After all the stress, worry, time off from work, energy-zapping treatments, tears, sadness, paranoia, and medications, it all just...ended.
I returned to my normal work schedule, my hair began growing back, I no longer took daily medications, and by Christmas-time, it was hard to imagine that cancer had been a part of my life.
One year later, it is still a very far-away experience, as though it happened decades ago (or not at all).
By May of this year, my buzz cut no longer signaled having had cancer, but resembled a cute, stylish pixie cut (see below). And just a few weeks ago, I had my THIRD haircut!
See how much can change in a year?
Just a few days ago, I had my three-month check-up, which predictably consists of blood work and chatting with my oncologist. I've had a few annoying "twinges" in my body lately, which always sets me on edge about what could be happening deep within my tissues, but all continues to be well. My LDH remains within normal range and the twinges are just my body's way of making sure that all is working and healthy.
I feel a huge responsibility to pass on the healing that I have lived, so I've been speaking about cancer for the past several months, both at the Cancer Center and within my tribe of friends, family, and clients. I share how I believe cancer infiltrated my life, and how I believe we can all return to good health--even after cancer.
It's ironic, because while I was undergoing cancer treatments, I never felt--nor did I think of myself--as "ill". I've been so healthy all of my life that I couldn't take it in that cancer was actually an illness that was invading my body.
Perhaps that attitude was partly what contributed to my healing, but I still consider myself a very healthy 56-year-old woman...who happened to have had cancer.
My gratitude for continued health and happiness one year later runs deep, but today, I am at a loss for words.
I just know that everything can change in a year, so if you find yourself in a scary or uncertain place, remember this:
"Beginnings are scary, endings are usually sad, but it is the middle that counts the most. You need to remember that when you find yourself at a new beginning, just give hope a chance to float up. It always does." ~ Hope Floats