365 days. 52 weeks. Twelve months. I’ve been thinking about this milestone for a couple of days, and it doesn’t matter how you frame it, it doesn’t get any easier to mark it.
A year ago today, at 4pm, I got the news that I had breast cancer. Invasive Lobular Carcinoma. That little pea-sized lump I felt in the shower turned out to be something, rather than the “it’s probably nothing” my friends all added to the “don’t worry” part of the sentence.
I’m profoundly lucky, grateful and happy to be celebrating this anniversary. I’m alive, doing well and getting amazing care. My body is still repairing itself (as my medical oncologist quite rightfully reminds me when I am overly enthusiastic with my fitness routine and pay the price) and my psyche remains whole and positive despite the assaults it’s weathered these 365 days.
Today is one of those days when looking back reminds me of how far I’ve come. It seems like it’s just the blink of an eye – a month at most – since that fateful day, so much has happened. Biopsies, MRIs, CT scans, surgery, chemotherapy, radiation, medical appointments, lab appointments, hair loss, skin trauma.
That’s a lot of trauma. It was a rapid learning curve (death, as I said to someone recently, is a huge motivator). Together, mind and body figured out how to cope. It was these first three weeks that, looking back on it, were the scariest because of all the unkowns. (The day before chemo started was a close second!) At this point (before surgery and treatment) it’s a waiting game. Once I knew I had cancer, I just wanted to get on with the treatment – ready, fire, aim. Now I know the value of taking those extra steps to accurately define the proper action. Didn’t make it any easier to bear.
Yes, I have come a long way. 365 days. Here’s to the next 11,000. 🙂