Wednesday, November 12, 2014

November 8, 2013

November 8, 2013.

A day I will never forget. I was taking a shower like any other day. A drop of blood changed my life forever.

So many things have happened since then, it seems like a different life altogether. What has happened?

Well, a year has passed. What does that mean? As a wonderful song from the Broadway show "Rent" puts it - Five hundred twenty five thousand six hundred minutes. How do you measure a year in the life?

I had two mastectomies, three reconstructive surgeries, chemotherapy, lost my hair and some nails along with a bunch of other inconveniences. None of that was easy, no sugar coating that, but hey- it could have been much harder. I feel blessed that it wasn't.

All of these things are minor in the greater scheme of things. I went from having cancer to being cancer free. There are no better words in the English language than "Cancer Free" when you have cancer.

So, how do I feel about it?  Let's look at this from the perspective of the year as a learning experience.  I love to learn things.

What have I learned in the past year:

  • Thoughts like "Woe is me" and "Why me" have no point, waste time and energy.
  • Family and friends really do lift you up and give you the ability to get through anything.
  • I missed my work when I didn't have it in my daily life.  No matter how much I say I wouldn't do it if I were independently wealthy, I now appreciate how much I enjoy what I do for a living more than ever.
  • Sometimes it takes a horrible course of events to get you to something you really wanted all along.  I wanted a breast reduction after all.  It just took me a major diagnosis make it happen.  That was definitely a bonus.  
  • I hated making my family worry more than any other experience I had this past year.  I pray I never have to do that to them again.
  • I am stronger than I ever imagined.
  • I love the new me.  Scars, imperfect, whatever- it is all me and I earned it.

Fast forward to November 8, 2014

I spent this day in a much different way than I did the day a year ago.  

Last year I spent the day worrying about what I very quickly realized would turn out to be a new cancer diagnosis.

This year was a blast.  I spent the day with two of my children in New York City- one of our very favorite past times.  Just hanging out in the city for the day.  

What a difference a year makes.