"Don't spend time worrying about how you are going to die. Worry about how you are going to live today"

Friday, January 27, 2012

One Year Later

A year ago today I had a bilateral mastectomy.  I can clearly remember that morning.  I was a complete wreck.  My husband and I dropped off our son at pre-school and I hugged him.  I remember being in the hall outside his classroom and the tears began to fall down my cheeks.  One of the teachers whom I did not know was just looking at me like I was crazy.  It was so hard to say good bye to him that morning.  I was petrified of what was to come.  My husband put his arm around me and we walked out of the school together and headed to the hospital.

It was an hour drive.  I put on my Ipod with my relaxation music.  I just closed my eyes and tried to focus on the calmness of the music.  That was the longest one hour ride I had ever experienced.  It was surreal. 

This morning I put on that same selection of music on my Ipod.  It was different though.  This morning my husband went to work like a normal day.  I got my son up and got him ready for school.  I dropped him off for school and then I headed for the gym.  I ran 4 miles.  I then put on my relaxation music to stretch and do some yoga. It was calm.  It was peaceful and without stress. 

I listened to those calming songs and reflected back to this time last year.  It has been such a long year in some ways but in other ways it seems like surgery was yesterday.  I don't want to focus on all the bad things I have gone through in last year.  I need to look forward towards the rest of my life with a positive spirit.  I need to embrace some of the good things that I did experience in life this last year.  Life still went on despite what I was going through.

I am grateful for being done with my reconstruction (other than tattoo's).  I am so appreciative for the wonderful Bosom Buddies (my six dear friends that I met through breast cancer online) that came into my life and supported me.  I am lucky that I have a new closeness with family and friends because of what I have gone through.  I am thankful for finding Penguin Cold Caps so I was able to keep my hair through chemo and move on looking "normal".  I am fortunate to have the support of my "breast cancer mentor" Kathy that I met over a year ago at the cancer center.  She gave me hope and encouragement in my darkest moments right after diagnosis.  I am grateful for my husband and son and the new life we are building in a new city.  I am happy for the wonderful vacation I spent with dear friends and my sister in August to celebrate my completion of treatment.  I am blessed to have a wonderful best friend who has come to take care of me after two surgeries and came for my last chemo.  I look at breast cancer being very present in my life in the past year, but I see so many wonderful things that also happened that are part of my life too. 

I won't lie, the breast cancer journey is long and hard.  It seems impossible at times.  In time though, you realize that life is still going on every day and you have to continue to keep that in mind.  Not all of this last year was "bad" and related to breast cancer.  My son's first day of kindergarten was wonderful despite me having breast cancer this past year.  It's little moments like this that I need to cherish and remember from my "pink year".

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