How can that be? It seems so long ago and yet could be just yesterday. Here I sit in the same chair I sat in when I received the call, coffee beside me in the same sentimental mug that I start every day with, under the same blanket, in the same teddy bear robe my mom sewed for me years ago, with one of my best friends curled on my lap. For a girl with an admittedly bad memory that day is burned into it – the instant response of my very dear friend showing up to take me back to Calgary, the sticky note the doctor had in hand when reading to me what the pathologists had found, the wine at my sister’s afterwards as I was in a state of shock, the cheeky text to a friend asking how he felt about hair on a woman, being held and told I wasn’t going through this alone and nor did I have to as I was surrounded by love on that journey.
There were feelings of helplessness and sorrow, not only for myself but witnessing the tears of others around me as they were at a loss with my diagnosis (I couldn’t even bear to call my Mom myself and let her know, one of my sister’s did that for me). It is a strange thing, trying to comfort others that were worried about me, letting them know that the stubborn streak (I mean virtue of determination) within me and may have driven them crazy at one point was actually now a good thing.
There have been a lot of goodbyes the last 3 years, too many. My Mom, a soul sister found during diagnosis and treatment, an uncle, and recently one of my Boyz. Some friends have been lost but new ones found, and where some body parts have been lost a new understanding of strength has grown. The last 3 years have not been easy and admittedly it has been a challenge to keep spirits up, both with the goodbyes and the cancer diagnosis, treatment, and even the freedom of being proclaimed cancer free.
But among the heartache there has also been a LOT of extra joy in there. Extra time with my Boyz (aka dogs), for theirloving, making me laugh at their antics, walks reminding me how glorious just that simple joy can be with the sun on the face and safety of our corner of the world to enjoy it freely, saying yes to adventures with the girls (even becoming closer to the women in my life) and witnessing crossroads of friends. Learning to scuba dive, requiring the conquering of another fear with one of my dearest friends beside me, teaching and supporting me, allowing me to experience the magic and freedom of the life under water. Running in a race with friends last winter and then not letting the fact that I was doing it solo stop me from running in a mud hero (something that has looked fun to me since I first heard about them). Again, even there I found a stranger to run with and support one another as we got through.
Oh, and did I mention being declared cancer free?!?! Being told that I get to continue living, something so easily taken for granted. Why the need to be told I will continue living in order to prompt me to live?
Once again as I acknowledge this day and the path it has brought me down, I am so very grateful for those of you in my life that have been here loving me, supporting me, laughing with and sometimes at me (and I am good with that as I sometimes laugh at myself), sharing new memories and experiences, and lifting me up. These last 3 years have been quite the ride, maybe even a bit of a blur.
Now the question is, if that much can happen in 3 years when so much of the focus had to be on my health and working to get it back, what’s next now that I get to really focus on living?
With love, hope, and wonder, Glenna