On Tuesday night I had a late meeting and didn’t get home until about 10 pm. The mail in my building is most often left on the shelf in the front foyer. Rarely do I get snail mail these days. Tuesday there was a letter addressed to me from the hospital. Moment of truth. I climbed the stairs to my apartment and after getting settled, sat down in my living room to open the envelope. Unfolding the paper felt very much like unfolding an origami butterfly. I lay the paper down on the table, smoothing creases with my finger tips and read.
The good news – no new evidence of cancer were found after the tests I had a week and a half ago. The even better news – my next visit to the Breast Cancer Clinic will be in January 2017. Thank goodness. I am beyond relieved. We caught it early and it has not come back. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you. Now I can concentrate on other things. It has been a long road – not as long as others have had to walk, but after two years and twenty-five procedures including two core biopsies and a lumpectomy I am glad to have a break. My experience with the three hospitals I was involved with was not bad at all – everyone was very kind, professional and made the stays relatively stress free. I am still relieved to be done.
Not to be completely obvious about it, but this experience has had a big impact on my personally. It has changed and reshaped how I look at my life, my relationships and myself. I found it very hard not to think about the possibility of facing more treatments and the worst case scenario can force you to do a few things (or at least I have been finding myself doing this every day since I first started on this journey). Hide or face it head on, You can plan for the what if’s as best you can and take a serious look at what is necessary, needed and essential in your life then try to work towards letting go of what you don’t need. I also have been trying to identify what/ who has been toxic in my life as well and have been making changes in those areas as well. Everything is connected in my life – and if I really want to be healthy, stay healthy, I need to do the work to make these changes and not fall back into old patterns, conditioning to recreate the stress/ toxicity that was affecting my health in the first place. Of course now that it is official that I am cancer free the risk of throwing caution to the wind is there. I could do that, but I know better. I will just keep doing what I am doing.
I haven’t celebrated yet. I might tomorrow. Today I am just grateful. Deeply grateful for the journey.