I sat down last night, right before bed, and thought, “is it really here.” Tomorrow is the last day.
That tomorrow is now today.
It has been exactly 295 days.
295 days since a radiologist walked into a tiny little room and said, “I’m afraid I have not great news.”
Everything before February 15, 2017, will forever known as “Before This.” Everything after December 7, 2017, will be known as “After This.” The in between… That was cancer.
My dreams last night were a mixed bag of everything I’ve experienced in those 295 days. The constant battle with the boy for not picking up after himself. The fear that the cancer really isn’t gone. Walking into today’s appointment and my doctor abandoning me with more questions. A hurricane (the emotional gravity of everything I’ve experienced). And yes… cheeseburgers.
Over the past 295 days I have had both breasts removed. I have had my body pumped full of highly toxic chemicals. I have had 1/2 of my chest burned off. I have come to realize that it is not the cancer that we survive, but rather the treatment. There were many days that I would have gladly given up. There were days that I silently begged for the cancer to just take me because the pain was too great. Then I would open my eyes and see these two remarkable men looking at me and willing me to live. Their eyes showed pain and worry. Worry about what it would be like with only two instead of three, or one instead of two.
I pressed on.
I’ve now come to After This. I’m starting on the upward swing of grief… I hope. I’ve been at the bottom of it for so long I’m not sure there is light up there anymore. What light there is will be so much different that the light on the other side of that chasm of grief. I’m not the same person I was Before This. I listen a little more intently and talk a little less. I watch the details in life a little more closely. I take every moment in and savor it.
Today my life-line of fighting is cut. I’m on my own. This journey isn’t over, but the active fighting is done. I’ve reached the point of armistice with my body.
I am going to do my best to trust that all of the suffering I’ve endured was for a purpose.
I’m just hoping that the purpose was so I could sit on a tropical beach with a fruity drink and just be.