Hello everyone! It's been quite awhile that I've been back to write a post. I've been busy and taking it easy by taking care of my health, and my brother, for awhile.
This last year, it seemed as if a lot of women I knew were diagnosed with breast cancer and it became frightening for me as a survivor. I actually sat back to analyze what I was doing out here. Was my writing all for naught in that this devil of an illness was out of control, or that maybe my hope for the future misleading, or am I doing good by continuing my thoughts? I would like to believe that I can make you laugh, give you hope, and educate you too! And yes, my goal is to ALWAYS be honest and forthright.
Here it is October 2012, wow - three years ago this month, I was walking my first Making Strides event while undergoing chemo. The next year, I ran it in under 42 minutes. I was so proud of myself because in my heart, I carried so many others with me. This Saturday, I will walk it again, no more running for my achy bones! Each year, this event becomes so much more meaningful to me, not just because I am here to walk it, but because of all the other women (and men) who are now surviving and able to share in the day as well. It still takes my breath away as I walk under those balloons that represent both life and death and the fundraising efforts of millions of people.
This cancer thing is part of who I am. I cannot change that any more than I can change the size of my hands (because I can change my butt and bust) :). Everywhere I go, it remains a part of me, but I am trying not to let it define me. It has changed my life in so many ways. My body hurts unlike ever before, so when I had an opportunity to retire/leave the City, I did. I prayed to God to help me and find a way for me, and he did. I am now in retiree mode resting more and trying to figure out what it is I can or need to do. All new territory for someone like me who has been so driven all her life. I thought about writing a book, but what would the catch be? Cancer? Survival instincts? Motherhood? They've pretty much all been written. So I wait and think. I have some idea's, but my mind is not cooperating dammit. Damn chemo brain. ;)
Cancer changed me in many amazing ways as well, so I am not complaining! I look at life so much differently; I do not take it for granted. I desire to help others when possible and I see more good than evil. More importantly, Jesus found me again. My relationships with others are so much more valuable than ever before.
Moving along....I got two new tattoo's!! I know, it sounds silly for a woman my age, but they both have genuine meaning to me. The first one, on my chest says "Survivor" with a pink ribbon, and the other is an infinity ribbon with my boys names and a heart. Their actual fingerprints will be placed inside the heart.
For new survivors; Your life will change a hundred times over - roll with it. It is a part of who you are, period. I believe that you will become more educated than ever before by yourself and with the help of others, should you choose to and whether or not you want to. You have a choice to fight or flight; I recommend fight - always. Our bodies change - so what, big deal. So do our minds and our souls and our families and friends. This is not just a challenge, it IS a journey; embrace it. You are not alone.
For those survivors that have been around awhile - GO YOU! I am so glad you are still here and able to enjoy the warm sunshine, soft rains, birthdays, and life itself.
And for those of you that we have lost this year (and year's past), my promise is to carry you with me Saturday and always as we continue to fight for a cure.