So... it has been a month since I have posted anything. And being in the middle of treatment and all, this is quite a space to have left you all in. Whatever have I been up to?!?
Mostly, and most boringly, I've been doing radiation. Three weeks to be specific, and as of Thursday this last week, done with radiation. We just did three weeks, with two very small fields on both the primary and secondary metasatic tumors in my lungs. And in a week and a half I will jump back into my chemo schedule. There are four more sessions to go in this third round. I am hopeful that this radiation will allow me to have a more extended all-treatment break at the end of this chemo session in August.
Daily radiation had me Kalamazoo-bound for most of this last month. (Though I did sneak in one little weekend excursion.) But some far-flung girlfriends have been in town and I've certainly been getting out and enjoying the early summer in style. There was the local Art Fair at the park and on the walking mall. Throw in some movies here and there at my favorite downtown theater. Tea and patio/deck/pool time at various friends' places. I was almost made a princess. Plus, there has been some live music, local beers, patio games, a proper bbq, new friends, and even some dancing. I may have cancer, but the living is still so fine.
I've been in a bit of a weird state today. Because Facebook reminded me that as of today (technically yesterday) three years ago, I was declared clear of my cancer. We reached that enviable state of N.E.D. (no evidence of disease), which was the first step towards remission. After a year and a half of fighting this thing, I had "won."
But really, I knew it was only temporary. That may be one of the things that your friends with cancer history don't tell you... you are always worried. For years, you will stay worried and vigilant because the damned bitch of cancer might be back at any moment to bite you in the ass and remind you of your fragile hold on this thing called Life. So you throw that voice of worry into a box in your mind, and you focus on the days you have, and the good people in your life... and you don't stop long enough to let the lingering echoes of that worried voice resonate in your mind.
So here I find myself... at the crossroads of the anniversary of my NED status, and just starting a week and a half of vacation in the middle of this current eight-month long treatment schedule. No longer NED, no longer safe, no longer secure. And yet, I am so very happy in these recent days. Again, I am finding that each day is a gift, each person in my life is a blessing, every small pleasure is something to celebrate. I take nothinng for granted. I fill my days with people and pleasures. I shall not be taken down by the gravity of my condition or the desperate state of our world and times.
Today I am alive. Today I have kissed the forehead of my adored tow-headed nephew more times than I can count. Today I have felt loved. Today I have laughed. Today I have grown just a sliver closer to my sister. Today I enjoyed and reveled in a perfect sunny summer's day. Today I sat and watched the gibbous moon move across the sky. Today has been good. Tomorrow will also be good. But... I am here, just right here in this moment. Writing these words that I hope will touch someone. Tomorrow will be a blessing, another lucky day, a chance for more opportunities, a time to share love. And I will revel in the opportunity for another day. Join me friends.