Today is my 4 years ‘cancer free’ anniversary. There are many milestones and significant days that one remembers when having gone through cancer. For me, this date represents the day I had the first stage of my treatment process which was my lumpectomy. It was at the follow up appointment with the surgeon that I was given the news that I was cancer free. It was an enormous relief. Every moment from the telephone call telling me my biopsy had come back positive to getting this news had been spent hoping for the best, but also trying to prepare myself for the worst. How can you help it? It’s a scary time, and you feel very vulnerable.
When we got the good news report, my spouse and I wanted to do something special. It was just shy of noon so I felt we could get away with a celebratory cocktail. I chose a martini. Go big or go home right? This felt like a pretty big deal, and it was. My chemotherapy and surgeries were still ahead of me, and while I was uncertain of what the next year would look like, I was clear on the fact that this was a day I would never forget.
Four years feels good. Next year will feel even better. If you are reading this and are just starting your journey, in the middle of treatment, dealing with the aftermath of ‘recovering from the cure’ or like me, working your way to a 5 year survivor mark and beyond, I offer you my understanding, support and encouragement. In looking back to two years ago, I remember wondering if I would ever get back on track and feel like myself again. Today, as I hit my 4 year survivor mark I can tell you that in some ways I do. In other ways I am very different and for that, I am also grateful.