Five years ago right now I was a haze of leftover anesthesia and pain meds. Today is June 1st and five years ago now I had a partial mastectomy or lumpectomy.
Next week I start my five year tests. Mammogram, visit to oncology breast surgeon, and oncology visit. I am scared.
Funny thing is the only person who remembered today was my friend Barb from high school who lives in Virginia. I didn’t want fanfare, so it’s fine, truly.
But today I also lost another friend to cancer. And I do not know what it is about being a survivor, but you feel each loss of another survivor so very much more acutely,
It was April 13 when my friend Peggy messaged me to tell me her latest testing showed Her cancer was back and she had cancer in her liver and 3 lesions in her cerebellum. She also told me she was going to Marisa Weiss at Lankenau (who is also my radiation oncologist.)
We messaged back and forth until about a month ago. She had also told me about her job at QVC going to Poland and wondered what she would do after 28 years. She would even describe the early morning sky on the way to Lankenau.
The last time we connected was April 25th when I saw my first bluebird ever in my garden. Peggy always took these amazing nature shots. She was a truly gifted photographer. She also loved her garden and her cats.
So I hit 5 years today and Peggy died today. So soon on the heels of another new friend dying, Ann.
I have to admit it’s really hard. Today is 5 years to the day since my surgery. I’m still here and grateful to God like no one truly understands, but so sad I have lost two friends to cancer in 2016.
Why do some of us live and others die? Don’t just tell me the cycle of life, even if in my heart I know that is the answer. Today it’s so bittersweet out.
Remember Peggy and Ann in your prayers. They were both lovely women.
And thank you for all of your support over the past five years.
Hi Carla, I follow your blog. I don’t even know how i found it, but i came across it and started following you. Congratulations on passing the 5 year mark. I was sad to read about your friends that passed today. Actually, your post brought tears to my eyes. I do not have cancer. My mom had breast cancer, was diagnosed in 1975, (back then you did not even say cancer, you called it the C word, too scary I guess. After my mother was diagnosed, a long time friend of my grandparents confided in my mom that she had had breast cancer in the 1950s, but never really told anyone. Did not want the stigma. I am so glad that times have changed in that regard and you can post your stories. I enjoy reading your stories. ). My best friend died from the disease in 2000. I like your pink rose photo. Pink roses were my mom’s favorite. Here’s to wishing you sunny days ahead and lots of good stories for you to tell. I look forward to your next post.
Hi back Becky. Thank you for your sweet words. They mean so much. And I’m glad you like the rose photo. It’s one I grow in my garden. Thank you again for reading my blog.
Dear Carla, I understand the intense mix of emotions you’re facing. As a survivor, it’s a huge milestone. Of course, it’s something to celebrate. Yet, there is always that other side to this disease-those we have lost. A coping mechanism I use, and it is of course a personal one that is not for everyone, is to just believe that I may and likely never understand why some of us are here and why some are not. I live with the mantra that I cannot control what happens (we can’t decide or choose who we lose), but I must work on my reaction and my way of coping with it. We all walk that fine line within the cancer world of when we rejoice and honor our struggle, while recognizing and trying to reconcile why some have not been as fortunate. I wish you peace during this time. Xoxoxo
I’m sorry for your losses but happy for you on hitting the 5 year mark. It’s no small thing. Bittersweet for sure, though.