Souvenirs and a celebration

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!

105 thoughts on “Souvenirs and a celebration

  1. Congratulations on your year. On December 28th my husband and I have our 12 year wedding anniversary. I'm looking forward to it, but I don't know how much celebrating we will be doing. I am in the military on another deployment, and don't know if I will be home before the end of the year. So while I can't be with my family, I will knit things for them while I am in Iraq, and I teach others how to knit and crochet also. It is an unconventional passtime for soldiers, but at least you can feel close to your family when you are making things for them.

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  2. congrats on your anniversary!my wife and i mark many anniversaries throughout our year- day we started dating, day we moved in together, day we were engaged, married, on and on. 12 years now and going strong. 🙂

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  3. Happy one year anniversary to you, Jane. I'm so glad you are feeling so much better than a year ago. You are a strong person – I so love looking at your projects on Ravelry and the photos on your blog. My anniversaries are the usual wedding (39 yrs), birthdays, and now grandkids birthdays. Twins coming in October – I better get knitting!

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  4. I'm so glad you made it to another birthday, healthy and happy! It's been a tough year for me, with the loss of my best friend and business partner of 32 years to melanoma. But there were many good things too. Makes me wonder what unexpected things will happen in the next year.

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