Chemotherapy was a special kind of mixed-up experience. Before starting it, there was no way I could have anticipated the insanity that was going to be tossed my way. What I did know, was that I needed to give myself something else to focus on besides the actual appointments. I needed to think about something that made me happy instead of putting my energy into trying to figure out how any spell from Harry Potter could get me out of having to go at all.
The needed distraction I would choose was an obvious one (at least for me!)... I would put the focus on my tender tootsies. The question I asked leading up to each chemo appointment was: what shoes am I going to rock today? Because shoe love is true love! They give me that same powerful, dizzying, 'bring it on' feeling Kate had when leaning over the front of the Titanic bellowing, "I'm flying"!
The truth was,
I couldn’t change the fact that I had to be at chemo.
But I could manage how I approached it.
I have always been a big believer in the fact that there is power in how I choose to react to situations, but I began to see the strength that came in how I was approaching them as well.
What was really neat to see, were all of the other positive added bonuses that appeared from my fancy feet distraction:
- They ended up being conversation starters allowing me to meet some wonderful people I never otherwise would have met.
- People close to me were texting to ask what was on my feet instead of focusing on their concern about my appointment.
- It gave something for the nurses to laugh over.
- They allowed me to sidestep some of the anxiety that built up leading to an appointment.
- And they made me feel like… me.
Just feeling like me was freeing. I wasn't a cancer patient, I wasn't trying to figure out how I should act, I just got to be me through it all. I was able show cancer that although it had set up camp in my body, it by no means was given the power to change who I am.
The reality is, things happen in life I don't see coming, but I get to choose how I react to them; and when I have to do something that I would rather avoid, I get to choose how I go through it.
And I have decided to do it all with my best foot forward.