Reality TV

****wrote this post Wednesday night of last week, before going in to discuss Kai’s MRI results. Thought it was still worth sharing.

I promised myself I was going to go to bed early tonight. We have not been getting much sleep around here the past few week and we have a big day at the clinic tomorrow, but I came across a new show on demand and couldn’t turn it off! I’ll admit I have been watching entirely to much TV lately, AND I have also noticed a pre-chemo insomnia trend that I can’t seem to get away from, but tonights late night was totally worth it.
I watched three episodes of a new show on the Sundance channel called Push Girls.


“Watching the ‘Push Girls’ tackling life with spirit and confidence is not only inspiring but compelling. The show challenges perceptions about life in a wheelchair, giving the audience an honest, no nonsense look into their world. It’s real, it’s outspoken and it’s from the heart. I am delighted to share their story on a network that prides itself on authentic, bold and respectful storytelling.”

Taking a matter-of-fact attitude towards their disabilities, PUSH GIRLS offers a candid view of the women as they pursue their own claims to happiness as they enter different stages of their lives. Angela is a down-to-earth, stunningly gorgeous model who has recently become separated from her husband. Auti, a dancer, rapper, actress and all-around powerhouse, is crossing her fingers that, at age 42, she can try for a baby with her husband. Reflective and pragmatic Mia is taking stock of her relationship with her able-bodied boyfriend; a onetime competitive swimmer, she is about to attempt to swim for the first time since high school. Flirty, wisecracking Tiphany is doing some deep soul-searching about her sexuality, settling down and finding her calling in life.

As you can imagine these women are incredibly strong, determined and inspiring, but what struck me most about the show is how honestly the show depicts every aspect of thier lives. They show thier caregivers and thier families. They show their doctors appointments and relationships. It is not just a story about incredibly strong people overcoming the challenges of living with a disability, but about ALL of their relationships, personalities, goals, dreams, struggles and happiness.
They are certainly a dynamic bunch, but I was sucked in by the comradary they share. How these very different women were brought together by this common bond and how important that is in life for all of us.
This is something I have experienced with a few amazing moms I have met in this crazy chemo/blind/disability world.
The last episode I watched the woman were speaking to a teenage girl who was recently paralyzed. The younge girl, Chelsei, is angry about her paralysis and was fighting so hard to be able to walk again. The older woman had this wisdom of remembering that feeling for themselves when they were newly paralyzed but also the wisdom of knowing this is who they are now and they have learned how to accept it. They wouldn’t all be sitting at that table together if it wern’t for their disabilities and for that they could see purpose and positive meaning for the tragedies that have happened to them. They also knew they could not convince her of this, that she needed time to grow into this life on her own.
It was such a candid and amazing conversation to witness. In a matter of moments they so truly depicted the process of the grief, anger, sadness, struggle and then eventually rebirth of your self and your dreams that comes with surviving a traumatic life changing experience.
It all just hit so close to home for me in a moment when I really needed it.
This is a concept I feel a lot in my own life these days, dealing with Kai. At this point I can’t remember who I was before brain tumor and chemo and wheel chairs and feeding tubes, and I really have NO CLUE who I would be without it now.
While I am not the one with the disability myself, I identify with so much of what these women talk about, through my experience with Kai. I can only hope to remain as strong willed determined and bright as these women, for myself and for Kai. This experience has shaped who I am today. My goals and hopes and dreams all have a different focus now that I would not had had if Kai was a typical healthy boy. I still can’t quite say I am thankfully for this, as I wish more than anything that Kai would not have to suffer, but I do know it has made me who I am now and I will never be the same again.
Between watching that show tonight and visiting my Nana earlier today (who by the way is doing amazingly well, after being sedated and on a breathing tube for well over a month!) I feel a new sense of strength that I hope can at least hold me through tomorrow!


One thought on “Reality TV

  1. I loved reading this, Kerri. I agree that the traumatic and incredibly challenging moments in life can make us who we are, and I also believe that the strongest are those who can make meaning out of even the most scary, lonely and trying experiences. Thinking about you always. 🙂

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