Saturday, December 4, 2010

10 and 5 and 1 and 52

What do the numbers stand for?

10 weeks out from finishing chemotherapy.

5 weeks out from bilateral mastectomy surgery and partial axillary lymph node removal.

1 week of radiation complete.

52?

That's how old I am now.  Middle aged Tink.

Tonight I was thinking about if I had been diagnosed at age 32 or 42.

At 32, we had just moved into our first home, I was pregnant with my eldest son, Batman, and coping with the death of my mother to renal cell cancer at the age of 46.   I think a breast cancer diagnosis then would have put me right over the edge and baby too.

At age 42, Batman was only ten and Robin three, and we were self employed with no health insurance.  I don't even want to think about if I had been diagnosed then.  Certainly the financial strain would have been extremely difficult if not impossible.   I don't even know where or how I would have received the expensive care needed, without health insurance.

Now at age 52, my boys are better equipped and at a better age to deal with this.  Batman is 20 now, Robin is 13.  We have a PPO insurance plan through Husband's large employer.  It's a comprehensive, top notch plan with an expensive price tag, and we have certainly gotten our money's worth these last 8 months.

They say timing is everything.  Cancer sucks, and there is never a good time to be diagnosed with it.  All things considered though, I'm grateful if this had to happen, now is when it did.

I'm grateful too the time of year I was diagnosed.  April.  Can't imagine if I had gotten my diagnosis in October, the month of both boy's birthday's and our anniversary.  Or November, my birthday and Thanksgiving.  Or certainly not December and Christmas.

The month of April has no real significance for us, and so I imagine for my boys, the month of my diagnosis will eventually be forgotten.  I don't think that would have been the case if I had been diagnosed near a holiday or one of our birthdays.  For years after, my boys would have associated those special times of year we love so much with my diagnosis.

It's funny the things you think about, and as scary and challenging as this has been, it occurred to me tonight all the ways it could have happened, and been a whole lot worse.

I was at a place in my life where I was ready to do something big, make a change, focus on myself, work on me and make my health a priority.

Cancer doesn't take no for an answer.  Cancer doesn't wait for you to get ready.  Cancer forces you to show up.

Cancer slapped my face and said "Guess what?  You are going to make You your highest priority.  And You are going to do it NOW."

I'm grateful my fifty something self was the one chosen for this battle.  For all kinds of reasons, the other ages of me could never have taken this diagnosis and handled it the way she has.  Although my cancer treatment has made me physically feel fragile, I assure you, my Woman Warrior Mother Spirit is as strong as it has ever been, and it's getting stronger.

You think it's the radiation?

Beam on.

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