I spent most of February and March worried about breast cancer. It felt as if I had fallen down a rabbit hole and couldn’t get my bearing for the last six weeks. It turns out that what I thought was good news after my repeat mammogram, was really only the beginning of a longer, drawn out saga.
After two mammograms and two MRIs, one with a biopsy, I finally received the all clear. But during that time I was lost in limbo land. Did I or didn’t I have breast cancer? What was showing up on the tests? And why do they need to do a biopsy in the MRI machine? It is bad enough to have 12 core samples removed from my (now black and blue) breast, but in and out of a closed MRI to a claustrophobic person adds insult to injury.
Instead of focusing on the roller coaster of fear, I am embracing the sweet relief a benign diagnosis brought to me, my family and my friends. The ‘all clear’ diagnosis is a reset button for how I want to live my life. Frankly anyone one of us is each just one diagnosis away from all sorts of medical disasters. We can’t control the length of our lives, but we have some control over how we spend it.
This is a lesson I keep learning over and over again. It was mine for a while after I survived cancer in my mid 20’s. I learned it again when my husband had cancer 19 years ago (this month!). And I learned again a 1 ½ years ago from my accident, from which I am still recovering. None of this makes me unique. Many friends and loved ones have had their own medical/life-death adventures. We are all learning similar life lessons, gained from the heartbreak and pain of loss and recovery.
For whatever time left to me — hopefully many more decades — I want my life to be of my making, on my own terms. I want to spend my time doing things that light up my life, bring a smile to my face and makes my heart soar.
I dodged a bullet this time, but I know that next time I might not be so lucky. This time I came to a place of acceptance. If life is short or long, I want to laugh too loud, take up lots of space, make more mistakes, apologize with an open heart and love fiercely. Bottom line is that I have had a great life, with many, many things and people to which and to whom I am most grateful!
So in honor of my recent healthy diagnosis and the 32nd anniversary of being free of cancer, I publicly renew my commitment to spending time doing the activities that I find fulfilling with friends and family who share laughter and joy and love while living.
Who’s with me?
As a blogger, I enjoy sharing my ideas and thoughts with people, and I get a special thrill when someone leaves a comment. When you share my posts on social media sites, I jump up and down doing a happy dance. So thank you!