A couple of weeks ago, when I had my 3 month follow up testing, I found out that my cancer continues to be stable. The spots in my spine actually appeared to have improved. Unfortunately, they were able to see two spots in my liver which they actually feel were visible on prior CT scans, but were just not reported because they are so small. One spot is approximately 6mm and one spot is approximately 7mm. As long as these spots stay this size and don't grow, we are not going to worry about them (easier said than done).
Tonight I found the inspiration to type as I look back on the last year and all that has come of it, as tomorrow is the one year anniversary of when this all began for me.
One year ago tomorrow I began a journey towards living. Because, little to my knowledge and little to the knowledge of those around me I was dying. It wasn't painful, it wasn't scary, as a matter of fact, it was easy. What isn't easy? Living isn't easy. It is hard work. It takes will. And, a lot of the time it hurts. It hurt in my bones, it hurt in my heart, and it hurt to the bottom of my soul. I went through MRIs, CT scans, PET scans, x-rays, 2 port surgeries, 6 rounds of chemo therapy, and a couple fairly uninspiring counseling appointments. I saw people come and go at chemotherapy, older people and younger people. I saw people cry when they got good results and cry when they got bad results. I saw people come in for one, two, and ten year follow ups and be disease free. I saw family members bring in food to the doctors and nurses who cared for their love one up until they slipped away. I learned that nothing in life is guaranteed and I learned that if you want something bad enough, you damn well better work for it. I learned that life is to short to waste your time worrying about things that don't matter. I learned that you need to embrace the good things in your life and try to rid your life of the toxic things that cloud your existance. And, I learned that 100 percent of the time this is easier said than done.
I learned that you can not run away from cancer, but trying sure makes you feel better. I learned that if you are just crazy enough you can run 13.1 miles on a treadmill at the gym and it is healing on the mind and hard on the knees! I learned that if you are lucky enough to have great family and friends they will applaud you for your acheivements and some will even rub your feet!
Most of all, I learned that strength and courage has to come from within. It can not be given to us by others, but the will to seek that strength within can be found when looking into the eyes of your children, or your parents, or your spouse or a friend.
What am I thankful for?!? I am not one of those people who will say that I am thankful that I got cancer or that it is the best thing that ever happened to me....that is bull. However, I am thankful for the things that I have learned so far, I am thankful for the love I saw in others that helped me build on my strength, I am thankful that I will likely get to see my children celebrate their 4th and 7th birthdays in May, I am thankful to be going on an amazing vacation with my husband, and.....most of all, I am thankful to be here to experience life, even when it sucks, because I am not willing to take the alternative!