Tuesday, March 18, 2014

3 Years 1 month

My beautiful friend Al has inspired me to incorporate my own version of the post she made on International Women's Day (found here ), to my monthly blog post.

A little over three years ago, when my life was running out the door I came to some sudden and life changing realisations. I could not remember a time when I felt ‘good enough’. I avoided having photos taken of myself and usually pulled faces because I did not like what I saw.

In primary school – 
When we played games around fairy tales, I was always the wicked witch, the ugly sister, the troll under the bridge or the evil step mother.

I was hit by a car when I was 5 and once healed enough to return to school, I was paraded around to every single class to show the children what it looks like if you are lucky enough to live after you are hit by a car and that looking before crossing the road is very important (it is important)

A school friend asked me to learn ballet with her but then pretended not to know me in classes and giggled and pointed at me with her other friends.

In high school, I was never part of the in crowd. I was not
Smart enough
Pretty enough
Skinny enough

I then found myself a partner who reinforced all of those things for me. 

After thirty plus years of believing this, I finally figured out that those photos are important. You children, husband and family don’t care how you ‘look’ they care that you look and are happy. I had a friend take a set of photos of me (in secret) for my husband and my children in case the surgery went horribly wrong. I gave them (framed) to my husband before we made the journey to what became the beginning of my new life.

Don’t wait. Embrace life, it doesn't matter how you look the people who love you see you as you are. Have memories that can be used to look back over your life where you are comfortable in your own skin. Don’t wait til you lose another 10 kgs, do it now. You will find a million reasons not to, don’t give in to it. 

I have probably said this before but I will say it again (and again and again and again). I embrace my greying hair, my saggy bits, my wrinkles and my scars. They are part of me, part of who I am and how I got here. I embrace them and celebrate them because I know that far too many people will never reach the age I am now. I am one of the lucky few.

This month I started University. I kicked off with the chemistry linking course and managed to get through unscathed. I have been petrified of chemistry since high school. O week was pretty fantastic and I joined a couple of clubs! The first two weeks were a little scary but settled down pretty quickly. I have thoroughly enjoyed my time at Uni… until yesterday.

Yesterday I had a call asking me for a meeting to discuss my ability to study this degree. I am to go for a meeting on Friday morning. I am to bring my course profiles, text book receipts and any documentation I  have (or can lay hands on) re my disabilities (I loathe that word). Yesterday it made me angry and more determined than ever, not only to complete this degree and go on to brain tumour research, but to do it spectacularly. There was much ranting, seething and general expressions of displeasure last night.

Today. Today sucked. Today I was overtired and fragile. I made it through my Human Biology workshop and quiz without too much bother. The wheels fell off after that. It hit very hard that this dream of mine that I have been chasing could be taken away. I cried through chemistry, I cried through my chemistry workshop, I cried through my break, I cried waiting for my last lecture of the day and I cried some more when I met my wonderful husband for dinner before his lectures started for the night. I spent today feeling like maybe they were right and I could not complete this degree, I sure didn't understand anything in any lectures today (I wonder why). I felt that I should probably just go down to student services and withdraw completely. Then my heart broke a bit more. 

I fought for my life for 8 years
I have fought to recover for the last 3 years
I fought at the end of last year to get IN to University
Why must I fight again to stay, to realise my dream of helping to find a cure for this f**king beast and make sure no one else EVER has to go through the things I and others have been through?

Tomorrow is another day. I didn't quit today.

Edit - Since this post the situation has been sorted out!