Spirit Undaunted!

Spirit Undaunted!

From Chicken Soup for the Breast Cancer Survivor's Soul

Spirit Undaunted!

Forget mistakes. Forget failures. Forget everything except what you’re going to do now and do it. Today is your lucky day.

Will Durant

I identify myself as a swimmer and a painter these days—two things I had put off, both out of my comfort zone—before breast cancer two years ago at age sixty-three. Once the mastectomy, chemo and radiation were over, new thoughts and ideas kept popping up. I wondered, How would swimming feel? How would it feel to put paint on a canvas and see what shows up? The answer is: They feel great! Now I swim fifteen laps three times per week— my goal is twenty—and our living- and dining-room walls are covered with my paintings, and I love looking at them.

Nothing is the same after breast cancer . . . including my sense of humor. The other day I left my swimsuit prosthesis behind in the dressing room at the pool, and my husband Tony went to the pool to retrieve it. He told the clerk at the desk, “I need to talk to you about something embarrassing.”

She took him aside and said, “That’s not embarrassing. We even had a person leave a LEG here one time.”

She asked someone to look for the missing swim boob in the dressing room, resorting to sign language because the woman kept saying: “What? What?” She was unfamiliar with something as complicated as a prosthesis, and English was not her native language. She found it, though, and came out of the dressing room holding it aloft by one corner with an amazed expression on her face.

I discovered it’s difficult to swim and laugh at the same time.

Breast is gone, sense of humor intact, spirit undaunted, and priorities turned sideways!

Sue Caruso

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