Losing track of the hurt of cancer is kind of like forgetting the pain of childbirth — yes, it’s kind of a blur, even though I remember clearly barking at my husband while in labor with my first child, “Why would anyone do this twice?” Then, I did it again, 2 years and 5 months later. Both of my babies were big, like 10 pounds, 9 ounces big and 10 pounds, 2 ounces big, and, strange as it might seem, I sorta can’t recount the discomfort of launching them into the world.
I know, if you are fighting cancer at this very moment, you might think I’m crazy, suggesting you will block out of your mind how horrible it can be, and I do recognize that some of you might always live with the pain of treatment. But, if you are like me, in some small way, you might just forget. I did, and I know this because yesterday, I sat in a dentist chair (after three months of complete and utter avoidance), and while getting my first-ever crown, I cried.
A crown. Not surgery to remove a deadly tumor, or poisonous chemo, or skin-scorching radiation. I cried because of the sting caused by a needle used to numb my mouth. Five years after the horrors of cancer, and a shot in the mouth brings me to tears. Clearly, I’ve forgotten.
See, sometimes life does get better.
Then you cry.