I should have written this post yesterday. I wrote the title and then just sat here staring at the computer screen. I went back to my previous cancerversary posts and read them [Diagnosis Post, Year One, Year Two, and Year Three if you want to check them out], but I just couldn’t seem to find the right words to write for my Four-Year Cancerversary.
I am still a little unsure as to how to feel about “celebrating” the anniversary of the day that I got the phone call that changed my life. And I guess celebrating is not quite the right word…maybe “marking?”
In a way, I AM celebrating that I am still alive. That I am still in remission, with no signs of cancer. That I am still here to be a wife, mom, daughter, sister, aunt, friend…so yes, I do celebrate THAT aspect of it. But the actual DAY that September 16th is, is one I would just as soon forget.
It’s crazy how well I can remember some things. Now we all know that I can barely remember what day it is, but I can remember every detail of September 16, 2008…
I can remember that I ran 8 miles that morning.
That the boys were at school and Katie was watching cartoons in my bedroom while I made us a breakfast of scrambled eggs.
I remember that when the phone rang the last thing I ever imagined the lady saying was, “You have breast cancer.”
I remember frantically trying to call Jack in between tears and my heart racing so fast I thought it would burst…all the while trying to LOOK calm so as not to completely freak out my 4-year old daughter.
I remember calling my mom and telling her, and her being so calm-as not to freak ME out.
And then calling my friend, Kim, and the both of us crying into the phone.
I remember where I was sitting in the dining room, the exact same place I’m sitting right now actually, when my husband came in and I just put my head down on the table and cried.
And the feeling of gnawing in the pit of my stomach as we drove to the dr’s office two-hours away to get more details of what they had told me over the phone.
I remember that when we got there, my blood pressure was so high the elderly nurse couldn’t even get a good reading because she thought there was something wrong with the cuff. “Um, yes, ma’am, I was just diagnosed with cancer, it’s a tad high today.”
And I remember telling Jack on the way home that day, “I’m going to be a survivor,” as I told Jesus, “I.need.You.now. More than ever before. Be my Rock and hang on so tightly to our family.”
In a way I can’t believe it’s been four years. Forty-eight months of our lives that have revolved around doctors, tests, surgeries, treatments, and appointments. We have adapted, and only by the Grace of God, we have thrived.
Cancer can’t beat us. Cancer may give us a good gut-punch but we get back up, stronger than ever.
Here’s to another year!
Remember to check your breasts, ladies! You are your own best advocate and could save your own life.
“Don’t be afraid, just believe.” Mark 5:36