I was driving around town about a week ago and was absolutely amazed by the lushness of everything in the sunshine. The trees were completely filled out and the leaves had gained that deep green summer hue. Irises were blooming everywhere. The downtown park was full of flowers and plant formations. And I was slightly startled by how amazed I was with the abundant flora. It was as if I hadn't been audience to the first flush of summer before. And I realized after a bit of thinking that I completely missed this part of the season last year. I was housebound with a butt full of staples for a month at the end of May and beginning of June. So it -was- new to me in a way. I also hope that it is the continuance of my ability to truly be in the moment, to see and appreciate the things around me.
Of the things that I missed last year, camping was one of my most bemoaned. And I'm making up for it in spades this summer. Just in June I'll be camping for three weekends. And then there's the full two weeks of camping at the end of July. I expect it all to be glorious. Took a good long walk along the bicentennial trail in Portage yesterday. Stopped about halfway and spent a good chunk of time just laying on a bench under the sun listening to the birds. Being outside in the warmth is very rejuvenating, right down to my soul. And I'm looking forward to more time just sitting, or laying in the grass, feeling the sun on my skin and hearing nothing but nature. I'm also hoping to find some time on/in the water this summer. Whether canoeing or boating or just visiting the beach.
I've been recovering rather well from the last chemo treatment. Still a slight bit of cold sensitivity left, but it's dissipating and doesn't keep me from eating/drinking most anything now. Pretty much caught up on my rest after the crazy Memorial Day weekend of traveling. Don't seem to have any other lingering issues that I've noticed yet. So it seems like I survived this last (hopefully last forever!) treatment pretty well and not too much worse for the wear. Still have a couple of weeks before I meet with my doctor to get the results from my PET scan. I'm pretty hopeful and optimistic about it. But of course it just hanging out there in the unknown does occasionally rattle my mind. A fellow colon cancer fighter I follow online calls it "scanxiety," which is a really good term.
For the most part I am feeling pretty good about the results of this last year and half. I'm confident we've done the best we can to kick cancer's ass with as much aggression and positivity that I and my doctors could muster. I expect a few grand years of fulfilling all my dreams and seeing all I can of the world. But I'll admit that I just don't look too far forward. The fellow colon cancer fighter I mentioned above (her blog is listed as Mission: Remission on the right) is dealing with recurrence and having a tough time of things. She just took another hit in cancer's favor and it really rattles me to watch her journey. In my cancer blog immersion phase last November, I found four ladies diagnosed with colo-rectal cancer in their 20's to 40's. Only one of them is still alive. The recurrence rate is extraordinarily high, especially with rectal cancer specifically. And it's typically within five years of the initial diagnosis. That weighs heavily on my mind and I spend too much time considering those numbers.
But I've spoken of our lack of promise of a tomorrow. Anything can happen to any of us at any time. What we have is today. And I still awake each morning considering how I can make the best of it. I continue to revel in everything, no matter how big or small. And I take plenty of opportunities to do things that best please me. I spend what time I can with friends and family and I put all the love I can onto them. This, THIS, is the best way that I fight cancer. It can't take anything away from me; it will not rule me; it will not make life any less grand; it cannot overtake love.