Courage to be Kind

Right now I’m jittery and looking at the clock knowing at some point I will need to sleep – but I don’t want to. I know when I wake up I’ll have to go pick up the two large vanilla flavored containers of barium to chug, hoping I don’t puke so I can get my CT scan done at 10:45AM. Doctor’s order form says chest, abdomen, and pelvis with IV contrast.

This is the part I hate the most: being reminded I was ever sick.

There are only a few days until I have to be back at work full time for the school year. I’ve ordered too many books for my students, put together my syllabus for the community college, and updated my schedule book. My classroom is almost completely aired out, and I’m ready to go back. I can finally say my hair is a haircut rather than it growing out. A new teacher told me the other day that I look like someone who is self-motivated to work out. I’M ABSOLUTELY NOT, which is why I pay for kickboxing classes which has someone telling me to do things, but I took that as a compliment because it means I look healthy. Finally.

Last week, I hugged one of my beautiful friends who battled breast cancer as I battled ovarian. I wanted to will all my vitality to her because she has a new port jutting out of her chest. They found more cancer, and she’s going back through chemo. She didn’t want to tell me because she knows how it feels, and yesterday, she stopped me in the hallway and asked me when my CT scan was scheduled because she was thinking of me. She’s the one going back through treatment and will lose her hair and strength again. I must’ve thought about her every hour in the last week wishing I could take half her doses of chemo for her.

Yesterday, I watched someone tell a group they are undergoing some type of medical issues. You could tell she was weakened from the ordeal and the purple pinpricks of blood draws painted her arms. To say I don’t get along with her is an understatement, but seeing her in that weakened state sat on my chest like cement.

I needed fresh air last night and languidly walked around retail stores trying to make sense of my feelings.  The evil in me wanted to treat her the same way she had treated me, but I remembered being so sick I couldn’t move. I was tired of needles and tests. I was tired of being tired because even crying was energy I didn’t have.

As I sorted out my feelings, I came across a mug in Target. I was getting a few things for my friend going back through chemo she would need, a blanket, tea, and a nice mug for when food will not go down, when the porcelain cup shook all the remnants of the hurt away.

have courage to be kind

All of my emotions spilled out onto the waxed Target floors. No one – no one – no one deserves to be sick.

It doesn’t mean the things in the past didn’t happen. It doesn’t make them right, but it isn’t about that. It’s about being a human being and having the courage to be kind and forgive even if people around you would say you were justified.

So, I picked up an extra plush blanket, a blue and cream ceramic mug, and a watercolored coaster.

Everything before this point doesn’t matter – no one deserves to be sick.

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