Seven

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I’ve always been partial to the number seven. And numbers divisible by seven. It’s not always a lucky number, but it does seem to always be significant one.

There’s the Prince song, Seven. It’s a staple on any of my running mixes. Seven deadly sins. Seven days in a week. Seven colors in a rainbow. Seven continents. Seven wonders of the Ancient World.

There’s a lot to the number.

I have fond memories of being seven years old, playing with my friends Ashley, Rachael and Jessica on the driveway of 11702 Rue Clarice, dancing around in a maroon bikini with a big fabric rose on the hip. That was probably the last time I wore a two piece, or at least with that amount of confidence.

21 was a big year too. Living abroad, graduating from college, falling in love for the first time, drinking legally. (Let’s be real; I am from Louisiana.) Flash forward another 14 (2×7), and 35 saw me become a hedgehog mom (still a thrill although Emilio is the ultimate letdown), tie the knot, and of course, as you know, be diagnosed with the c word.

I love 7 Up, a documentary series that follows a group of 8 or so British schoolchildren from all economic and social backgrounds starting from the age seven. Every seven years, the filmmaker revisits the children, documenting how their lives have played out. They just released 56 Up a year or so ago. It’s fascinating. The premise is that who you are at seven is who you will be at 14, 21, 28, etc.

I don’t know if there’s an exception for cancer. Maybe with cancer, you become more who you always were. It’s a rough journey to figure that out sometimes. The years between 7 and 35 roughened my skin, dulled my senses. I lost my way, trekking miles and miles off course of the authentic me. I think I’m finally getting back to it. Back to me. The real me; the me I was at seven. With a different chest, perhaps.

Why am I contemplating seven? Because today, after 18 sessions of radiation, I’ve got just seven to go.

Seven is not a lot. Seven is doable. I remember my first day of treatment, there was a woman in the waiting room celebrating she had just seven sessions left. That seemed so far away at the time.

Radiation, in all honesty, has been a breeze. Most anything is compared to chemo. In just the past few days, I’m having a really hard time with my skin, which has basically suffered the equivalent of a severe sunburn’ spreading ovet the left part of my chest. It’s hard to wear bras, even my soft sports ones. I’m tired and I’m groggy. And it’s a pain in the butt to get to the hospital every single morning and lay down, hands over my head, while nurses fiddle, sliding me this way and that, all to find exactly the right millimeter of space.

But it’s no chemo.

And it’s just seven.

I’m thinking it’s going to be a lucky number this go round.

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