The Chicken Shot

I got what I affectionately call “the chicken shot” today. The name is not derived from the fact that I am a chicken when it comes to shots. (Though that is an accurate play on words for me.) The nickname comes from the fact that it is chicken cartilage the consistency of jelly, and they inject into your joints if your fluid is low. Kinda like an oil change. So I got new fluid today. Who knew that all this time they have been trying to get blood out of my arms, that my knee is evidently, where all my blood is. You would think I was going to bleed out from that tiny little hole in my leg. I don’t know how many gauze pads they went through. The doc said, “You an easy bleeder?” That’s the first time I have ever been asked that question! My answer of course was, “No I am not. Today is your lucky day.” Only they weren’t trying to get blood today…oh well. Murphy ’s Law strikes again.
They tell me that I should feel a difference in 4 to 6 weeks. Not what I had hoped for timeline wise, but at least I didn’t run from the room when they got out the needle the length of my arm. Okay so I am exaggerating a bit…it was just long enough to fit into the middle of my knee joint…still if you know my history with needles you know it was a small miracle I stayed there all by myself and let them do it. The doc repeatedly asked if I was okay. I guess I must have gone a bit pale, while my teeth were gritting. I fake laughed, and told him that after surviving cancer treatments I could do anything for a minute. And so I did. Then I went and had a pedicure because pink toenails make everything better.
The thing is, today while I was on the table I had an epiphany moment. People ask me all the time what I did to lose 70 lbs. They want to know why all of a sudden I was able to do it, when before I had never been successful. My answer is that I am now fighting for my life. I saw it one day on while on the floor at jazzercise and it changed everything. It was my fight back moment. I realized that I have a desperate desire to live and to be fully alive. Today I realized there is another reason…fear.
If desire to embrace life is one side of the coin, fear of losing it is the other. Quite honestly, I am not afraid to lose my life, going to live in the secret place…can’t even imagine how amazing that would be. I thought of that a lot on the bad days when I was sick. No more pain, no more sickness or tears…or treatments, or weakness…sounded like heaven, because it will be. But the desire to live was stronger than the pain for me. It forced me to put one foot in front of the other, at least on the days I could get out of the bed. That was then. Now what forces my feet to keep moving is the fear of what man could do to me. Fear of treatments that hurt. Fear of needles and tests. Fear of losing physical life slowly and painfully. Fear of reoccurrence. Today is the first day I saw just how much, fear drives me to keep going. The fact that I would willingly let someone stick a needle into my knee joint is proof. I have to be able to walk…to move. I cannot sit, because I know what happens when you sit.
Now before you quote the “God has not given us a spirit of fear…” scripture, I promise this is not a panic. It is not a tormenting fear that freezes me. It is the reality of having lived through the trauma of cancer. It is knowing the truth of what that means. It is realizing that I have some power (even though I know I am not in control) to avoid this happening to me again. I choose to exercise that power. (No pun intended) Ultimately, the fear is fuel for my active life. It is the motivation, which pushes me to embrace my life and live it with abandon. It is what gets my out of bed to ride my bike at 5 a.m. It is what makes me go to jazzercise when I really would rather take a nap. It is what keeps me moving even though my knee refuses to cooperate. The not going back to unhealthiness…the not going back into medical horror…it is what makes me move forward. The life part, the fight back part is born out of the fear part. The ability to take back my life is a gift. I want to receive every bit of it and live fully. If I grow feathers and break out into the chicken dance, you will know the shot is doing its work. I will laugh out loud and drag you along with me to embrace life…because I can. The question is will you come with me?

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