I was at a Colin James concert last night on a beautiful summer evening. My friend and I commented on how perfect the weather was and we talked a bit about the hurricane rolling through Texas. It got us to remembering a horrible storm that passed through Vancouver two years ago at this time, knocking down trees, leaving thousands in the city without power.
It is one of those things that is forever seared in my brain because I had my first round of chemotherapy that weekend. I got my first chemo on Thursday, August 27 and the storm rolled through on Saturday morning, August 29, which I thought was extremely apropos given the storm happening within my body.
My friend and I chatted about the storm and the memories of seeing trees down, and the woman in front of us turned around and said – “yes, it was August 29” and I said yes, I remember it well. Her reply was “oh, I just know I always know the date because I broke my arm that day” and my quip response was “that was my first round of chemotherapy, so I remember it extremely well”. I said it lightly and with a smile and followed it by an “I win!” with a laugh. We all laughed.
Two years on I can laugh. I am doing well. Keeping fit, getting regular check ups and taking my Letrozole every day. My friend said she felt like it was just last month that I was telling her I had cancer, she could recall the conversation so well, and that it was hard to believe two years have passed.
It is a mark of how far I’ve come that it took a Facebook “memory” image popping up in my timeline yesterday to remind me what I was doing two years ago August 26. That random photo showed a friend and I attending a Whitecaps soccer game as a pre-chemo go out and have some fun/blow off nervousness evening. I’d forgotten that it was the day before chemo started.
Last year the first anniversary of chemo didn’t sneak up on me – it loomed as a big milestone. This year it was just another day.
1,051,200 minutes – how do you measure, measure two years* … when life becomes “just another day.”
*mimicking Seasons of Love from Rent