What is it about anniversaries and special occasions that gets everyone all riled up? Now, last year was my 25th wedding anniversary, 50th birthday, son graduating from college, younger son’s promotion to high school, a fantastic Temecula trip and Eagles concert. So far this year, Fleetwood Mac concert, Kenny Wayne Shepherd concert, a high school girls getaway (because we’re all fabulous), turning 50 of course, and an upcoming family trip to San Diego.
Cancer patients have anniversaries (subconsciously) that mark certain things. For me, the day that life as we knew it began to spiral out of control would be June 20, 2013. The day of actual diagnosis and heartbreak was July 17, 2013. The beginning of taking targeted therapy August 2013. Bone METS found February 2014. Tarceva stopped working October 2014. Beginning chemo; October 31, 2014 and date chemo ended March 2015. Pulmonary emboli found in January 2015. Brain METS found June 9, 2015 with date of first whole brain radiation June 11, 2015 and final date of whole brain radiation July 1, 2015.
Now why in the heck do we remember these dates? Obviously my brain cells are in overdrive as I have not written them down anywhere. Certainly, they should be sealed away in some memory vault with strict instructions to stay locked up forever.
Unfortunately, that is not the case and these dates are important and do not stay in the vault forever. Cancer is a funny thing and sneaky as all get out. Just when you least expect it… BAM. It knocks you for another loop. Well, it has done it yet again. Just when I thought I was treatment free for a bit (two months to be exact) the sneaky little suckers have found their way to my brain and here we go again into unchartered territory. Nature of the beast I suppose. In any event, we keep these memories alive to remember how far we have come, how much we have changed, how far we still have to go and how strong we need to be to continue to fight for our ourselves, family and friends. In my experience, every little activity, such as taking a walk alone or with friends, hanging out with family or friends, talking to or texting family or friends and continuing to work are that much more special. I am trying to not take life for granted and slow down and enjoy these little things that I cherish.
Last year there were a lot of important milestones and things to plan which kept everyone’s minds off of everything. I need to get back on the horse and plan some more important things this year, especially now that the year is half over to keep us occupied and to look forward to something. Time marches on; that much is certain.
So with that said, my family and I are going to trudge along as we always do with humor and laugher infused in our everyday lives, while trying to slow down and enjoy life as it comes our way. Friends and family are so important for a cancer patient and their families; people who love us no matter what, are there for us no matter what and don’t try to understand what we are going through. Just a quiet presence always there is a very peaceful and comforting thing to have. For that, I am a very, very lucky girl!
Plan C is now a reality and we are going to keep kicking its beastly butt! No plan D yet as other scans are stable so I will continue to be chemo free until progression yet again. So, in my opinion, anniversaries are meant to be remembered and celebrated as we are programmed to remember what we have overcome and celebrate important life events. Memories are a very important part of my life and I plan to continue to make memories!
Cheers to making many more memories!
Live, laugh, love, repeat!!!