I was watching the sun set tonight with it’s vibrant colours, listening to the birds and critters sing their song of appreciation for this day, and I too am reminded to appreciate, be grateful for and humbly accept this day as a precious gift. I finished my chemo one week ago yesterday and am finding myself almost overwhelmed with emotion at times, so grateful to have my life that I cannot put it into words.
I now sit memorised by a dying fire. Small licks of blue flame seem to reach for each other in one last playful dance. It brings to mind the fight that is now done, the last remnants of chemotherapy coursing through my body. I can let down my guard, thanking body for it’s strength with what it has been put through these last 6 months or so and promise it that the next month or two will be about repair and allowing it to bask in it’s resilience.
I have kept myself very busy this last week, running errands that have long been put off, celebrating with friends along the way, and distracting myself from the emotion that has come my way. There is elation (of course), awe that the cancer was found so quickly and I have been given this opportunity to continue living, fear as to what has yet to come and that I won’t live my life as fully as I “should” having been given this opportunuty, and even some disappointment as it seems the horizon I have kept my eyes on keeps escaping my grasp as the reconstruction I look forward to also seems a moving target and will now be two more surgeries instead of just one.
So, I will ask my body again to bear the burden of being under attack. It has been 7 months since my first surgery and will have been close to over a year before the last one has been completed. I look forward to being able to test it again with activity and physical work as opposed to “being careful and not over doing it”.
But before that, I take time to celebrate with those who have given me support and love as I was given the gift of being able to ring the Survivors’ Bell! Even better, I was able to share that privilege with my Mom (there was no bell yet to herald that triumph when she did her chemo in 1994).
I see my oncologist in another two weeks at which point I am hoping (even anticipating) she will give me the “all clear, see you in 3 months for follow up”.
And so, tonight I sign off, not with any real words of wisdom and maybe even more questions than answers, but tonight I get to say…
I AM NO LONGER A CHEMOTHERAPY PATIENT, I AM A SURVIVOR!!!!!
And I don’t have to fear Fridays any more….in fact this Friday, one week after ringing the bell, I awoke, remembered it was Friday, amd was then hit by a thousand butterflies in my chest dancing with excitement as I also remembered that Friday no longer means chemo for me! I don’t have to worry about the accumulative effects anymore. I don’t have to work to distract myself Thursday night.
With much love and enormous gratitude,