady, who would be 96 if she was still with us today.
I won’t say much more about my Mom … because this woman deserves a blog post all of her own. Just “I love you, Mom.” And still haven’t gotten over your death. We were so much alike in life, and I needed your spirit inside me today. Thank you. For always being there. I wore the beautiful rings Dad gave you back in 1944. He was so proud to make you his wife.
My Dad’s final words to me were “Take care of your Mom.”
I don’t think I did the words justice.
But I hold on to the strength that my family gave me and raised me in, and feel so very much the orphan without them today.
I sat in Chemo Chair #11 today, feeling like a million bucks, with the nurses, now familiar with my ever changing hair, dropping by to ask who I was today.
I explained to the older couple in the chair next to me that I was wearing my Mother’s wedding and engagement rings today to give me strength. The wife sadly told me that she wished she still had her mother’s heirloom jewellry, but all of it was stolen in a home robbery.
So I am thankful to also have a picture. I would hate to lose my Mother’s rings, my final connection to her and Dad, forever. I would at least want an image.
So that is my wish for you today. Those little things in your life that you feel are precious? Photograph them. You and I are going to have a big talk about you getting photos done of yourself once my images from a professional photo shoot are in.
But right now … I just want you to photograph anything you want to remeber, no matter how mundane and boring.
Your son’s favourite cereal box – the packaging will drastically change in 10 years!
Your daughter’s baseball glove – it won’t fit next year.
Write your kids a note in your handwriting – so they have a record of it. There is one parent that usually does all the writing. Your kids want something from both of you.
Your favourite piece of jewellry – it might fall off next week.
Your dog’s paws – they might be gone tomorrow.
Your favourite mug. Your silly lineup of family toothbrushes. Your favourite brand of tea or coffee. The moo cow creamer your Grandmother gave you. The marks you’ve made in the doorframe as your children have grown.
What little something would you miss if it was gone tomorrow in the blink of an eye?
Eye of the storm.
Make me cry and tell me the stories of what you photograph.
I can’t tell you how much it means to hear your words of encouragement, your tears, your hopes, your prayers, your chuckles, your stories, your comments on my crazy moments.
Thanks again for riding out the storm with me,
P.S. Thank you! We laughed … we cried … we are the perfect storm!