It’s not like there’s going to be a cake or anything …

… said my  best friend when I commented on the fact that today is the first anniversary of “the lump”. A year ago today my doctor referred me for a diagnostic mammogram and ultrasound after examining the lump I’d felt in the shower. 12 months, and so much stuff in between.

I’d been thinking out loud that as the anniversary approached, I didn’t want to get caught up in ‘memory lane’ stuff in a negative, woe is me way. I am focused on my bright, happy, cancer-free future. Looking back on the negative things that changed my life so dramatically was not something I wanted to wallow in. But, as she reminded me, it’s not like we’re baking a cake for this anniversary.

The next few months will be filled with a series of first anniversaries. My biopsy. My diagnosis. My surgery. The start of chemotherapy. The end of chemotherapy – there may be a cake for that one! The start of radiation. The end of radiation. Each one a chance to celebrate how far I’ve come. My growing hair is a daily visual reminder that I am making progress.

headshotNext week I get to celebrate a first that not many of us get to remember in our lives. My first haircut. Yup – I have enough hair to get some trimmed off. Not much – it’s still very precious. But it needs a bit of style applied to it. And, it fulfills a promise I made to the stylist who shaved off all my hair the day after my first round of chemo. It was as traumatic for her as it was for me, and I promised she would get to style my hair after it grew back.

So, as the year of first anniversaries starts, today, as I look forward, I also look back and say thank you to the many people in my life, clinical and otherwise, who gave me the incredible gift of having these anniversaries to celebrate. And, as they say, to many more.


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