Thursday, October 8, 2015
Happy Birthday to Me!!!
So have you seen or heard that lottery commercial, the one where the announcer says, "It was an ordinary day...until it wasn't."? That is how I am feeling because yesterday was just an ordinary day...until it wasn't. Last night I was catching up on Project Runway with my daughter, my mom got home and came in to chat with us...and I noticed I had an email from my doctor. I didn’t say anything as they commented on the clothes coming down the runway, but I knew what this email was, what it had to be. Of course, an uncooperative Wi-Fi and shaking hands made things challenging, but when I finally got it to open, this is what I saw:
Hi, your recent scans are clear of cancer. Just post treatment changes. This is good news.
Of course, that isn’t all it said. The actual email runs about four pages long, as it includes all the notes from the radiologist (and has some interesting little factoids, but that’s a story for another time, nothing horrible, I promise!) But it didn’t matter about all that. All I could focus on were the words “scans are clear of cancer.” Clear of cancer. And suddenly, I could breathe again. A big deep breath, free of worry that I might have to start all over again. With tears in my eyes, I paused Project Runway (sorry Heidi and Tim, I was having my own make it work moment) and showed the email to my mom. It took her a moment to focus, but as soon as she did, she was breathing again too. Smiling and breathing. E. took the news in stride, trying not to seem too excited (she is almost twelve you know, we must not think anything about our parents is cool!) but I could tell how happy she was. Steve was still in the boys room, trying to coax them to sleep, but as soon as he came out, I greeted him at the door with the news. Another deep breath and a smile. You could almost actually see the weight coming off his shoulders.
So here is the part that might give you goosebumps or you might just shake your head at me and think I am being silly. I knew I was going to get my results yesterday. You know how there are dates you never forget, the good ones and the bad ones…the day you get proposed to, the day you get married, the day you find out you are going to be a parent, the day you lose a parent, the day you realize the fertility treatments didn’t work and then the day that they did, the day you find out (unexpectedly!) that you are going to be a parent for the third time, the day you find your dream house, the day you find out you have cancer. Add all those days to holidays and anniversaries and birthdays, those are a whole lot of days to remember. Well, yesterday was one of those days, even before I got my email. Yesterday was my dad’s birthday. If he were still with us, he would have been..okay, I won’t say because my parents shared a birth year and I’m sure my mother wouldn’t appreciate me announcing her age to the entire world. My dad has been with me this whole way, making his presence known at various times. I knew that yesterday would be the day because I knew that he wanted to be a part of the good stuff too. So now, Dad and I share a birthday. For the last eight years, October 7 has been a difficult, hard to be happy day, because it’s hard to be happy when you miss someone so much. But now October 7 will be forever be a happy, celebration day because it is the day my life started over! As I write this, it occurs to me that of course Dad was involved in this…I think he was peeved that we weren’t properly celebrating his birthday, so he wanted to make sure we did it right from now on! (Wonder where I get that Type A, controlling stuff from?)
I know that this is not over. I am not done cleaning up the trail of destruction the cancer left behind. I will never be done, there will always be some effect…it changed me. Physically as well as emotionally. I am not the same person I was ten months ago, not even close. I look different, I feel different, I am different. I have a lot of work to do, hard work, work on my speech, my swallowing, my stamina, my emotions. But now I can concentrate on that work without feeling like something is hanging over my head. And that my friends, is a very good feeling.
I have so much more I want to say but I need to get moving with the rest of my day. I have orders to fill (yay!) and work to do. I was actually in the middle of a blog post yesterday when I had to leave to play dance mom, so expect another post either later today or tomorrow. And thank you for the love, the texts, the messages, the comments on my FB post. Having all of you out there supporting me has made this whole thing just a little easier. You are one of the blessings that I count regularly.
Love and sparkles,