Well in a few short weeks another high school reunion will be here. So much has happened in five years, so much.
But what another Shipley reunion also means is I am creeping up on the five year anniversary of my breast cancer diagnosis. I have to admit I am really going back and forth in my head about this.
I think I am having a wee bit of a hard time with this which makes me feel a bit silly.
- In 28 days it will be five years since my breast cancer diagnosis.
- In 29 days this blog is five years old.
- June 1st is five years since my surgery.
- September 13th is five years since I completed radiation and rang the bell.
What a long, strange trip it has been.
I am almost at the five year mark and I am fearful some days. Fear of recurrence, fear of a milestone, basically whirring around too much in my own head about this. So write it out, I will.
I have no rational reason to be afraid. But some days I am.
Maybe part of me is scared because ironically my life has improved so dramatically since being diagnosed with breast cancer.
But I have friends who live with metastatic breast cancer every day, so I need to get over myself.
There is a woman I know now who just had her third surgery in the span of so many months. The first surgeon did not get clean margins…twice. So she has been through brutal chemotherapy and another surgery. I haven’t been there enough for her as a result of the temporary boogeymen taking up residence in my head. I feel badly about that. But I can’t be there until I can be there for myself again.
I am working on it. I am strong. I can do this.
And I have joyful news. My sweet man and I are getting hitched at some point in the near future. We were just getting serious when I got my diagnosis. He is my bedrock, and the love of my life. I don’t say things like that but it is true, he is all that and more. When I see what other women put up with after getting a breast cancer diagnosis, I know how lucky I am.
Your healing is in a big part about your support system. I was and am blessed quite literally.
Now for an irony: I have been told a woman who does not know me but who has targeted me with supreme nastiness because she doesn’t like my blogging and opinions is supposedly a peer counselor at a well known breast cancer charity I like. I hope she is a better peer counselor than she is as a human being in real time.
I am looking outside my window at a sunny day. The trees are budding and daffodils nodding in the late afternoon sun. Birds are singing. Damn I love my life now. Maybe that is part of my fear, which fellow survivors all say is normal for milestone post-cancer anniversaries.
I hope readers aren’t all freaked out by my saying I have milestone fears. Don’t be. I will get there. I have, after all, a lot to live and live joyfully for.
Rose Kennedy said life isn’t a matter of milestones, but of moments. But sometimes, those moments? They are milestones.
Congrats on your 5th year as a survivor! It’s an important milestone. For me it was the end of “will I make it to year 5?” And yet, I still have fears at year 7. I’m beginning to believe it doesn’t fully go away, it just lessens. Congrats on your engagement. So glad things are going well. 🙂
“I hope she is a better peer counselor than she is as a human being in real time.” Best line ever!
I’ve learned that rational reasons and cancer don’t always go together, and that milestones can evoke a ton of strange and non-rational feelings. I get it. Congrats on your engagement! How exciting! Enjoy!