Wednesday, January 21, 2009

...And Then

I remember when I was pregnant with my oldest daughter. I spent the entire 9 months focusing on the goal of creating a healthy baby and preparing our home for the baby's arrival. Once she was born, we were madly in love with her of course, but I remember having some confusion about what my life looked like. I guess I am a goal oriented person. When I was pregnant, I knew what my goal looked like-a healthy happy baby. Once she was born though it was a little harder to define that goal-it was like having a blank canvas to start with. We got into a routine and then had another baby and our life started to define itself.

Many people who go through a cancer diagnosis go through some form of depression after they have completed treatment. I am not one of them, but I am starting to understand why it may happen. I have spent the last seven months battling cancer. It was a very clear goal-SURVIVE! I was armed with very specific tools to accomplish my goal; chemo, radiation and many trips to doctor's offices. Now I find that my goal still is to survive, but it is more than that. Now I get the opportunity to live and live well. While I am extremely grateful to have the opportunity, I find again that I am faced with a blank canvas. I know there are certain things I want to do such as walk in the 3 Day this year and write a book (or two) and continue to have a good marriage and family life and a job that I enjoy and feel valued in, but I feel a little like a marble in a jar. I never really thought about defining my life before I had cancer. I just plugged along and did the things that needed to be done. I feel like I have a second chance to define my life and I'm not sure how to do it.

Maybe this is a result of feeling like there must be some reason why I got cancer and there must be some reason why I am to survive it. I keep looking for that big blinding sign in lights telling me what that reason is and I have yet to see it. I need to figure out the rest of the sentence. "She was diagnosed with Breast Cancer, she battled it and won and then......"

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