Rebirth

Today marks 1 year from my cancer diagnosis. While I didn't technically receive the call until the 17th, I consider the 15th (the day I had my mammogram/biopsy) "the day" because driving home from that appointment, I knew. I didn't want to admit it, but I knew.

Somehow it snuck up on me. Blame it on a new job (which I'm LOVING) or life with kids or my lack of a calendar but 1 long trip around the sun later and I'm on the other side, wondering if it was all a dream. It feels like so much has happened, yet life still feels the same.

When you have cancer, your path is already paved for you. It takes you from appointment to appointment, exam table to treatment chair and back again, requiring very little conscious thought or energy. So many wonderful people volunteer to watch your kids and make you meals and shave your head. You are fighting for your life. You are brave and strong and an inspiration.

Then treatment is over and life returns to normal. The appointments become less frequent, the conversations revolve less around side effects and more around what's for dinner. Life slows down and gets a bit sweeter. You start appreciating things more, like time with friends and family, the smell of a summer breeze. But the mundane events of everyday life eventually creep back in and you find yourself caught between "enjoy every moment!" And "get in the ****ing van!".

But then, in that quiet place in your mind, where we all go before we sleep at night, the relief of remission turns to fear of recurrence. 

What if the cancer comes back?
What if I don't notice it until it's too late?
Am I doing everything I can to prolong my life?

This is tough stuff kids. Facing your own mortality isn't for the faint of heart, but neither is a cancer diagnosis. It robs us of so many things, peace of mind being one of them. With every major milestone, birthday, etc. I find myself thinking, 

Did we take enough photos?
Was I in any of them?
Is this the video my kids will watch to remember me? 
Will they remember my voice, my smile, my laugh?
Will they remember how fiercely I loved them and their dad?
Will I be here to see the next milestone?

365 days. 365 opportunities to change my life for the better and to touch the lives of others. 365 chances to make that day, the best day. 365 days to LIVE. 

I can't take that for granted for one single solitary second.

The last year has rocked my world. I never would have expected this to happen. But now that cancer is in the rear view mirror, I can see how my life's events have lead me to this moment. And great things are ahead for me. After a few more trips around the sun...