Today is the day after my mother's birthday and the day before I celebrate that last cancer cell removed from my body ten years ago.
Today is a day full of excitement and full of anxiety...
a push and pull of past memories and forward thinking.
I remember my mom's birthday dinner in California across from the beach the night before I checked into the hospital for my series of hip surgeries. I remember the love and support from all the family and friends that joined us that night. I remember it as one of those nights I knew could potentially never come again. One of THOSE nights that were extra special to me given the next day's agenda and the current prognosis of being two months into a six month death sentence.
Ten years ago today, I started with surgery number one. Since I would like to keep the posts around this milestone positive and uplifting in support of the excitement over the anxiety, I will not go into detail. I will only say that I remember that surgery. I remember being aware of it throughout the hours I was in. I remember one nurse who was unkind and one nurse who stood by my side and comforted me with encouraging words and a simple hold of the hand... what a difference a hand hold makes! That nurse was a saint in my eyes and I will never forget her! This surgery was the embolization- to cut off blood flow to the tumor area they were to remove the following day. I made it through and spent the night in the hospital... this night, ten years ago... the night before the "mega-prosthetic" surgery.
Today is the day that I remember slightly more vividly the events of ten years ago. Today is a day I never thought I would live to see. Every single day is a gift, an added bonus to my life. I think I am somewhat still in a bit of denial that I am here physically (and literally) walking this Earth and that it has been so long since I have had a cancer cell in my body. I feel like I'm always waiting for one to show up in those scans. Ten years? TEN YEARS?!?! Moving along from excitement and celebratory thoughts, I wonder if this will end up being the last big milestone I'll reach. If something shows up, the count begins again, if I'm lucky to get another count going. (Yeah, worry can creep into an anxious mind at any given moment... even in the most happiest of times.)
Having been through cancer, having been given an end date for my life, having been told to get my affairs in order, having been through tremendous physical pain, having lost so much... to me... my high points in life tend to be so much further up now than they used to be and much more so than most people; and my lows can spiral down, but they turn to anxiety instead of sadness.
Today... I celebrate. I. AM. EXCITED!
Tomorrow... It is unknown how I will feel, but I'm wishful that I will awaken
FULL OF LIFE, FREE-SPIRITED and
EXUBERANTLY, INHERENTLY, MONUMENTALLY HAPPY!
I hope that tomorrow I won't be able to contain the excitement of life! I hope that tomorrow I will unwittingly spread joy and love to every single individual that crosses my path. So, if you're lucky enough to see me tomorrow, please excuse my energy; it may be overwhelming. Or, on the other hand, if you're feeling down... COME SEE ME!
Diagnosed with stage IV kidney cancer with a 6 month life expectancy at the age of 31, I celebrate life at 41... ten YEARS later!
Have a HAPPY day! Love your life and all its imperfections!