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

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Three Years

Three years ago this week, I was diagnosed with breast cancer.  It's still hard for me to write those words "breast cancer".   In some ways it seems like yesterday but in other ways it seems so long ago.  Sometimes it almost feels like it never really happened but then I see myself when I change clothes and see the "new me" and then there is proof it really did happen.

I am trying to reflect on all I have gone through since my diagnosis and how it has change me and my life forever.  In many ways, life it back to normal but there are some things that will never be "normal" again.  Breast cancer can change so many things if you are the person that lived it.  For those around me it's like it never really happened and they forget and think it's all over.  For me, breast cancer will never be completely "over". 

As of now (as far as I know) I don't have breast cancer.  The odds the doctors gave me were good, but most of the studies they quote from refer to the possibility of recurrence within ten years.  I plan on living more than ten years, so what happens after these ten years are up???  What are my odds then?  I don't think they really know.  It's hard to live in terms of odds for the remaining seven years!

I have lived to see many women have recurrence years out from their diagnosis.  Sometimes it can be twenty years later.  I feel like all of the treatment I have done is just to "buy time" until additional treatments are available if and when the breast cancer returns.  I continue to read about new potential medications and treatments and every day I pray for a cure for breast cancer.  I hope I live to see the day where no one must die from this horrible disease. 

I would like to think it will never return, but I am a realist.  The thought still lingers in my mind but the major difference now (three years later) is it is not a part of my life every moment of every day.  I do still think about my breast cancer everyday.  There are too many reminders, but I think of it a lot less than I use to which is great.  I can actually sleep at night without the help of medication.  That is quite different than it was three years ago!

As the holidays approach, I clearly remember going through my diagnosis privately and putting on the "happy holiday face" until I could tell my family and friends when the holidays were over.  This time of year is hard for me as now it has memories of breast cancer.  It's hard not to think about it because I remember living it.  I try to continually be positive about my future and not fixate on recurrence.  I will continue to "live in the moment" and focus on the things I can do to stay as healthy as possible.  I will continue to love my family and friends and see the good in the world.  I will have faith that I will buy time until there is a cure for breast cancer and live to grow old with my husband.  For now, life is good....really good!  A far cry from three years ago!  I never thought I would be here, but I am!  Yay!