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?


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.




Try it.

1Peter 3:4

1 comment:

Jenny Smith said...

Amen, sister! How hard we are on ourselves that when something happens we are so ready to think "I did something wrong for this to happen," instead of remembering how damn far we've come and how much courage it to take each and every step of the journey. This shit ain't for sissies, that's for sure!!

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