Testing my nerve (damage)

Today I found my first grey hair. At least, I think I did. My hair is too fine to confidently determine. I saw a short strand this morning in the sun, and found the same short piece tonight. Either it’s white, or very very light blonde.

When I saw is this morning, I was ecstatic. “I’m getting old! I’m still having new experiences! I get to live through these changes!” I thought to myself as I drove through traffic, late to work with the windows down listening to Kanye West. I find the irony that this discovery was made while in a moment of feeling like a teenager.

Coincidentally, this monumental discovery was made on the same day I’ve finally mentally committed to the location and date to my 30th birthday. (Sunday, Nov. 20. Stay tuned).

I’m so close to 30! I don’t know that there is really anything between me and my celebration now. Well, other than my poor ability to plan events and actually make these commitments. But ya know, the small stuff.

I’ve also started granting myself gifts. I’m not a huge birthday person, but I’m not holding back this year. I’ve started violin lessons. Ultimately, I want to play fiddle, but need to learn the basics of the instrument before I can hone in on a specific style.

It’s exciting, it’s calming, and I only know two notes.

Admittedly, I’m nervous for how far I can get. For the most part, I’ve accepted that the nerve damage from chemo to my hands and feet have recovered as much as they probably will. I’ve accepted this as my new normal – my feet still regularly tingle, and I honestly don’t know how much I am not feeling in my hands. I know when I’m touching something. Sometimes I can feel textures, often times I can’t.

I’m scared I won’t be able to feel the strings.

At this early stage in lessons, I’m still just learning to hold the instrument and how to move. At some point, I will need to learn how to hold the strings. I never really had the conversation with my instructor, where I told her that 2 years ago I suffered enough nerve damage and loss of touch that it was difficult for me to type, and that I would regularly loose shoes that weren’t strapped to my feet. I’m nervous I won’t be able to tell how many strings I’m touching or where, only that I’m touching something.

But it’s my present to myself. I remember the first night I fell in love with the fiddle – it was at a Trampled by Turtles concert almost five years ago. Their fiddle player is amazing live. Watch this video.

Since then, I’ve had other encounters: I’ve seen this same band several times, and drug my friends to the Nebraska Fiddle Championship (sounds way cooler than it was). My church had a Bluegrass band play one morning in the last month or so, and it ignited my fire.

Also on this first day of my grey hairs and party planning commitment, I received an email regarding an open spot for a 2016 FDX trip. It’s not one that I want to go on, but it was just one additional factor to align towards pushing me to my 30th.

Haven’t read about my big birthday plans? Well, I’m still working on my 30th birthday bucket list, but you can read about my fundraising goal for First Descents.

60 days to go!

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Author: Clarissa A.

The older I get, the less I know.

1 thought on “Testing my nerve (damage)”

  1. The good news is that sensory nerves are small and do regenerate, though slowly. Since you’re young, there’s a good chance you will continue to gain these nerves back!

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