Gather round my friends, I have a tale to tell.
Make yourselves comfortable, this may take a while.
Let me tell you a little about My Face...
It's an okay face, the one that I have.
Yes, there have been many times that I wished my nose was smaller, maybe even turned up a bit.
I like my eyes, they change color frequently, which is good, or so I've been told.
The eyebrows, I'm not too thrilled with.
I suppose I could wax the inch wide Uni-Brow--but it's an icebreaker when I get into conversations with strangers.
Alright already---so I don't have a uni-brow...
And my lips, well they're not the worst in the world.
They haven't thinned to the point of being invisible, they are still sorta fullish or something...
When I had the chicken pox at the age of 6, everyone said "Don't pick any of them!" So I did...just one or two, and I have those tiny little scars, not too noticeable.
My teeth, despite the front ones which have fallen out (oh fine, they haven't fallen out, they're still quite intact)...I just thought throwing in missing teeth would complete the picture...
Back when I was pregnant, I was put on extended bed-rest and then was hospitalized off and on for 10 weeks. Every single day, I spent in the hospital, with the exception of a few days in intensive care, I put my make-up on. Didn't want to scare too many people. Plus, keeping up with the whole make-up thing helped me to feel normal.
During the 18 weeks of chemotherapy, I tried each day to do the make-up routine, but my skin became super sensitive and there were times that just the slightest bit of rubbing would result in my skin being irritated. In fact, there was a little area between my upper lip and my nose, that I had rubbed ever so gently and I ended up with this brown spot there. So, the last 6 weeks or so during my treatments, putting on makeup slipped down on the list of priorities.
My face changed anyway during that period, I hardly recognized myself in the mirror, so I tried to stop looking. Floor to ceiling, wall to wall mirrors in the living room didn't help too much...
It took a while for my face to return to something that resembled normal, people recognized me, but I didn't...
And that little brown spot stayed put, makeup didn't really cover it, and people commented on it, asking me if it was a beauty mark.
No, it wasn't!
Gradually, the hair began to grow back in, actually I had peach fuzz growing in right around my 5th round of chemo---pure white freaking fuzz---but eventually it grew back in some weird combination of brown, grey, whitish grey. I wasn't about to wait to see how much grey or white came in, I had it colored when it was about an inch and a half long.
The great thing was that it grew in curly and I'd NEVER had curly hair before! Surely a blessing...
I digress, this is all about My Face.
As I healed and recovered from the poison of chemotherapy, the body and face began to return to almost the way they were.
And, I kept going forward, trying to make sense of it all. And, nothing much to report was happening with my face.
Except that brown spot was still there...never changing, just there...I grew to dislike that brown spot because it reminded me of the chemotherapy...
Fast forward to last August.
The day dawned, and it was a beautiful one indeed. I prepared to go to work, carefully applying the make-up. Checked myself before I left. It was just a routine day, as I locked the front door, walked to the stairs, went down the stairs and made a little left turn to walk to the car.
I was walking the short distance, minding my own business, when the next thing I knew, my face was meeting asphalt. That was it, no warning, just the sudden awareness that my lips, nose, right pinkie finger and my right knee were having a run in with the parking lot. I could actually SEE the pavement sliding across my face....before my glasses which were perfectly positioned on my head went flying.
Total disorientation, what was my face doing merging with the ground?
The first thing I did, once I realized I had been totally grounded, was to check my teeth with my fingers---intact, but my fingers were covered in blood, so I knew my mouth was bleeding. Horrible burning pain above my lips and under my nose and I began to cry, and then realized that my mascara would run, so I stopped immediately.
I gathered my things, strewn all over the place, and slowly got up. No one was around, which was unusual for the time of day...I limped my way back up the stairs, banged on the door (I have a friend staying with me, thank goodness!) and as soon as the door opened, I began to convey what had happened...as I made my way to the kitchen to clean my wounds and to get ice. I caught sight of my face in the mirror and was horrified. The right side of my top lip, upper lip area between my nose and my lips, the side of my nose and the bridge of my nose, were scraped totally of skin, a friction burn type of wounding....
I then became aware that the inside of my lower lip, about a quarter of an inch from my front bottom teeth, was cut and raw, as well as underneath my upper lip, also about a quarter of an inch from up top front teeth. It was truly a miracle that no teeth had been knocked out or chipped and I realized how fortunate I was...
But, what the hell had happened?
As I struggled not to cry from the pain, I applied ice, and then became aware that my right knee was bleeding and the brand new pants I had put on, had a huge hole in them.
As if that all wasn't enough, in my mind I was wondering how I was going to get to work, could I drive, how much was everything going to swell, should I call out...and on and on.
I spent some time inspecting my face in the mirror, examining my wounds and made the decision that if I didn't go into work, I'd spend the day endlessly feeling sorry for myself, looking in the mirror, measuring the levels of pain...and screaming and wailing at the sight of MY FACE.
So, I packed ibuprofen, some Q tips, antibacterial cream and headed back out the door.
I carefully walked down the stairs and as I made that little turn to the left, I tried to figure out where I had fallen, what made me fall, and wondered briefly about erecting a little sign there---
" Here is the spot where AkashicWreckage was brought to her knee---brought to her face---also her nose---"
Or maybe a little memorial altar would be nice---
People could bring offerings of bandages, neosporin, putty or caulking to camouflage my scars, and leave them on my special altar as tokens of awe and respect....
Food for thought...
I still don't know how I made it the 25 miles to work---I vaguely recall the drive there, and holding a bag of ice on my face as I made my way through the traffic.
Incidentally, I arrived at work 3 minutes late...Go me....
My lips began to swell, as did the side of my nose and the bridge of my nose. I took ibuprofen throughout the day and felt sorry for anyone who had to look at me.
By the end of the day, the adrenalin rush had long since abated and despite my efforts, the pain was intense.
In the days that followed, my wounds and swelling changed, and the pain went up and down in intensity. Each day I applied makeup to my face, carefully avoiding the wounds.
I even grew to love the fullness of one of the sides of each of my lips----others were most likely horrified---I tried not to smile because it hurt like hell and I was afraid of the skin bursting open, sending dozens of my coworkers into panic...
People looked at me, without wanting to look at me, I could tell. Some brave souls asked me what happened and they winced as I explained. It was like they wanted to know, but didn't want to know. My face was a total mess---even I had trouble looking at me...
The area above my upper lip and under my nose had several layers of flesh that began to heal and fill back in. That brown spot I had previously, seemed to have the most layers missing. It took weeks and weeks for the area above my upper lip and under my nose to heal over, and it was another month or so before it began to look somewhat normal...and the last part to heal was the Dreaded Brown Spot!
The Brown Spot---The Unwanted Brown Badge of Cancer, no longer a part of the terrain of my face.
As the weeks went by, and EVERY single day I had to walk past THAT SPOT on the parking lot where this had happened, I really tried to make sense of it all.
There was nothing on the ground that day that caused my fall---no rock, no hole in the ground, nothing.
So what was the point?
What could the lesson be?
Watch my step?
Tread carefully, dear one?
Had one of my guides or angels taken the opportunity to trip me up?
Payback for not listening?
Stay on your path, Little Miss Earth Student?
Maybe it was about protection?
I was protected that day---no chipped teeth, no broken bones, learned about stiff upper lips and all that rot...
Someone, something was watching over me that day, of that I am sure.
The symbolism of it being my face, that which I show to the world, was not lost on me.
I think now that the point of the fall and the wounds, was the ultimate removal of that brown spot...go figure...micro dermabrasion made easy...