Loosing Pieces

(I’m starting backwards. Here, at the middle of my recent journey into an abyss called cancer. I’ve been diagnosed, treated and now I’m “healing”.)

I feel a little more like myself every day. I feel a little less like myself every day.

George Addair

And it begs the question – who am I? If I’m shooting for neutrality, than the “I” outside of self must exist even while the “me” shape shifts. I have never felt this as profoundly as I do today.

My neck is healed, but scarred, so I’ve stopped slathering on healing cream and I can wear my necklace. But my neck is scarred.

Because i’m not slathering on cream, I can wear my hair down without it sticking to me, tickling me or turning greasy. But I don’t have all of my hair. This whole time I’ve maintained that I don’t care about my hair because it’s in the back, but it’s slowly crept up and around my ear now. Noticed that this morning. Another loss. Another piece of “me” being stripped away.

A few days ago I thought my taste was coming back. I started eating a few things. Then, overnight, it swung back into this salty zone where nothing tastes good. And even when I was trying bites, the after taste is off-putting. Doesn’t matter what the initial hit is. Can I taste? Yes, I can taste. That’s all I wanted – to taste food. I got that. But tasting food is not enjoyable or pleasant in anyway. It’s not satisfying. There is no joy in it. I’m not in despair, but I’m close – frustrated. I give up. Today, I give up. I don’t want to bother eating anything because its’ a new world with a new me and I have no idea what I like to eat. Like a baby tasting food for the first time, I have no idea what I’ll squeal over, demanding more, or what I’ll push away in horror.

This is the ultimate unknowing. I THOUGHT a banana tasted like…well, banana. it doesn’t. I must unknow the most basic things that I know.

And not only do I KNOW them, my passion and income are wrapped up into this knowing. How can a food writer not taste?

So, I’m slowly being chipped away at and stripped. I asked for this. I wanted spiritual growth, though if you ask me now I have no idea why any longer. It all started with wanting to know where we go when we die. But I’m so far from there now. Where am I?

Chipped. And stripped. And grieving those things, feeling a little beat up, but feeling a little lighter as I continue pulling off layers – both figurative and literal (skin and hair have fallen away and gone. Cells too) and am forced to say “Fuck it”, while I throw my hands up in surrender.

No sense in holding back the tide….takes too much effort, and today it feels like I’m dying a little more.


2 thoughts on “Loosing Pieces

  1. Hi Amy, I am also a cancer survivor – scarred, undone, remade. again and again. It has been 8 years, so I am “safe”, so they say. And yet, I wonder at the continued transformation. I used to pursue “spiritual growth” and yes, it served me well when I had surgery and treatment. But it wasn’t really what got me through – that was “grace”. Not the Christian version, or the one about elegance of movement, but the type defined as “to do honor or credit to (someone or something) by one’s presence.” And the person I honored was me. No holds barred. Honest, Present with the fear, anger, ugly, less-than-spiritually-evolved. I am so sorry you are going through this. Cancer is a fuck. I am so sorry. Sending you love and strength and dark humor and sisterhood. And raising a glass of whatever beverage of escape used to be (and might still be again) your favorite.


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