I’ve been planning this post for several weeks now: a celebratory post and a kick-off to a new blog series. The celebration? I’ve now officially been cancer-free for 15 years. I don’t have an exact date to mark because I didn’t know at the time that it would be the beginning of my remission, but my first “clean” scan was in January 1999, and I’ve never had to return to the thyroid cancer-time since.
But I should have remembered the lesson I learned in July last year: “It’s never over when they say it’s over.” (Not that doctors generally say this.) Sometime this week, I will be having a biopsy of a suspicious lymph node that turned up on an ultrasound I got as a 6-month follow-up to the July cancer scare. I wasn’t worried about this ultrasound at all; it was just a follow-up, no big deal. I actually forgot to expect the results until my doctor called late on Tuesday evening and gave me the news. When I hung up the phone, I cried for about five minutes, called my husband, and then summoned “ACCEPT” to get me through. I don’t know what’s going to happen next, so there’s no sense in worrying. I hope I’m still cancer-free. If I’m not, I’ll deal with it when it happens.
It’s incredibly ironic that this happened the very week I was celebrating 15 clean years. But if in the midst of tragedy we can find moments of joy, so then in the midst of joy, there must be some tragedy.
And so, the celebration goes on.
This month, I’m going to be writing about living with cancer, surviving cancer, and feeling grateful for cancer. I’m going to share my story, but I’m also going to share stories of others who have taken the cancer-journey more recently than I. The overall message will be of gratitude and celebration. I’m honest-to-God thankful that I had cancer, and even if it comes around again, even if life gets tough and messy and painful, I have faith that I’ll still be able to find the gratitude. Cancer made me who I am. I can’t not be thankful for that.
Here are some post titles you might see over the next month:
Let Cancer Define You (In The Best Way)
Why I’m Grateful For Cancer
Life As A Survivor
If Someone You Love Has Cancer, How Can You Help?
My Cancer Story
Their Cancer Story (interviews with other inspiring cancer survivors)
To My Support System, Now and Then: Thank You
I’ll posting this series every Monday and Wednesday in February (and possibly into March); Fridays will still be book-review days. (And I might take out a weekend post or two to show you my latest Stitch Fix. I’m so, so obsessed with this clothing service.)
Are you or someone you love in the “cancer club,” and feel that in some ways, cancer has changed your life for the better? If so, I’d love to hear your story. If you’d like to share, either just privately with me or as an interview for the blog, please email me at email@example.com.
2 Responses to “Goodbye Cancer, Hello”
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