A year ago today, I woke up very early. No breakfast and no coffee, we headed to the hospital. All the waiting was over. Decisions had been made. I was as ready as I was ever going to be.
For me, the surgery itself was the easy part. I went in, got prepped, they put me to sleep and that was all there was to it. It was the journey back that perhaps the biggest challenge of my life.
So, today, I look back with tears in my eyes. I’m flooded with emotions that I just cannot describe. It isn’t happiness. It isn’t sadness. It isn’t relief, or celebration. It is just an overwhelming sense of emotion. I find myself thinking that maybe this is just a nightmare, and one day I’ll wake up and it didn’t really happen. Perhaps this emotion is more a sense of mourning. Mourning the loss of innocence. Mourning the loss of expectations of good health – something that I never realized I had until I heard the words “you have breast cancer”. Even after hearing those words, I still had an expectation of good health. I still had the sense that I’m strong, I can do this. I truly had no idea just how far down breast cancer treatments would take me.
This is my one year cancer free day. It is the day the last bits of breast cancer were removed from my body. It is amazing how far I’ve come. Looking back, I posted on December 23 about being home and walking around our courtyard. In March, despite having open wounds in my stomach, I rode my bike up Mount Hamilton. In July not only did I do two 10-mile hikes back-to-back, I also walked 32.5 miles in two days), and yet I feel like I still have a long way to go before I’m healthy again. With each day, I get stronger …