An Ode To My Cancer

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You showed up uninvited. It was the last thing on my mind.
A welcomed guest you weren’t. It was rude and so unkind.

I knew you had to be dealt with. Aggressive moves I’d make.
So many tough decisions. But my health it was at stake.

For you see I was a dancer. A Rockette who loved to kick.
But how could I have cancer. And how could I be sick.

A healthy 34, who barely drank and did not smoke.
I asked myself on the daily if this was one big crazy joke.

Sadly it was not and off to surgery I did go.
My dancing was on pause and there would be no summer show.

The show it would go on, but not for me I had to heal.
I was back to learning basics, such as feeding myself a meal.

As a person I’m impatient, and my progress it was slow.
No…it wasn’t really, but as an athlete it sure felt so.

Would I ever get back to kicking and dancing upon that stage?
What are my future plans when I go to turn life’s page?

Four weeks and two days later, with my tap shoes in my hand.
Back to class I went…slow and steady, nothing grand.

I cried because I was happy. I cried because of the pain.
I stood in the back and took it all in, my life was not the same.

I had a new perspective. A great new outlook on life.
If only I could overcome my mental and bodily strife.

You see my brain remembered one thing and my body followed suit.
Except things were in new places with no range of motion to boot.

I struggled through the class. But so happy was my heart.
I was back to what I love…baby steps, but it’s a start!

It was an uphill battle and sometimes the tortoise wins the race.
Each day it was a struggle, unknown obstacles I did face.

I had to remember I was healthy and much worse off I could be.
Each day alive was a blessing so I lived with vitality.

5 weeks and 2 days post op, back in costume at the hall.
Just for an interview promoting the show. A victory no matter how small.

I was trying to get back to normal. “Normal”…what a funny word.
To think I’d ever know normal, was actually quite absurd.

For what I knew was different and different can be great.
Don’t get me wrong there are those days where I was dealt a life I hate.

It was time to pull it together. Enough of the negative speech.
It was back to the studio, no performing just yet but a great opportunity to teach.

My students didn’t have a clue what an important role they’d play.
They changed the way I lived my life and went about each day.

I’ve always loved to teach but never realized just how much.
80 at a time was a challenge…Jazz, tap, kicks and such.

But now I had a reason. A new story to be told.
Go after your dreams. Reach for the stars. Be daring, brave and bold.

I was beginning to make a difference. I could see how they’d respond.
The transformation was happening with no use of a magic wand.

It was just from what I’d say. So many thoughts to share.
They’d listen with their hearts and with their eye’s they’d stare.

I was inspiring to people. Something still so strange to say.
But my students gave me meaning and showed my life the way.

I was ready for my audition. To go get my job once more.
To show them all how’d far I come and leave it all on the floor.

So by now you know I got it. I finally got that call.
Year 11 on the line at the famed Radio City Music Hall.

Rehearsals started Monday. Its been a week and I’m still sore.
So much was taught my brain is full of choreo and more.

The week it hasn’t been easy. My dancing it just ain’t the same.
To the average eye you’d never know but to me a mean head game.

Everything feels slightly different. A struggle to do little things.
I hold my breathe when learning new moves and the challenge to my body it brings.

I will fight for every dance step till I’m perfectly in line.
I know I can do it. I have complete faith that by opening night I will shine.

Its been quite the journey to get here and I’ve tried to take it in all in stride.
When it comes to my job, being part of a legacy fills my heart with such pride.

So stay tuned for more updates on the life I lead post cancer.
Who knows what it holds, but I’ve a smile on my face because I’m back to being a dancer!

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