Tuesday, May 11, 2010

2 Years

Well I have made it two years.  I was diagnosed on May 7th 2008.  When I tell people that it was two years ago that I was diagnosed, most people ask me how I feel about it.  I feel great about it.  I know that there are people who have depression after a diagnosis, but I'm not one of them.  On May 7th 2009 I felt good about making it a year, but still didn't really feel like myself.  This year I feel like myself.  My energy is back, I am not waiting on surgeries, recovering from surgeries or recuperating from treatment.  My hair is back and I feel healthier than ever.

I wish I could say that I feel like it is all behind me, but that isn't really true.  Cancer is still in my thoughts every single day.  It just doesn't really go away.  I am concerned every time I have an ache or a pain or something that is out of the ordinary. 

I still struggle with what my lessons are supposed to be.  I continue to think that I got cancer for a reason, but I don't yet know what it is.  I learned a lot about myself and about my friends and family but my life isn't drastically different than it was before.  I didn't pack up the family and move into a log cabin or chuck all of my professional experience and become a film director. 

I read recently that most people say that the age when they "found" themselves was 45.  I turned 45 in March so I have high hopes for this year.  I thought my lessons would show up with fireworks and lightning, but that hasn't been the case.  I think this will be my year.  I am happy to be 2 years out.  I am proud of the accomplishment and hopeful for the future.

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Graduation Day

Last week I had an appointment with my oncologist.  I am blessed to have chosen an oncologist that I am very comfortable with and trust completely.  Its a good thing too since I have spent a whole lot of time with her over the last 2 years. 

When I first began my cancer journey, I saw her at least once every 3 weeks.  I would see her on chemo day and generally a week after chemo to check my white blood cells.  I am now on a first name basis with my doctor, her nurses, the receptionist and the nice people who take my blood every time I go in. 

After I finished treatment, I started seeing her every 3 months and have been doing so for the last year and a half.  Last week when I finished my appointment and went to make the next one, they told me they would see me in 6 months.  I had to ask to make sure that I had heard right.  Yep-6 months. 

To put that in perspective, consider the other appointments I have during the year.  2 infusions of Zometa, 1 bone Scan, 2 Mammograms, 1 MRI, 4 trips for bloodwork, 1 Ob-gyn appointment and those are all if I am healthy.  If I happen to get sick then I have to see my regular doctor.  So 2 fewer trips a year may not seem like a big deal but it is.

I love graduation day!

Monday, April 5, 2010

Birthdays and Early Departures

Today is my dad's birthday.  He would have been 69 years old.  He died of pancreatic cancer when he was 48 years old.  Too young.  My husband is now 49 years old and is in the prime of his life.  He is healthy, active, happy and thriving.  I can't imagine him not being here.

My dad's death was the first in my life and the time when I realized that people are often taken too soon.  I'm not sure what the right number of years to be on earth should be, but I think it should be more than 48.

When I was first diagnosed with cancer, my doctor showed me the 10 year survival rates for someone with my diagnosis.  If I survive 10 years, I will be 53.  This didn't really make me feel a whole lot better.  53 seems too young also.  How about 83 or 93 or 103?  How about I get to actually live a good, long, healthy, happy life?  I just celebrated my 45th birthday-one which I am extremely grateful for. 

Now, 21 years after my dad's death, it seems like most of the deaths that I have had to bear have been for people that were way too young.  So for those people, here's wishing you would have had more birthdays to celebrate.

Dad-48 years old
Marty-41 years old
Diane-46 years old
Dean-30 years old
Baby Lauren-6 hours
Baby Sierra Willow-0 hours