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A Gift

  A thousand things go through your head when you are told you have cancer. A thousand wishes, what-ifs, dreads, hopes, fears… You realise that some of your “old” hopes and fears aren’t worth holding onto any more. The trivial, the shallow. Among the shoals of thoughts and ideas in my brain, I can remember looking at myself in the bathroom mirror. Trying to pull it together and stop my tears. (Sometimes the allocated crying time of a shower is too short.) I looked into my own eyes and told myself, “You are going to grow old. You will get wrinkles on your face. Your hair will go gray. You will endure this so you can age.” We exist in this bizarre world where youthfulness is revered. To have a smooth face, is to be a success. Especially if you are a woman. Gain experience, wisdom, life lessons… but don’t you dare gain weight or creases. Don’t let your body tell your life story. I’m in my early thirties and we’ve already started, bemoaning our crows feet and mummy tummies, our thigh cir

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