April 15th is my cancerversary. It has been one year since I was diagnosed with ovarian and endometrial cancer. This is not the day of my last chemo although I will celebrate that too. This is the one year mark from when I found out I had cancer. So why celebrate this day? Why not let it pass quietly considering it flipped my life upside down.
The simple answer is because I AM ALIVE. I am not celebrating the fact that my dr sat me down, looked me in the eyes and said, “you have cancer.” I am not celebrating the days that followed where I felt lost, confused and terrified. The nights where I could not sleep because I could not get death off my mind, wont be celebrated either. The celebration is because 365 days after being told that I had not one but two primary cancers and that I have Lynch Syndrome which makes me cancer prone, I am alive. ALIVE.
Not just alive but living. In this year I have been through a tremendous amount of crappy stuff. As vain as it sounds losing my hair, eyebrows and eyelashes is still top of that crappy list. I have also done some amazing things. I kayaked for days post chemo. No one had to wait for me. I kept up. No help needed even though my white blood count was in the toilet. I saw amazing sunsets and beautiful sunrises. Spent nights around a fire pit with great friends who could care less that I was bald and rocking it. My sister and I grew closer than ever before and shared parts of ourselves we probably never would had it not been for cancer. I traveled to the Philippines and spent 20 hours on a plane. Something that terrified me before this trip. I saw amazing landscapes and met wonderful people. Ive found my love of running again and completed two 5k’s this month alone with better times than when I ran consistently. I’m working on finding out where I want to live and what I want to do because what I am doing is life draining to say the least. I still have work to do. I have to move to a plant based diet. I need to workout more and drink less. I need to make caring for myself a priority. Tough stuff. The good news is that I am ALIVE to do it.
One long, horrible, stressful, painful, anxiety ridden year later, I am here. On 4/22 I have my second three month scan. They will do some blood work and compare this scan to the last. I had some spots on my last scan that hopefully have not grown or changed. This is my life for the next five years. Blood work and scans. Totally fine with me. I am staying right here to get it all done.