Most of the time Cancer didn’t make me feel all that sexy or heroic (though, sometimes, it did, and in surprising ways).
In fact, I often felt fragile in the course of my treatment. I never wanted to be weak or (worse) unglamorous or worse yet) mortal! For, before cancer came to call, I WAS a superhero.
However, all the gross body issues that ensued, looking and feeling the way treatment makes you look and feel, suddenly becoming delicate where I never have been, fearing needles, not wanting scars or to look deformed, not wanting to lose my Ovaries, my partner, my power, was awful.
In fact, once treatment started working on my body, I felt distinctly as though my cape and utility belt had been ripped away. I was stripped down, humbled.
Eventually, I accepted this new mortal condition. Eventually, I even embraced it – I mean, hell, what is image in the face of death?
Unexpectedly, I emerged from that, not defeated, not weakened, but with a new kind of power. I didn’t feel so much like a super hero. I felt like something far more real. I didn’t need to fly, bend steel, or shoot lightning bolts from my hands while looking fabulous in scant Nuevo armor. I needed to accept my human-ness.
So, since I survived it, I think of myself more like a Phoenix than hero. A reinvention. Not super human, but really human.