Living Well with Parkinsons Disease

Dancing in the Rain: Lessons Learned on my Personal Journey with PD (more at Copyright 2013-20 Sheryl Jedlinski

“You look so different…”

Swimsuit 1

By Sheryl Jedlinski

My first day back at the pool after a seven-month hiatus from swimming, I found myself changing clothes beside a woman I knew 20 years ago. I greeted her by name, as she struggled to recall mine. “You look so different,” she said, “yet I can’t put a finger on what it is that you changed.”

I offered a few possibilities. Could it be:

  • My bald head
  • The 40 pounds I shed following surgery and 18 weeks of chemotherapy.
  • My broken, discolored finger nails that have replaced my manicured, trademarked red ones.
  • My walking sticks and safari hat that make me look like a professional hiker rather than a body rehabber.

“When was your last chemo treatment?” the woman persisted, surprised to see how well I look and move, especially compared to many who are further along in their rehab. I took that as a compliment, thanked her, and went to meet my husband at the pool. After reading my three-month follow-up scans, my doctors had declared me cancer-free, and told me to resume my previous life and activities. And so I did.

Before I could get back into the pool, however, I had to buy a bathing suit to show off my new, svelte body… three sizes smaller than my previous one. While there are many more swim suits to choose from in regular sizes, one piece bathing suits remain few and far between. They tend to go from thin spaghetti straps that could not support a peach, let alone a grapefruit; and have plunging neck lines and abstract cut outs in the body of the suits.

Before we parted ways, the woman asked if my having Parkinson’s disease was in any way related to my getting cancer.

“No, I am just lucky,” I answered.

One comment on ““You look so different…”

  1. Claudia Revilla
    June 18, 2016

    Love it! Yes, different, but as in wiser and stronger and way ahead of us on how to fight challenges and win.

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