Wednesday, September 01, 2010

Coming Full Circle

One year ago today as we were driving from the Buffalo airport to my father-in-law's house in Rochester I received a phone call telling me I had breast cancer. It was shocking.

Today, happily, I am cancer-free (as far as the medical professionals can tell- nothing is ever a sure thing- but I prefer to see the glass as half full). A status that is, in it's own way, shocking. After months of treatment and surgery and everything else associated with a cancer diagnosis, I am now "normal" again, thrown back into the routine of life as if nothing of note happened in the last year. I am grateful for normal. I strive to be nothing but medically boring from this point forward... but it is odd in a way.

One month you are, as they say, battling cancer - in the "fight of your life." And then... just battling the everyday rat race.

Maybe my feeling of oddness is due to my approach to cancer. I tried to see it, not as a battle, but as something I had to do, had to get through, had to check off on the To Do List. I tried very hard (too hard my family might tell you) to keep my life as close to normal as possible despite the chemo and everything else. And so the whole thing feels a bit surreal. Did I really have cancer? Was it only 4 months ago I had surgery?

As I shepherd the kids to their activities, as I go to dance rehearsal or my knitting group, as I do all the mundane little things that make my life, well, mine, cancer is hardly even a thought in my head. Which is, as I said above, a Very Good Thing... I'd hate to have to deal with the alternative and I am thankful every day that I do not.

I am also grateful and thankful beyond what is possible to express with my own meager words for all the love and support that was given to me and my family over the past year. I may not always have responded to all the emails, cards, notes, gifts and whatnot but know that I read them over and over, I appreciated every word and kind gesture.

I had no idea my net was so vast. It is humbling to consider.

I would like to send out a very special thank you to my parents. In addition to all the other support they lent, my mom spent five weeks with us in May & June when I had surgery helping me recuperate and wrangling the kiddos. I know I wasn't an easy patient and I am so thankful you were here. And Daddy, thank you for loaning her to me for so long- I know it was hard for you to be without her for so long (I'm guessing the only other time my parents have been separated for so long was when my father served our country in Vietnam).

I know many of you wanted more blog posts over the past year and I wanted more too but it just wasn't in the cards. At first, treatment seemed boring: had chemo, kinda tired, doing ok- and I didn't want to bore you with it. Then, when things got, um, more interesting I was tired and frankly the details, while medically interesting, really would fall under the TMI category. So I didn't blog.

But here I am. One year later. And I wanted to say something. Mark the day as it were.

So, yes. I am doing very well indeed. I feel healthy and happy. Thank you for helping me get here.

In fact, I feel so good that at the end of the month, in a mere 24 days, I will be participating in the Susan G. Komen 3 Day for the Cure with two of my wonderful friends from MOPS, Wendy and Alisa. That's right, I will be walking 60 miles over three days in order to help raise money to find a cure so that someday, blog posts like this will be a thing of the past. You were all so very supportive over the past year but I am going to push it and ask you, please, to once again support me by donating today. My goal is to raise $3000 and I am 28% of the way there.

Thank you again to everyone- I truly could not have gotten through the past year without you!


Duffy said...

Wow, was it really a year ago today??

You know...that means it was a year ago when I went home and asked my sister (the PA) and my friend (the RN) if I should be concerned that my breast was kind of painful in one spot. It was Labor Day weekend and it was JUST after you found out and I was so freaked out that I did a self-exam and woke up the next morning with pain there.

Congratulations and keep it up!!! I'm with seems so surreal until I look at myself in the mirror with the super-short hair.

Jen said...

I cannot believe it has been a year already! I am so happy that things turned out well for you!

Sarah-potterknitter said...

I actually scrolled through my blog list yesterday and wondered about you, sent up a good thought into the universe for you.
SO good to hear from you again after any length of time, and especially with such good news.
Good luck with your walk!!

Daphne said...

I've been thinking of you. So glad to hear you're doing well!

weebug said...

it is certainly a journey isn't it? so glad you have made it through, and here is to many more years of survivorship!