Tuesday, January 08, 2008

Accepting REALITY...

I should be "over_the_moon" for my upcoming trip to Disney World. I am excited and happy but sometimes things lurk in the background that can drag you down from day to day. This is one of those days and I am dragging a bit.

You will notice that I *finally* changed my Blogger profile picture. I realized it was about time to update the picture to reflect what I see in the mirror, daily and to accept what is real and let go of what is past.

You see I have been holding on, VERY TIGHTLY, to that old image of me in April 2005. That image captures who I was in the days and weeks that I began my fight with Melanoma. That was a very important identity for me then but now I have found it is the mask that I am hiding behind and it time to stop hiding.

I'm not the same woman I was in April 2005.

"Of course you are not", you would say "It's 2008..."

Oh but how many days do I wish that I was still that woman? How many times have I looked in the mirror and thought, "It's not that much of a change, it's not that much weight." When it is.

But it is not just my appearance, although that is what I tend to focus on (and at times ignore) - it is the *whole* me and the struggle I have found myself in since being diagnosed "Cancer Free". Some day's I don't feel like I know who I am anymore. So I have been holding on to that "April 2005 Holly" as tightly as I can and in holding on, somehow, I lost a grip on the "Holly" that I am, here and now. I think it is the same as somebody looking in the "rear view mirror" so intent on where they were that they loose sight of where they actually are - so goals just fly by the wayside because if you don't really know where you are, how on earth are you supposed to know which way to go next to get where you want to go?

I have changed since my Cancer diagnosis - as we all must. But I wish somebody, ANYBODY, had told me that the hardest part of *surviving cancer* would be the SURVIVING part.

Oh and DON'T go and start telling me about "How lucky I am that I did survive..." because unless you have been there, you couldn't possibly understand how deeply and painfully I know that truth. I live it every day just like other fellow survivors and there is more guilt associated to that than you could possibly realize. We all deal with that the best way we can and do our best to appreciate what we have. It is not something I take for granted.

Look, this isn't some self-absorbed *pitty party* nor is it a cry for attention - I think it is some public affirmation.

I am NOT the same woman I was in April 2005, physically, emotionally or spiritually but unless I can look in the mirror and accept and appreciate the woman that I am right now in January 2008, than how can I possibly move forward.

So I updated my Blogger profile picture....and that's a pretty big step in looking at myself "Here and Now"


Carver said...

Great post Holly and boy can I identify. I have a great deal of respect for you. You look like the strong woman you are.

Nancy Toby said...

We love you, Holly.

Miss Melanoma said...

OMG Holly, thank you so much for saying that. You said everything that I've been thinking the last few months.
I'm so honored to know you and to have a fellow survivor that understands the intricacies of "survivorhood" so well. You keep it up, girl. You inspire me to do the same for myself.


p.s. thanks for checking in on me and for the supportive notes. They really keep me lifted.


mlittle said...

I just wanted to let you know how lucky I am to know you. Running pulled me out of a very dark place. You had more to do with that than you know.

Love you!

Downhillnut said...

I really like the way you used the rear view mirror image to describe your changing perspective. I hadn't thought of it that way before!

This is a lesson many of us can learn as we age, whether it involves surviving a serious illness or not. I think there are a lot of adult athletes that long for glory days and past PRs because where they are now is tough to take, but there are joys in today, and good goals to be set for tomorrow. Can't see 'em if we're not even trying.

Keep tri-ing and trying Holly!

triguyjt said...

I respect you very much for your ability to truthfully look at yourself. Its very admirable.

Whats that line from "A Few Good Men"?? when Jack Nicholson says to Tom Cruise.."You can't handle the truth".
Many of us can't handle the truth. You ( a very strong woman) can.
Many Blessings

MJoski said...

Holly, I just started reading your blog - and wanted to let you kknow that you have INSPIRED me! I'm a 47-year old IIIB MM survivor and I've been struggling with many of the same issues that you write about. I actually thought of you this morning when I got out of bed and put on my workout clothes instead of hitting the snooze alarm. Thanks for the motivation, Holly!! Hang tough.

Mary Jo

triathlonmom said...

You are such an inspiration.
I certainly can identify in more ways than one. Thanks for not being afraid to say it.

mellen1226 said...


Thank you so much for that post. It is great to know that there are others out there that have the same things running through their heads. I am a stage III breast cancer survivor and some days it is just hard to shake that little dark thing that follows me around. I just want to let you know that your blog was a big help to me last year going through treatment! You are an inspiration to me. Thanks again.