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Beryl Woodrow: Who am I? A chameleon

Globe and Mail Update

You asked about what has touched us.

It's been a little over a year since my diagnosis of ovarian cancer.

I could tell you how I was touched and surprised by all the letters and phone calls from so many friends, relatives and colleagues who cared.

I could tell you about my husband's amazing support and love.

And I could tell you about how, although I'm not usually brought to tears, I cried for all — what they offered and how important all this is to me.

But what I really want to tell you is how I struggled with the question: "Who am I?"

On October the 8th, barely awake from the anesthetic, I opened my eyes to a stunning woman with her hair covered in a shroud speaking to me in a heavy accent introducing herself as the resident in surgery, explaining to me the results of the frozen section — after struggling to understand, I knew the stage was set.

Unknown to me at the time, that this new adventure would rival any of my past travels and I would be thrown into a new culture, a new language, a new world filled with diverse people, diverse instruments, diverse ways of thinking and I would find myself questioning: Who am I? What am I doing here?

How do I reconcile a body devoid of all reproductive organs, a head devoid of hair , and an abdomen with a deep incision that winds its way from the pubic bone up and around the belly button?

I saw myself taking on different personas as if to make up for what I am not.

So I share a few of those personas with you.

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NEXT: Susan Carr: Blessings in the darkness

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