We have liftoff!
I am officially launching my blog today – August 18, 2016 – on my 1st cancerversary. (Yes, it’s a thing.)
One year ago today, my surgeon called to tell me that I had breast cancer. The biopsies proved it. Period. Full stop. Hearing those words for the first time and trying to comprehend what was happening while taking notes with a trembling hand was by far the worst part of the entire year. What?! you think incredulously. Two surgeries? Six rounds of chemo?? Countless days lying in bed??? How can hearing a few little words be worse than going through all of that physical pain?!?!
It’s simple, really.
We have a beloved neighbor who, in his 60’s, has had to endure numerous hernia surgeries within the last few years because they just aren’t holding. Talk about discouraging! While I was in the middle of chemo last winter and he was scheduled for yet another surgery, we ran into each other in the alley. When I asked how he was doing and if he was prepared to go under the knife again, he said to me, “I can handle the surgeries and the recovery time. Don’t you think that nothing is worse than the day of diagnosis?” In that moment, it hit me. “You’re SO right!” Wrapping my head around my diagnosis was absolutely devastating and totally disorienting. It made me question everything I thought I knew about myself and my body. But once I realized that I could control my outlook, I had incredible relationships to rely upon and inappropriate humor on my side, going through the motions of treatment was relatively easy (if you know what I mean).
As a consequence of my diagnosis, I have spent the last year redefining myself for myself and I’ve spent the last 6 months documenting it all here. I wanted to create a place where my girls could come to refresh their memories when they are ready (and they are old enough to handle an F bomb) and I wanted to show other people going through health crises that they are not alone. I was never alone thanks to the generosity of both friends and strangers, and that was the greatest feeling.
Over this next year I am going to try out some funky new hair styles (what? what??), reconnect with lifelong friends and get a glimpse into their greatest passions to see if they can spark a new fire in me, go on an epic adventure with my mom and sister (what do you think is the happiest place on earth?), hopefully adopt another dog (shhh…Will isn’t so keen on this one yet!), connect with people who are struggling and surviving, and find all of the magic in my everyday life. If cancer cracked me open last year, I am going to blow the lid off this year!
I do hope you’ll join me.
* What are YOU looking forward to this year?
Photos by Sohi Photography