4 January. I am grateful for my oncologist. And that in my desire to find the best care I came full circle to the man who scared me off at first. I am grateful for his honesty, his integrity, his purpose and his lovely sense of humour. I am reminded today as I sit in front of him of the laughter he brought in to the chemo ward, despite the hush that was always present. I loved that. He made me laugh. He brought hope.
I missed it. 3 January was my 5 years. I am officially 5 years cancer free. I was officially cancer free for 5 years, 2 days ago. The day I have held as my goal without really meaning to, yet yes counting and being subtly aware of. And I missed it. It was a damn important day for me, a day I wanted to mark and rejoice and give thanks and smile and be still and light a lantern and gently weep, looking up into B’s eyes with wonder and love at all we have achieved. Ohmigod, I think I’m going to vomit. And am seriously considering romance novels as my next outlet. But, how simply fabulous that I missed it. I love that. Even though I made B squirm cos he missed it too. I haven’t told him I had too. Well, I have now. Seriously though. Life is great, life is every day, every little thing every day is as important as everything else, nothing is more important, it’s just the importance we attach to things that makes them so. I am here, I am loved and I love. With all my heart and I am thankful and grateful for every day. And not especially for 3 January. I have grown, I am brave and I look forward to every day with courage and excitement and gratitude. As must we all.
I met a wonderful friend of a friend of mine yesterday. I can’t stop thinking about her. You see she is a warrior woman. A gentle tenacious bright funny warrior woman, who has a brain tumour and was given 14 months to live. She was told the doctors could do no more for her. So she pursued her own path. She is currently on 27 months and counting. She has been dealt many blows by life yet is positive, witty and real. She is self effacing and humble. She is an inspiration and she is my fear. Was my fear. You see she also had breast cancer and a mastectomy and chemo and all the stuff they scare you into having to make sure you are here five years later. She made her five years and had just decided against a big celebration of life party when they discovered her brain tumour, a secondary from her breast cancer. I have no doubt the irony did not escape her. That meaningless silly bloody goal of 5 years that we hold like a beacon of hope, living in limbo, counting the years, months, weeks and days, definitely even if not obviously, believing that on the stroke of midnight of our last day of being 5 years cancer free, we will finally be set free. Free from cancer. Free from fear. And whilst I booted fear a while back, meeting her made me face it for real. She gave me goosebumps and her matter of fact retelling of her tale reduced me to tears. But not for me, but for the wonderful inspiring human being I was graced to be in the company of. I would be proud to be her. I am honoured to have a daughter named Kate just like her. May she grow to be just like the warrior woman I met yesterday. Strong and present and true.