On this day last year, I was preparing to fight with Cancer. Everything was so unpromised- I was getting ready to go into surgery to remove a softball sized tumor from my left breast and have reconstruction on both breasts to be symmetric.
My fears that day were: A. I would look like a freak with no breasts after surgery. B. I would die on the table. C. The cancer would be larger than projected and I would lose not only a softball sized amount of skin and tissue but like a whole side of my chest. D. I would have a reoccurance within 90 days and have to do this all again as statistics suggested.
365 days after and none of those things have happened. Yes, I have scars. I hate them and have started to desire something to cover them. Maybe a tattoo or a really dark tan. Either way, I hate looking at them.
I had my scans last week and thankfully I’m cancer clear right now. So no reoccurance.
Thankfully, I didn’t die on the table. It’s unfair to say this is a fear only born during this crisis. I always think I’ll die on the table during surgery. I blame this irrationality on television and a dramatic mother.
There were so many things that I planned on happening to me that didn’t. For all of those I’m grateful.
There were also things I never planned on happening that did and I’m even more greatful.
My husband and I have gotten closer. We have always been in sync with one other but not always completely honest. Facing death makes you really honest really quickly. We’ve put everything on the table. Some scary stuff, some hurtful stuff, some amazing stuff and some downright erotic stuff.
See it’s easy to be truthful when you realize there’s nothing to lose.
I have finally, after almost 40 years, built a relationship with my father, whom I thought was a complete bastard my entire life. Again, reality of death opens closed doors.
I have seen my daughter grow into a woman and give me my first grandchild, truly the light of my life.
I’ve seen my boys turn into men. Good men, silly, funny, intelligent, salt of the earth men, like their dad.
I’ve made new friends, better friends than I deserve. I’ve seen my old friendships strengthen. I know the truest of friends. I’ve also lost some friends. Because illness makes some people uncomfortable. They don’t know what to say and so they quietly walk away. The thing is, I used to be mad about this until I realized it’s okay. It’s not that I didn’t or don’t need them, they just can’t. Can’t what? I don’t know. But if they Can’t, well then I can’t make them.
Honestly, if I had to do it all over again. Or if I ever have to do it all over again, if I get the same results or the same revelation, then I’d do it. I wouldn’t give up, like I’ve wanted to some days. I’d dig in.
A lady this week gave me one of the most honest compliments I’ve ever received. She said, “I like your grit!” … is that what it is? Well, okay then.. I raise my glass! To grit!
Here’s to 365 more days of grit.