Last week marked one year since I started my journey with breast cancer. Though I didn’t know it at the time, that morning would mark the last of my quiet morning routines for some time. Gene and I got up and enjoyed our usual morning walk with Dolly on a crisp September morning. I remember turning to Gene at one point and saying, “I love this time of year,” and he grinned and said, “I know you do.” Later that morning, I found the lump in my breast as I showered, and the next morning, my father died.
I look back now at that person I was, the things I worried about or stressed over, my priorities, and my goals and find that some things are the same, but so many things are different. I always felt that I was a strong person, but I have found strength that I did not know I had. I have always hated to ask for help or rely on others, but have found peace in asking for help and leaning on a friend or family member. I have learned many more things about myself but will save those for another post.
Gene and I took this week to travel to Texas and be with our family. It was both a joyful weekend as we had a family wedding reception for our son and new daughter, as well as a difficult week as we recognized the one year anniversary of my father’s death. Mom and I talked about our two respective mornings of finding the lump and then Dad’s death. We are both haunted by those mornings but learning to find some peace. I found myself wondering why we put so much importance on the anniversary of someone’s death, but I believe it is part of the healing process. I do know that I’m glad we went home to be with family.
The one year mark brings another reminder — time for my mammogram! Can you believe it? I should be able to finish treatment before I’m due for that test, don’t you think? It is kind of like a new car in my mind. You should have it paid off before you have to replace the tires! (My husband always laughs when I make this comment.)
As you can imagine, I am facing this mammogram in my usual style — with humor. When I called to make my appointment, I asked the scheduler to put a note in my chart that I want them to get it right this year. No surprises! I want a nice, normal mammogram. You have to love small town hospitals. I actually have the email address of the girls in the X-ray department. So I emailed them and asked if I get a discount on my mammogram since I only have one breast. Seriously, I did email them. Their response? “We hope your mammogram is uneventful this year! And you do get a discount!” I gave myself a high five. I do love a discount. I will let you know what other trouble I can find when I’m there next month.
Finally, I want to say that I could not, could not have survived this year without your support. The food, the phone calls, the hugs, the emails, the cards, the rides to and from chemo, the company at chemo, the prayers, all the pink gifts and yes, even the knitting and painting lessons showed me that you cared and were sharing my journey. God blessed me with the angels that I needed to help hold me up this past year. I will hold each of you in my heart and prayers forever.
Congratulations on reaching the one year mark. You deserve that half off coupon for the next mammogram. You’ve gotten through the year with a humor and grace distinct to you. Have loved the posts.
Sunday, August 12, as seen in the tear off calendar graphic in the left corner, is the day Dwight died one year ago. In some ways, it has gotten better over the year, but other aspects have surprised me as being even harder a year out. I suspect your family acknowledges that also, when thinking of losng your dad. My best to all of you. Each year, may you find yourself stronger, laughing harder, and loving it all.
Pat, I think you are correct that some things are harder a year out. I’m so glad we could be in Texas with my Mom and that I’m at a point I could help someone else out. I’m tired of being the patient.
One of God’s gifts is that my Dad never had to know that I had cancer. I think it must be terribly difficult for a parent to watch their child go through treatment for cancer. I can only hope that he would have been proud of how I have handled it and my faith in God’s plan.
Kathy – Congratulations on being cancer FREE! You have always been a wonderful speaker and writer, but this trying year has brought out the best in you. Bravo! You have forever changed my reaction to hearing the word ‘trouble’. Now I just think of you, no matter the stressful situation, just having fun by ‘causing’ a little trouble! Way to go girl! While my prayers for your healing & strength were serious, I think even God couldn’t help but chuckle! You enriched so many lives out there with your candor & honesty as you ‘told it like it is’, but with your own special twist. You definitely made me “Laugh With Kathy”! God bless you for a fabulous life ahead! Love, Cathy
Cathy, you make me laugh because when I was in the shower this morning, I was thinking that I’m about ready to cause somebody a “little trouble!” I don’t have anyone or anything specific in mind, but my chemo doctor came to mind first. Then I thought — I’m meeting Tess for lunch next week and there is no one better to get into trouble with! Have I mentioned she is also my attorney? LOL
Yaaaaaay!!! One year mile marker. Congratulations. Here’s to many more cancer free years.
I can’t explain in words how much I love you and look up to you! You have made this last year interesting! Next time you need attention just call me!! LOL! You have made our family very proud of you and how you Beat Cancer!! I love you!!!
AKA: your loving sister!
Perfect comment Tammy. Interesting? Wait till we talk reconstruction! LOL Somebody should warn the doctors that I’m coming.
Ditto Cathy Buller. I too have enjoyed your posts and look forward to seeing new ones show up.
Congratulations on getting through this year!! A year seemed so long when you said that’s how long it would take, now the worst is behind you.
BE WELL!………….BE GOOD………..OK, just be well, not sure you can manage the 2nd. 🙂