295 days

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.

7 Comment

  1. Joel says: Reply

    December 7 .. a day that will live in infamy.

  2. Diana Dunne says: Reply

    Now comes the time for prayers of healing from the healing.

    I love you so so much.

    Aunt D

  3. Mom says: Reply

    You made it here because you are not done living. Because you are remarkably strong, loved, no cherished, by a lot of us. I have been grief-stricken since the day you announced you had breast cancer. Every part of this journey has sucked ass and yet, even with the toll it has taken, we all learn a very good lesson. Love deeply, forgive always, and cherish every moment that we are gifted. I’m so thankful for you, for the milestone you have just reached, and that the good Lord saw fit to keep you here with us! Sigh… (so many more gray hairs)

  4. Jessica says: Reply

    You always will be my Tulip friend: There is not a single night that I don’t pray for you. We can work in different places and we live very far away but I never forget about your pain. I pray for it to stop and you can go back to you life. I am spiritually with you. Be sure there are man people out there also praying for you. You are a huge warrior and I feel so blessed because I am able to read what you write. I admire you more with each word you write. This is like a race of resistance, keep ruining, we are with you.

  5. Janet Bartel says: Reply

    So glad that this is end of treatment and you begin the journey of healing. Your posts have given me strength as I had my own before and after moment. I also pray for you daily and now I say let the healing and strength begin in earnest!! Love you, Aunt Jan

  6. Jessica Wuttke-Campoamor says: Reply


  7. Charlie says: Reply

    So happy for you that the treatment is over. I’m sure it will be a faded memory before you know it x

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