Saturday, November 5, 2011

Happy cancerversary to me

Ten years ago today, I was diagnosed with a nasty little breast cancer. A grade 3, triple-positive (ER/PR, HER2) small-but-mighty killer. No positive nodes, but a question about vascular invasion. It was a miracle I was diagnosed (a whole 'nother post) and we were all scared. Heck, even my breast surgeon admitted last June that all my the docs were freaked out. They were really worried about my first few years out of treatment. Would I turn up with mets? A recurrence? I got the full battalion of treatments. Took almost a year. Then another year to feel like me again. And you know what?

I'm still here.

Six months ago, I would've told you I was planning a party to celebrate 10 years cancer-free. But that got yanked out from under me by creepy little cancer number 2. That little wimpy piece of junk has fouled up my fun and caused us to move to the finale, the full monty. The "this better be frickin' IT" surgery. It's been hard, physically and emotionally. But I'm doing great, all things considered, and I'm so thankful for what I've got. Another lease on life. A second, second chance. I'm bucking Darwin and I'm feeling lucky.

So while I'm not throwing myself the party I'd planned, I am indulging in a little party in my mind. 'Cause you know what? After I finally heal up from surgery, I've got more time. Time to love my wonderful husband. Time to mother my daughter, and, knock-wood, to see my baby grow up. Time to experience more of what life has to offer; from the mundane to the fantastic.

Not much in this life is certain. Since age 32, my life has been shaped by cancer. It changed the trajectory of my adult years. I don't define myself by my cancer experience, but it has affected every single aspect of my existence since it came on the scene. Surprisingly, in many ways, fabulously. Although I never, ever would say that having had cancer is a gift, I will tell you that my life is richer, more satisfying and more joyful post-cancer.

You never, ever know what's around the bend, my friends. Sometimes it's a monster. I am so very, very lucky to have been able to survive meeting a monster twice. My life's still a work in progress: I still don't know what my take-away from Round II is yet, but while I figure it out, I am guided by the same motto since November 5, 2001: No regrets.

Cheers to years, friends!




  1. Here - here! Cheers to you! You inspire me every day! love ya - K

  2. cheers to you!!! You definitely deserve some celebration! You've survived so much, and you inspire us. All my best to you today and always! Take care! love, Debbie