My new year has just begun. My birthday gift came a couple of weeks early.
Cancer-free. Two words. Those are the words I heard, yesterday, at my surgery follow-up visit. And I got my easy-pass discharge to go on, have a good life and come back in 6-months.
In the last two day, I have had 3 doctor appointments Uptown. I felt like my mom and dad. “What are you up to today?” I’d ask. and I would get the menu of doctor appointments they had lined up.
Nutmeg, I told myself. I am never going to do that.
Recently, that is what I have done. Not all that many, but for me, a lot.
You see, I am still young. Forty-nine, I think. And I don’t have time for doctors or cancer or being or feeling like a patient. I have food to gather, a new page to set-up with my friends, things to see, people to meet, places to go and things to do.
Yep, there are some days when I think, uh, I think I am done. I get tired of news, tired of feeling a bit more than forty-nine and tired of fighting battles with my weight, my eyes, and seeing our country and the world, be places I don’t understand or like.
But there is something in me that won’t allow that … at least not yet, and hopefully, never. I have so many people to help and be kind to and give food to and … one of the most important things for me … to laugh with. Oh, my mother of mackerel, I love to laugh.
I talked with my surgeon and after she told me that I am cancer-free, something I bet she loves to say to women, I told her that I have felt nothing but blessed and fortunate by this. My gosh, I am one lucky woman. My cancer was found early, stage one, and it was a non-invasive kind. Other than a two-inch scar underneath my breast, and you wouldn’t know. And anyone who is looking there, deserves to see what they find.
I told the surgeon that, not once, did I feel pain, from the biopsy, to the insertion of the wire, to the surgery or recovery. She was pretty amazed. And glad. She asked what I had done to help that. I told her, I did what I was supposed to do.
I am so fortunate. I know that that isn’t how it always works. And I have other treatment ahead, and that might cause some, let’s say, issues. And I know that each woman has a different body and circumstances, and there can be pain and discomfort and things can go wrong.
So, I am not special, I am fortunate.
When Margo, my go-to gal, came in and gave me a big hug, I told her that I am sure that she sees some women who come in with more advanced cases than I have and that is hard. She didn’t skip a beat, and informed me that the good news is that even if someone comes in with a more sever case, so many advancements have been made in treatment, that there is always hope.
Remember that ladies. Do not be afraid to go and see what they will find. Go, don’t worry … worry stinks. Find out, deal with it and know that there are wonderful people in the medical world, who will help you the best they can, to beat whatever gremlins might be found. And this is one thing i will say that sounds weird and I wouldn’t say in any other circumstance. Be like me. Be a woman who went and found early cancer. If I would have canceled that appt, like I felt like doing, things might not have been as good. And it was because I have gotten mammograms, and got one last year, that they were able to detect the change, the change that was cancer.
The practice I go to treats about 1200 women a year for breast cancer. That is one practice in Charlotte. A lot of women deal with this.
Life, at any age, is precious, and has its benefits and curses. We lose sight of that. We get caught up in our aches and pains and disappointments and fears and, sometimes, lose the meaning or lose our way.
But that is life, too. We are humans. We walk and think precariously, through unchartered dramas.
You know those pictures in Highlights for Children magazines, where they have a picture and you have to find hidden objects? Sometimes, that is how we have to find our pieces of joy or life or attitude that we think is missing.
It isn’t missing. It is just hidden. We are looking past it. WE have to keep our eyes open for things that are not obvious. Many of those things are the treasures of life. but in our everyday murkiness, we don’t see them. And our life is less-than because of it.
I am sitting at my desk, looking around. It is cluttered with many things that many would not have internet in, including me, on some days. But if I open my eyes and my mind, I see opportunities for pleasure and joy. I have paint brushes and markers and an address from a friend of a friend who will turn 101 this spring. I could write to her. I have a stack of magazines. I have some Silicone Glove I could run on my hands and make them feel good. And, I have my cup of tea. My treasured cup of tea.
And I have you, at the other end of my fingertips, wishing me well. How great is that?
Gee, I have been on an orange crate. I am going to drink the rest of my tea and move along. I have a life to live, people to feed, people to meet and laughs to hear.