Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Almost Three Years Out

My friend Jenny gave me a great book to read, it's by Regina Brett, a breast cancer survivor and columnist for the Plain Dealer, out of Cincinnati.



I am really enjoying this little book of simple common sense treasures, and it's for anybody, not just my cancer peeps. I highly recommend it.

Jenny also forwarded me Regina's latest column regarding her fifteen year "cancerversary."  In April I will be three years out from diagnosis, or as I like to say "From Stage Three to Cancer Free."  Praise God.

I'll be celebrating with my reconstruction on April 18th, do I dare say the date?  Oh Lord, deliver me to this date, healthy, strong and ready.  I am so so ready to git her done and continue to move forward!  It's crazy to think I'm almost three years out, my cancerversary is April 21, 2010.

I'm not surprised to read in Regina's article, that even after fifteen years of survivorship, the what if's still creep and linger.  I imagine once you've been diagnosed, no matter how far out you get, there will always be a bit of looking over your shoulder.  Cancer is scary.  Cancer treatment is hard hard hard.  There aren't always happy endings.

I have my days where I worry about recurrence, where any little pain or ache makes me pause and think "Uh oh, what's that?"  I try not to focus on them, instead focusing on what I can to better my odds against a recurrence.

What have I changed since my cancer diagnosis?  Way better at managing my stress, and investing in what brings me joy.  More prayer.  More nature.  More whole foods.  More greens. No artificial flavors, sweeteners or preservatives.

Mostly though?

Way way way more gratitude, seeking peace, avoiding drama, connecting daily with my Higher Power Jesus Christ, and being present in my life.

I sure have appreciated all the love and support I've gotten, but there's something that worries me now and then.

If I were to have a recurrence, I think you'd all be so disappointed and discouraged and angry and maybe lose hope.  The beauty for me is this -

even if ultimately I have not been cured,

thank you thank you Lord,

for how my heart and blond brain have been healed.

No matter what happens, will you always, when you think of me, think of the joy and love and passion I live my life with?

Promise?

This is what survivorship is to me, it's not about the cancer or if it comes back.

It's how I live every day now, however many days are gifted to me.

Gratitude

changes

everything.

Try it.

1Peter 3:4



Saturday, February 9, 2013

Glimmering

That's how it feels sometimes, this gratitude in me, like I am glimmering, sparkly, like rays of sunshine through a crystal, exploding in rainbows out of my blond brain.

Well let me see, since I last saw you, I made a trip to see the Good Witch! Oh how I do love her, my Diva cancer doctor touchstone, but it's a struggle Baby, missing her and yet hatin to walk through those CANCER CENTER doors.  My sentences do run on today, deal with it.

I have been on a schedule, like most cancer faithful, of seeing her every three months.  Just shy of 3 years of doing that!

Imagine my glory and surprise and elation when she says to me "Okay, so I'll see you in six months..."

Huh? What? Stop the presses.  Wait a minute Lady, could you REPEAT THAT PLEASE?

Like ice cream dripping down my chin on a 100 degree day, oh yes, yes, this is good good good.

My God is good good good.

"Wait a minute, could you repeat that please, and aren't you gonna try and strong arm me into a PET scan? I haven't had one since a couple months into chemo."

I was all prepared for her answer, I was ready for her, but she got me.

"Well, I probably would have liked you to have one last year, but you talked me out of it, and now you're so far out and doing so well, I don't see the need for one.  We'll do one if we need to, if we feel like we're chasing something."

Yes we are chasing something alright.

JUST GIVE ME SOME HOPE TO FOLLOW AND I WILL RUN. Jarrod Gorbel

No oncology appointment, no lab tests, for six months?  And no PET scan?




Yup. That's how I felt.

Almost three years out, from Stage 3 to cancer free.

Lord you see me dancing,

gangnam style?


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