Monday, January 4, 2010

Measuring a Year

What a difference a year makes.  After being diagnosed with breast cancer in May of 2008, everything became about cancer.  I spent the year in surgeries, doing chemo and radiation and with fear as my constant companion.  2008 brought other things as well.  Amazing support from friends and family, a newfound appreciation for good health care, a new depth of knowledge about my own health and my own strength.

If 2008 was my year of living with cancer, 2009 was my year of living without it.  I wish I could say that after finishing treatment that I went back to my normal life, but that isn't really true.  Cancer doesn't really go away.  It is something I think about every single day.  In 2009, I got to figure out what living without cancer is like.

In 2009 my friendships were different than they were in 2008.  Not better or worse, just different.  I was reminded that everyone has challenges and joys in their life and I get to participate in those.  In 2008 I knew this, but couldn't give my attention to it.

My world became broader.  This year I did 2 radio interviews, a television interview, wrote a newspaper article and was interviewed for an article.  I participated in the Susan G. Komen 3 day walk.   I had the pleasure of meeting an entire group of breast cancer survivors from around the counry.  I got to be part of the world in a bigger way than I had before. 

I am now an expert in something I never wanted to be an expert in; cancer.  I wish I could say that I didn't know anyone else who had been diagnosed, but that is not the case.  Though I am incredibly sorry that more women have been diagnosed, I am glad that I can provide some help and support based on my own experience. 

I have been unemployed since March.  While this has caused a good amount of stress financially and  my confidence sometimes takes a hit, I am grateful every day for the opportunity to spend time with my family.  I don't think I would have had the same level of appreciation for it had the prior year not been consumed by cancer. 

I have aches and pains.  Every ache and pain causes me concern.  It is very difficult to convince myself that every pain isn't cancer.  But I am remembering what it is like to have aches and pains that are part of being human.

In 2008 I measured my year in treatments and surgeries and how it was affected by cancer.  In 2009 I had to find another way to measure.  My favorite musical of all time is Rent.  My favorite song and the one that brings me to tears every time I see it is Seasons of Love.  How do you measure a year?  How about love.

Seasons of Love

525,600 minutes, 525,000 moments so dear
525,600 minutes how do you measure
Measure a year
In daylights, in sunsets, in midnights, in cups of coffee
In inches, in miles, in laughter, in strife
In 525,600 minutes - how do you measure a year in the life
How about love
How about love
How about love
Measure in love
Seasons of love

525,600 minutes, 525,000 journeys to plan
525,600 minutes how can you measure the life of a woman or man
In truths that she learned, or in times that he cried
In bridges he burned, or the way that she died

It�s time now to sing out, though the story never ends
Let's celebrate remember a year in the life of friends
Remember the love
Remember the love
Remember the love
Measure in love
Seasons of love
Seasons of love

1 comment:

Lisa said...

My year is just beginning. Lumpectomy tomorrow then the months of treatment that follows. You may feel like an expert but it is women like you who give me hope and strength to face what lies ahead knowing you've already been there and survived! Thank you for this blog.