There are lots of ways cancer survivors mark the time that passes after their diagnosis and/or treatment for cancer. I know one lady who gets a tattoo on her leg every year. They’re all moths, and the effect is stunning. Another woman I know gets a boudoir shot done every year on her diagnosis date. I think showing a little tits and ass on the anniversary of being diagnosed with breast cancer is a pretty badass way to celebrate the occasion.
I’ve always been a big proponent of letting cancer survivors do whatever they need to do to make it through treatment and the fear that they’ll carry with them the rest of their lives. Whatever gets us through the day, as long as the day doesn’t end in the ER with a diagnosis of alcohol poisoning.
How am I getting through the day today? It’s a snoozefest, and I’m pretty psyched about that. Personally, I have no desire to celebrate the yearly anniversary of the day I was told that I had cancer. I remember my cancer diagnosis and treatment way too much as it is, and any part of it that I can keep to a blur is fine by me.
Therein lies the reason why I’m pissed that I got my cancer diagnosis on a holiday. I have no idea what the actual date was when I got the phone call telling me my biopsy was positive (Unfortunately, the date is seared in my husband’s brain). I don’t remember the day of any of my surgeries or when radiation started. I do remember when I finished radiation, but that’s only because it was two days before our wedding anniversary. The day of our anniversary started with another cancer scare, but the evening ended with bourbon and friends, so I’ll remember it as a good night.
I could figure out the date out if I looked at a 2013 calendar, but beyond burning a copy of one, I’ve stayed far away. What I can’t escape is the fact that I got the phone call on Good Friday. It’s a very long story best told another time, but Good Friday marks the day when my little sister who was in neonatal intensive care started to turn the corner. As solemn a day as Good Friday is, it’s always had a good connotation for me. That kind of got screwed up last year.
Last year, I spent the afternoon at my parents’ house waiting for the call. The entire day was nerve-wracking for my loved ones, but not so much for me. I’ve mentioned it in previous posts, but I already knew I had cancer. I wasn’t trying to be fatalistic, but when I got the first letter telling me I needed to get another mammogram, I knew. I don’t remember anything but the call, my mom and husband crying, and texting and calling my friends. Facebook seemed like a horrible and inappropriate way to give my loved ones the news. “I just had the yummiest dinner. Oh, and I have cancer”.
What am I doing this year? At first, I had no plans. Then I decided that sitting around my house was probably not the best option for my mental health. I do too much of that as it is. When I get overwhelmed, I go to ground. I turn into a hermit and tend to shut as many things as I can out of my life. Since I’m not feeling well (yay for kidney stones!), it becomes even easier. Not really the best way to process or deal with any of the things that happened last year, but it’s the truth. I didn’t want to spend today in my cave, talking to my cats.
So what am I doing today? I got up late and made myself a healthy breakfast. Then I ate 3/4 of a carton of Ben & Jerry’s Phish Food. I needed the calcium. I decided greasy hair was not a good look for me, so I took a shower. People of Knoxville? You’re welcome.
I’m went outside and tried to figure out how to wrest my vegetable garden from the jungle that’s supposed to be a backyard. Nothing was done to it last year, and the Bermuda grass and privet are currently eating it. It’s a hot mess. I didn’t actually do anything about it, but looking at it and assessing it made me feel like I accomplished something. Now I can procrastinate pulling out my machete and hacking through it for another few days.
I’m sitting here at our local coffee shop, ingesting more coffee than is kind to my neighbors sitting around me. As soon as it opens, I plan on parking myself at my favorite watering hole with a book and my computer. I’m going to get a bourbon, edit this post and chill. I’ve got a friend and my brother joining me later. My husband will join us when he leaves work.
At some point today, I’ll watch Dr Who. I got hooked on it when I was stuck in bed so much last year. I am now a full on Whovian, and It’s one of the fantastic things that came out of last year (sorry – I couldn’t post this without one Doctor Who reference).
I’ll eat some bacon because any excuse to eat bacon is a good one.
I wanted to write something about today, so you all get to read this post which is boring as shit and not profound at all. I love that. In a few years, I might decide to mark this day in a different way. I might find some profound meaning to this date. But the fact that today isn’t exciting or “special” seems so appropriate and wonderful to me.
I’m raising a glass. Bourbon & bacon toasts to you all.