My mother, unknowingly, gave birth to a lizard. A little baby chameleon lovingly named Kat. Me. Strangely, over the last couple of years, I’ve developed the ability to morph into three distinct color pigments: Birth Brown, Dark (& Darker Left) Brown and Ash Gray.
Birth Brown, technically, is the color I was born with when I came shooting out of my mommy’s belly. To this very day, she claims, she didn’t even know she was in labor, she had no pain and she literally gave birth to me (in just a matter of seconds)…as she walked out of the elevator and into the maternity ward. In her version, she barely makes it to the room. Really, Mom? Really? Not ONE labor pain? Wow, that’s pretty damn impressive! Especially when I considered punching MY poor nurse in the face (twice) when she denied me my epidural, “because I wasn’t quite ready” when I was in labor. I remember looking at her and smiling weakly as I mumbled, “Um, ok if you say so.” But my eyes were saying, “I hate your %$@# guts.” Fortunately for me (and her face), she was an experienced nurse that had dealt with a lot of first-time anxious moms and simply put on the hospital in-birth channel, where I witnessed all types of different kind of births, including women who COULD have pain-free labor. Oops. Sorry, Mom.
Dark Brown is the shade of color I become when it becomes consistently sunny (aka hot) and the sun is able to naturally do its thing. Darker Left Brown is the color I become when the hot glare of the sun shines through the driver side car window and makes my left arm and leg several shades darker than my other arm and leg. Since this color affects only one half of my body, I have to spend the entire summer looking like a two-toned Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde mutant until I start to fade in late Fall.
Ash Gray is the color that allows even a pale vampire to look healthy next to me. Unfortunately, I have been sporting this color a lot lately, which is why I started my iron infusions this week. Since I don’t absorb iron due to my Gastrectomy, I infuse iron into my body on a regularly basis, through a medi-port, so I can function more normally. Not only does each five-week cycle give me enough iron (and some energy) to last for about 2 months, but it also gives me a huge dose of humility. I may wince from the sting of the needle as it breaks into the scarred skin surrounding my medi-port, but I am humbled when I see Mr. Brown, the sweet elderly man sitting next to me, endure the same sting except his needle slips into his forehead because he has brain cancer. I may cry because I feel too tired to get out of bed some days, but I am humbled when I hear Janice, who is in stage 4 colon cancer, say she is going on a cruise in May, although I can tell in her eyes…she’s not sure she’ll live long enough to make that trip. So even though I may not like my present health situation, I am humbled by the fact that my body is still hanging onto life. I hope I never lose sight of how precious life is, even if it didn’t turn out the way I expected it to; and even though I know it’s perfectly normal to feel down sometimes, I hope in those times I can think about Janice enjoying herself in the sun and smile as I continue to fight…my fight.