I didn't know I couldn't see until I was in the fifth grade. When you are young (or maybe not so young) you think that the way you view the world is the same way everyone else views it. In my case it was very very fuzzy. I had no idea that other kids could see what was on the chalkboard from the back of the classroom, or even from the front of the classroom for that matter. I saw things how I saw them, or didn't see them and I just went on with it. When it was discovered that I couldn't see, after I was continually moved closer and closer to the front of the class while still never being able to see the board, I finally figured out something was wrong. I will never forget the ride home from getting my new glasses, wearing them for the first time. I sat in the passenger seat, beyond starry-eyed, pointing out all the new things I could see. "Mom, I can see the leaves on the trees! Mom, I can read that sign from here! Mom, I can see the snow on the mountain!" It went on and on, while my mother silently cried as she drove the car. She was so sad that she had no idea her daughter was nearly legally blind, and to hear me exclaim my excitement to finally truly see the world in all of its intricate delicacies was a lot to handle.
I have been thinking about that moment a lot, not only because of my mother, but because of the concept of focus. Cancer changes your view, and shifts your focus. What once was fuzzy, isn't. Everything is newly framed.