I just had my birthday a couple of days ago. By habit, I almost began to dread it, and that's just because I was focused on that "number." But very, very quickly, my attitude changed. Birthdays are a blessing! I had to tell that to myself once or twice, but it sunk in. I only had to remember what it felt like a year ago.
Last year, two days before my birthday, we received my sarcoma diagnosis. Round #2 with cancer was here. I wrote in my journal "Back on the Roller Coaster." That's what battling cancer is like - a roller coaster ride. There are so many ups and downs, thrills and scary parts, and yep, even some laughter. But it's all there. It's quite a ride.
This year on my birthday, it was difficult remembering where we were a year ago. Difficult in the sense that all those emotions are still simmering just below the surface. It was so easy to recall how we felt in 2009. We were facing such an unknown.
But it's already been a year since diagnosis. In some ways it seems like yesterday, but for the most part, it feels like a year. So much has happened. And the roller coaster ride has definitely settled down to a straight-away. Only a few dips and curves recently.
It was quite a year, birthday-to-birthday. In the long run, I'm glad to have that first year behind me. To know I'm able to keep moving forward.
Although being on the cancer roller coaster has changed me (how could it not!), I still feel like me. Yes, there are physical changes because of the surgery, but I have to laugh today because my biggest complaint is my weight! Gee, that doesn't sound any different than most of the women I know. So, I'm changed, yet I'm "normal."
My sweet husband was looking at me last (really looking), and he said "I don't know why we were so worried about this." (This indicating my chest). He stated that my surgery didn't make any difference. He said "you're still here -- and you're still you."
So, bring on the birthdays -- bring on the blessings of every day. A few more scars don't make a difference in my every day life -- heck, I hope they make me even stronger. I'm a survivor.
God is good and Birthdays are a blessing.
Keep on Truckin' everyone...