I had all these great plans about what blog post I would write as I approach the one year mark … I was going to count how many doctors appointments I’ve had in the last year, but when I looked at the calendar for last June I almost lost it. I just could not go back there and analyze it, as if the data held no meaning, or emotion.
On June 1st last year, after a long bike ride around the Alviso, as I showered I noticed a hard spot on my left breast. I thought I’d pulled a muscle in my peck. I waited a week, and when it didn’t go away I went to see my family doctor. A few days after that – June 12, 2014 – the radiologist told me I had breast cancer.
I had planned on looking back at my accomplishments over the last year. I wanted to write a post that celebrated some of those accomplishments. Despite chemotherapy (4 AC, 9 Paclitaxol) and three surgeries, I still managed to co-author at least two papers, present a poster at a conference, attend a conference, write 320 posts for this blog, write 60ish posts on my academic blog (http://rjh.goingeast.ca), create on free open online course (http://shouldiblog.org), with my buddy Maha – launch http://virtuallyconnecting.org, walk 274km, cycle 1091 km, and hike 90km. Unfortunately, I didn’t track my swimming.
I expect that the next couple of weeks will be tough – but I’m running away from it all. For the next 10 days, the days will be days, but they won’t be dates. I’ll be off camping in the Eastern Sierra-Nevada – mostly out of cell phone / data range. I’m hoping to breath in some mountain air and just experience life. Sorry, don’t expect to be writing much while I’m away. I’m taking a vacation from it all. We’ll see how well that works!