September 9, 2010

It's funny what triggers memory sometimes, really it is. I've hit the one year mark on my diagnosis--August 28th to be exact--and some of the memories of last fall have been on the forefront of my mind. I'm a pretty relational person as far as tying certain things to each other, not as in people, as in things or smell or songs or clothes. Where am I going with this? I know it's weird... So let me just dive right in to an explanation.

The Boys are back---Cowboys that is! So far, there have been a few nights where we have the Cowboy game on, and it has been such a reminder. I found myself on the couch quite often last fall recovering from a surgery or chemo, and often was too disengaged to care about what was on I sat halfway watching football with Steven.

It's birthday time at our house! This year has been so very opposite of last year. I have planned, planned, and planned a little more for Brynlee to have a fantastic and magical "Wizard of Oz" birthday party. But at this time last year we were back and forth on whether or not she would even have a party, and just having here birthday month is yet another reminder.

As i was on the way out the door one day this week to work, I walked over to our dresser to spritz some perfume. I'm not sure if it was the weather forecast calling for a high of 81 or just the deisre for change, but I reached for a perfume that has a more winter/fall aroma and spritzed it on. Oh boy. Gag me. It is an awesome perfume that my sweet friend Lacy gave me last year, and nearly a full bottle. But the key here is last year, during chemo, and wearing doo rags on my bald head is when I last spritzed this perfume. Yes, you are catching was a reminder.

So for the big one year, I considered having a big celebration on August 28th this year. Maybe even throwing a party....but I decided I wasn't the "throw a party for myself" kind of chick. Although, I did think more seriously about it than I ever have before. I even wondered if I did, what day to we celebrate on? The day I had my mastectomy? The day I finished chemo? When did I really become a SURVIVOR? Well, just when you start to wonder if you really can find everything on google. I googled it. And yes, you can find eerything on google. I technically became a survivor on August 28th. The first breath I took after my diagnosis was my first breath as a survivor. Cool, August 28th it is. I hit one OFFICIAL--very long might I add--year as a survivor.

So back to the big bash that I totally decided not to throw myself... my one year wasn't spent as amazing as I had hoped. Instead, I spent the weekend wondering what my surgeon would say about the lump on my chest that I had found...again. My oncologist was a little unsure about it and referred me to him. I honestly expected her to laugh at me, but as she squinched her eyebrows together running her fingers over the lump, she didn't quite laugh.

Thankfully, my surgeon was not concerned. And while I will feel even better after my next scan on October 5th reassuring me that my cancer is still gone, it was still a reminder. A big reminder. A reminder that as much as I want to close this chapter of my life, it will never be closed. I wanted to quote something from my friend Andria's blog. It's truly a quote that one of her friend's gave her, but it really left me thinking...while I certainly did not "enjoy" breast cancer... It has shaped me. It has strengthened me. It has taught me. It has deepened my love for Christ. And above all else that needs to remain the reminder that matters.

“While every experience may change you, there is certainly a degree of stagnation that comes with only staying within one sphere of existence. That is to say, the 'jetset' crowd may sip cocktails at the fanciest clubs in the world, may spend summers on exotic beaches, may drive fancy cars and wear nice clothes-- but there is only so much growing that comes from this lifestyle. Sometimes fear, suffering, and pain make the best experiences. Not because you particularly 'enjoy' them while they're happening, but because they deepen your perspective and shape your psyche. They truly make you part of the world. To avoid these difficult experiences is to isolate yourself.”