Four years ago I had my followup appointment with my surgeon. My appointment was on Friday evening but that morning they called and asked if I could come in the afternoon instead. Shawn had planned to meet me at the surgeon's office after work. I told him not to bother to try to get off work early; I'd go by myself. Fortunately, Shawn and his boss were smarter than I was, and he was there when my surgeon told me the mass they'd removed from my neck was cancerous.
Poppy is nearing the age Grady was when I started to get sick and it's affecting me in ways I didn't expect. When I was diagnosed, I went into action mode. We made treatment plans and nutrition plans and try-to-enjoy-life-even-though-it's-difficult-right-now plans. There wasn't a lot of time for reflection. Or rather, I didn't let myself delve too deeply into the emotions attached to being diagnosed with cancer while 30 years old with a 1-year-old baby. I distinctly remember telling my family to feel their feelings, just not on, or near, me.
But now Poppy is a similar age and she's so small. You guys, Grady was so small. It all could have been so much more terrible. It's messing with my head. (I'm also spending today at the cancer centre for my routine tests so my head isn't in the best place to begin with. Scanxiety is a thing and it's a bitch.)
Today is my fourth cancerversary. I have an excellent support team (both of the family / friend variety and the medical variety). I have a number of promising scans bolstering me as I trudge toward my 5-year mark. I have gratitude for what cancer has given me (an appreciation for what I have, and a severe decrease in my level of give-a-fuck for the minutiae of life) and optimism for what's to come. I still struggle sometimes (like today, when my head is full of angry bees and I feel like I need to itch myself out of my skin) but overall, four years after my life imploded in my surgeon's office, I'm just happy. Happy to be here. Happy my life is so full. Maybe it's boring or silly or weird to mark a cancerversary but to me, it's a celebration. I've come a long way in four years. Here's to many more.