Exactly a year ago I was in a pretty scary place. It was the limbo between the radiologist's telling me to bite the bullet and I face that I had cancer and getting my official diagnosis on September 11th. Looking back it was the worst time of the last 12 months. Thank you all for helping me through it.
I wanted to do something to "reclaim my time", or at least my forearm. It's been hard to look down at my hands and arms and not remember all the blood draws, injections and infusions. But without them I may not be here. Jackie's damn chemo saved my life so I needed to honor it. I had the idea that I should get a henna design that would move and swirl up the outside of my arm the way the drugs did on the inside.
I've been following a Brooklyn henna artist on Instagram for a while, not thinking I was in the market for getting work done; I just like to watch videos of her working. As soon as I came up with the idea of the cancerversary chemo design I messaged her to see if she was seeing clients. I had no idea of how I was going to pay for it, just figured I'd ask for the hell of it. Turns out that she was about to start grad school classes and couldn't see any clients. However, she said she was going to be doing henna designs in a park near me in Brooklyn for small donations for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society. I explained why I was getting the design and she told me that she was in school to be a physician assistant. The whole thing was perfect and we were both excited.
The day was beautiful and we sat at a picnic table while she did her artistry. She completely understood what I wanted and just naturally created the exact design I imagined... even the little dots to represent cells. It was a special experience.
We weren't alone. There was a bee who LOVED the henna paste since it smelled of henna, lavender, lemon and sugar. The bee wouldn't leave - I walked out of the park, got on a bus, then another bus... bee was still buzzing around me. I ditched it when I passed some rose bushes a block from my house.
What a year it's been. Again, thank you all for helping me keep it together. I know I was a basket case sometimes.
Next week starts a new round of check ups with my doctors in radiology, oncology, cardiology, and surgery departments. I'm sure all will be okay - I'll let you know.
I can't wait to show off my henna!
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