Eight weeks ago today I came home from the hospital. On one hand it seems like yesterday and on the other….a lifetime ago. And it has been a very different life since CANCER became the focus of everything I do. Being told I had cancer has changed me forever. Since my diagnosis I have researched, read, recorded and written about everything I could possibly find about having, fighting and surviving cancer. It has become my full time job. From preparing myself and my house for everything I’d need after surgery, to the weeks of dealing with the aftermath of the mastectomy to now, dealing with the reconstruction and ongoing recovery. My days fly by, yet I don’t know exactly how I have filled them. My day timer looks like my grandparents calendar, filled with appointments with various doctors and specialists. I have a slew of pill bottles lined up in my bathroom on display like some new chic accessory. I haven’t dressed up or worn a pair of heals in months. Occasionally I slap on some mascara and some lip gloss so I look presentable and as far as entertaining, well my social calendar is pretty sparse. I just don’t have the energy to plan an evening and cook a gourmet meal for friends and family and yet I loved doing that before.
BEFORE….that’s how everything in my life now is categorized….what I did, looked like, accomplished, experienced “BEFORE” cancer. Now, I am trying to focus on the “AFTER” …although after implies that something is over which my journey is far from over. I probably won’t have completed my reconstruction until the spring of next year. I’m guessing I will have more surgery March or April 2019 and then another 4 to 6 weeks of recovery after that. So realistically, this journey will take me through to next summer. Pretty much a full year from surgery to surgery. Not to be a downer, but cancer is all consuming. It enters into every thought, every plan, every move I make. It is in the forefront of each and every day for me. I am reminded of it as soon as I wake and certainly very aware of it every night as I pray that maybe tonight will be the night I can finally get a good nights sleep. I’m reminded when I see myself in the mirror, or when I struggle to find something to wear that still “fits” and I am certainly reminded when I try to do something that I used to take for granted and my body puts the brakes on and says….”sorry, you can’t do that just yet, you’re still recovering from cancer!”
I am fortunate that I have an end in sight. It may be a year from now, but there will be a day that I can circle my calendar and write I am DONE WITH CANCER. Until then, each day I will get stronger. Each day I will get more accustomed to what I can and can’t do. Each day I will work on accepting the transformation of my body and ease into accepting the new me. This journey will be another full year to complete, but as the saying goes, “time flies when you’re having…to deal with cancer!”
President of As You Like It Marketing & Communications Inc. Award winning speaker and author. Breast cancer fighter and blogger. I’m sharing my journey…the good, the bad and the ugly. Hoping to help anyone else that has been touched by breast cancer be it you or someone you know or love.