“Statistically speaking my Mom didn’t have the luckiest year. But who gives a *** about statistics. I would be hard pressed to find a luckier, happier, smarter, cuter, more perfect Mom.” My birthday present from my daughter, posted on Facebook this year, oh yeah.
Hard to believe that it’s the first anniversary of finding the infection that turned out not to be. Trying antibiotics for three weeks, two of which could stamp a metastasis. And then ten hours of testing on March 21st that quickly established a year-long sentence of treatment. The “I don’t have cancer because I’m going to Hong Kong” litany trailed the whole day,
They did get my attention when they talked about mets to the liver (not there) and “we can keep you comfortable.” Words like that do get your attention. And the trip to the sports bar on 54 after waiting 60 hours for the call that would determine the course of our year, comfortable or extremely uncomfortable. We were banking on discomfort. “I do love you, you know,” my stoic at this point extremely uncomfortable husband said from the other side of the table. The pizza lay between us uneaten. “Ha,” I retorted. I have to get cancer for you to say it?” New Englanders show love through actions not words and it is a point of dissension.
I watched the Academy Awards this year and my favorite acceptance speech was from Julianna Moore. She ended with “I’d like to thank my husband, whom I love. Thank you for my home. Thank you for my children.” Wow. She blew me away with that gratitude! We had our own Academy Awards ceremony starring a woman who tried her best to live and her husband who’s love undergirded her. “I’d like to thank my husband. Love and thanks for my life, my children and our home.” “We’ve managed the physical, Julia. Now it’s up to you to manage the mental,” I’m good at managing others so I do want to keep working on myself.
Speaking of living, I believe I got active drug in this double-blind placebo controlled study. I have a few side effects, nothing awful but still some telling signs that this is not a sugar pill. Praise God! A loving friend wrote recently, “Our God will not forsake us.” And boy you better believe that is true. He will not ever, in sickness or in health.
So in looking on this anniversary, one year ago, finding what I thought was an infection turning into cancer, I am grateful. Grateful for my family, my doctors, my friends, the drug trial, my church and Jesus’ pure white healing light. There was a time long ago when I could get so frustrated and upset that the only gratitude I felt for my husband was the gift of my children. Sometimes my gratitude for my children failed me too, I have to admit. But not any more. The most serious disagreement, the slightest kindness, the lightest or darkest difference lends itself only to love now, to the wow I’m alive and this is actually happening and boy doesn’t it all feel marvelous. Happy anniversary Inflammatory Breast Cancer! You have changed my life for the better in many ways and I thank you. Looks like we are in this together.