It’s been a year, one whole year since my last chemotherapy treatment. Since any treatment for endometrial cancer. A year since my goal was to make it through the day a step at a time. One year of No Cancer!
This first anniversary weaves itself in and out of my days. I remember what a struggle it was to do anything, from getting out of bed, to doing my job, to knitting. I smile when I think about all the love and care that came from my family and friends, and of all those people I don’t know in real life, too, like some of you. I can still taste saline and heparin and taxol if I think about it.
I can’t help but stop and think about what I was doing, where I was, how I felt at this moment, or on that day a year ago, or a year and a half. And I think about it this way: I’m proud of myself. I worked hard. I tried to be honest. I hope I became wiser. I wanted to find myself here right now, recovering and happy, and I did.
There are remnants and reminders of the journey — souvenirs, as a dear friend put it. A little blurred vision, still tender lungs, a slightly less efficient heart, swelling in my legs, numbness in my toes. Souvenirs, including the one inch scar where my port was, which reminds me every day that I set my whole body and mind on reaching the land of No Cancer. I accept them, because I arrived.
But now it’s time to celebrate! On Thursday I shared the evening with some of the women who spent so many hours with me while I had chemo. I loved seeing all of them together, around a table piled with delicious food. We toasted me, we toasted Dr. Pearl. If you know me you’ll think I spent the evening in tears, but I didn’t. We laughed and I smiled, and it was the best way to celebrate the year!
I want to make my anniversary last, so I have an idea. We all have anniversaries — days or moments we remember, that we look to to help us mark time. Leave a comment, and tell me about an anniversary that you celebrate, big or small. I want to know what makes it special and memorable.For every comment on this post between now and my birthday on April 28th, I’ll make a donation to the Gynecologic Cancer Foundation. It’s a wonderful organization that supports research and promotes public awareness of gynecologic cancers, and it’s been invaluable to me since my diagnosis. Its Women’s Cancer Network was the first website I visited that helped me make sense of what was happening to me. With your help, I want to do more for them.
There’s more, because I want to spread my happiness around a little. At the end of the month I’ll do the random number thing and somebody will win a prize! If the winner is a knitter, there will be yarn. If not, there will be a book.
So what do you say — want to play along? I hope so!