I have to admit I lost the plot a little yesterday. And not because the news is bad but because the news is incomplete. And how could I have forgotten. There is nothing finite about this. We can only deal with each bit of information as it presents itself with care and determination. Well yesterday was a fuck that, what does that mean kind of day. Not much dignity around. Today is a little better. So. It appears I have invasive papillary carcinoma. The word that threw me was invasive. Not what you want on your path report. Actually what you really don’t want is a path report. Anyway. My kind brilliant surgeon is quietly confident he got it all and with safe margins. And I like him. But that damn word again. Invasive. I so wish it was that’s that. Carry on juicing, being positive and eating raw food and we’ll see you next year. Oh and sorry for the divot in your armpit. Okay so maybe today isn’t really a better day. Anyway. Now it’s over to oncology. Apparently I am a little of an enigma third time round. You’re kidding right. So my case will be discussed on Tuesday at a round table with all these brilliant oncological minds and best route foreward discussed. Whilst they do that I have to have a pet scan to see if there is any indication of invasiveness. Any need for more surgery. But my kind brilliant surgeon is quietly confident there won’t be. And I like him. And his gentle positivity. So I’ll hold onto that and retreat into my cocoon for today. Safe in the knowledge once we have all opinions I will make the best decision for me. Because only I can. And that tomorrow I’ll be in a better mood.
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.
26 December. I unwittingly tried to minimise change in my children’s worlds. Tried to protect them from the one thing they actually needed to learn to deal with. The one constant in the world we know. Change. I blame my control freak tendencies and forgive myself because my intentions were good, my motive was love. So I am grateful, so very grateful that I have learnt that whilst change can be painful, it can also be beautiful. If you embrace it. It is liberating, you grow from it, you learn a lot, not only about yourself but about others. And I most especially learnt what I was capable of. And not to be fearful. I know my girls have grown immeasurably too. I knew it for a fact today when I stumbled across this passage Kate had found meaningful enough in her book to capture. Things do change. And life doesn’t stop for anybody. I am grateful my girls know this. Really know it. And more importantly embrace it. Embrace the adventure of life, the ups and downs. And are learning not to take what they have right now for granted. And I’m grateful I no longer feel guilty they had to face fears I would rather they hadn’t, I now see it as a gift. To us all.
We found my wig today. I put it on and Kate said take it off it’s horrid. Much the same response they both had when I first bought it. Which was one of the reasons I never wore it. Probably the worst purchase I have ever made. And not because of the wig (and it was horrid but it was the closest we could get, even after being styled to my old hair) but the fact that I had to shop for one. Bizarre and awful. I know the wigs made many feel whole again, for me it just underlined the fact that I wasn’t. Weird but I felt like I stood out more when I wore it than when I was bald. My mistake was trying to be me. I wish I had had the courage at the time to be mad, go blonde, go blue, go black. I just didn’t feel fun I guess. Today I am grateful for the fun we had with it. And that I never wore it.
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.
My last Zoladex implant and my oncologist is in Canada on conference. Really? I am so over needles and some barbaric sans local implants which my sister in law can attest to, all of which have made me a little tense, and so in need of my gentle caring compassionate doctor who so gets me. The fact that the locum oncologist was not comfortable doing the implants and deferred to the oncology nurses didn’t help. Yikes. So, today I am grateful not only for my last implant but also for yet another angel with a kind heart and a fabulous sense of humour.