For anyone that has gone thru a cancer diagnosis or a serious illness of any kind I wonder if you go over the days up to that diagnosis when it comes around to the "anniversary" date. I do. People will tell me to "just let it go" - but how do you let something like that go when it has forever changed your life?
In September of 2006 I lost my dear friend & cousin, Heidi, to Multiple Myeloma. 42 years old. She was diagnosed end stage in July of 2003 - and she fought that awful disease with everything she had until she finally let go on the 26th of the month. I thought I had an idea of what cancer was because I had been one of her caregivers. I didn't have a clue.
January of 2007 I found out my good friend Linda had been diagnosed with Stage IV Ovarian Cancer - she died June 1st. WHAT? 5 flipping months? Our kids grew up together, she was just an amazing woman, so kind, always there for you - and gone just like that.
Imagine my surprise on July 16th, a mere 6 weeks later, to have gone to work in the morning as usual, went home for lunch, came back from lunch and started to have short bursts of pain on my right side whenever I would reach for the phone or turn to greet someone at the counter. The next morning I could hardly stand up straight in the shower, so I went to work, called the clinic to make an appointment. I thought they were going to tell me I was constipated - not that it was a problem for me before - but that's what my friends and I decided. I left for my app't at 9:00 a.m. on July 17th and returned to work at 8:00 a.m. on January 2, 2008. Stage III Ovarian Cancer. Again, WHAT?
So this is the "week" leading up to my anniversary - and 2 years out I find myself physically ok (or that's what my blood work says any way), but mentally I am a bigger wreck then at any point since my diagnosis. When does the fear leave? When do you start just living life again as if you've never been through 2 years of hell? Is it truly different for every person? Are my supporters sick of me being sick? 'Cause I am. It's horrible. I need to work for the insurance but I would much rather stay home and figure out what I can do to best fight this thing called cancer, how to help others during their own journey, to assist others through the paperwork that becomes a full-time job in and of itself, to research on the internet for new drugs, new things to try, etc. Why can I take care of everyone else but can't seem to get my own act together?