my Breast Cancer blog

2004, age 34 — this is my story

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Life Gets Better, Then You Cry

Dry erase board John spotted at a doc visit

Dry erase board John spotted (and captured) at a doc visit

Losing track of the hurt of cancer is kind of like forgetting the pain of childbirth—yes, it is 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 may seem, I sorta cannot recount the discomfort of launching them into the world.

I know, if you are fighting cancer at this very moment, you may think I am crazy, suggesting you will block out of your mind how horrible the disease can be, and I do recognize that some of you may always live with the pain of treatment. But, if you are like me, in some small way, you may just forget. I did, and I know this because yesterday, I sat in a dental chair (after 3 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.