It has been almost 9 months now since my mammogram came back positive for breast cancer. Nine months since my life was changed forever. Nine months of learning about cancer treatments, nine months of of getting an education that I never signed up for. Nine months of finding my own strength, while learning to lean on others. Nine months of crying every tear my tired eyes could produce; nine months of discovering that some of the humor that makes me laugh the hardest is the stuff that comes from a dark place. Nine months of appreciating things I overlooked before....and nine months of letting go of what is not important.
I probably don't look much different to the world. My hair is returning and I am thinking of keeping it very short in remembrance. Daily doses of Tamoxifen will dry my skin, make my waist thicker and my temper a bit shorter. No one except the person living inside this body really knows how much I've changed.
I was one of the lucky ones --- I had a lot of support from family and friends. But, not all the people who started on this journey with me were able to hang in there for the long haul. And, some of the people who helped me the most were an unexpected surprise.
My cancer was treated by a team of capable and experienced doctors. My soul was treated by my family and friends who stepped up and helped me live through the daily angst of continuing my treatments.
My life has changed so much, yet so many things are the same, that sometimes it feels surreal. I still forget to take out the garbage, I still spend too much time in front of the TV (or, computer). Yet always in the back of my mind is the anxious feeling that I should be doing something important, that somehow on this wild roller coaster ride that I have been on these last 9 months, I should have discovered the "true purpose" of my life.
I have not.
What I have discovered is that everything is temporary. Happiness, grief, joy and heartache --- it's all temporary. I always knew that even life itself is temporary, but now I really KNOW it.
Cancer or no cancer --- expensive cars, grand houses and huge bank accounts can't save us from the inevitable. All we have is this minute, right here, right now.
I wish I could say that I'm living this minute to the fullest. For now it's enough that I'm living this minute. I'm still working on the `fullest`.
Little old me...
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