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Cancerversary

Last day of chemo!!
Exactly one year ago from today, I was diagnosed with breast cancer. From that point on, for the rest of 2016, I was entering unknown territory. I had never had a surgery in my life to all of a sudden going through several surgeries, feeling the worst pain I've ever felt, rapidly going through fertility preservation, and chemo.




These are photos during my time in chemo. Not sure why but I rarely shared these photos. One thing that became a tradition was that at the end of each chemo session, I would give everyone two thumbs up. Hence why you all are seeing me give the two thumbs up in each photo. It makes me giggle when I look at them. In an odd way, they are happy thoughts.
Round 1 (first chemo session)
Round 2 (Lost my hair about a week after round 1)
Round 3
Round 4
Round 5
Round 6


I never mentioned this when I first told you all about my cancer diagnosis, but a year ago, I wasn't sure if I was able to see how my life would be a year later. When I first heard the words "you have cancer", I didn't know if I was going to live. My cancer was aggressive, and I instantly had to make decisions on the fly. A lot of my decisions were scary. I had to decide based on which had the best long term outcome and I cried a lot about my decisions. No matter what I decided it all seemed unfair.

My oncologist and I
This week caused me anxiety. Almost everything appeared way too familiar, especially when it came to work. How many hours I was working, what I was stressing about at work, what I'm working on, and who I'm dealing with was almost identical to what was happening last year. I felt like I was experiencing deja vu. I felt uneasy. The thought of going to work caused me to panic. I almost didn't make it into work because I was too afraid. Afraid of what? Who knows. Maybe because a year ago leading up to today was when I found out I had cancer. It didn't help that I found out in the middle of the day while I was working. I remember telling my boss immediately that I can't work the rest of the day without giving any explanation.

Luckily, this year, there was one hurdle I was glad we achieved. Last year, we had to cancel our trip to Florida. This time around, we made it to Florida and had an amazing time just relaxing. This helped me feel at ease knowing that it is still possible to achieve things that I want to do.

I can't help but have tears stream down my face when I reflect on my year. A lot of it has to do with my time during chemo. More specifically,  I vividly picture our drive to one of our numerous trips to the hospital during the Spring. It was always a beautiful drive down Lake Shore Drive. We would pass by the John Hancock, Millennium Park, Grant Park, the Museum Campus, etc surrounded by pink and white Flowering Crabapple Allee and Cherry Blossoms trees. Every time I saw those beautiful floral trees along our drive, I kept thinking to myself 'Man, it would be so nice to just explore and walk around the park.' I wanted to so badly. I don't know why but it was on the top of my list. It was so minute but it seemed so amazing to me to be out there. I was just too sick to be able to get out.

Knowing that I am now well enough to get out and surround myself by those gorgeous Flowering Crabapple Allee and Cherry Blossom trees makes me so emotional. As if I am in disbelief that I can really do it. No, I take it back, I really can't believe it. You bet I will be going to those parks and surrounding myself with those trees as soon as they are in season.

source

I still go in for treatments. I still have my daily struggles. But I can talk about that in some other post. I wanted this post to be more about celebrating what I overcame. I am so blessed and grateful to be here now. I know I still have a ways to go until I feel healed, but I am so glad to be here. I am so happy to be getting 'older'. While most people I know are dreading getting older and turning 30, I am excited to say I look forward to getting old.

xo RD


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61 comments:

  1. You're amazing!! You are an example of strength and perserverance and have become of beacon of light for others suffering. Thank you for sharing this journey with us, I prayed for you often and will continue to do so. You are going to be one stylish old lady!!!!! :-)

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    1. Andrea, you have always been the sweetest and supportive! Thank you so much!

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  2. Oh my god I'm so impressed... I absolutely had no idea. You've been so strong, that's amazing. YOU are amazing. x

    Jessica — NinetyCo 

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  3. You are so inspiring and strong woman!!! great post stay strong!
    xx
    Mónica Sors
    MES VOYAGES À PARIS
    NEW POST: WHY I STARTED A FASHION BLOG & SUNSET IN PARIS...

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  4. You looked cancer in the eye and said not me. Not today. As always, I applaud you for your strength and sharing this journey with us strangers. (; I only continue t pray for you that you continue life with this attitude you have adopted because really, it's contagious! I pray that you learn and grow from all of this and your life only blesses you from here on out. <3

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    1. Thank you so much Kiki! Your prayers mean a lot and I think all this support is what's helping me.

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  5. Rach you are such an inspiration! Your strength, grace and beauty is truly humbling. I can't imagine how all of this has changed you. Stay strong girl. Xoxo

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    1. Thank you so much Heidi!! Your support means a lot to me!

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  6. Rach, I've said this before and I'll say it again. You are such an incredible, inspiring and strong woman. <3

    Jackie
    Something About That

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    1. Thank you Jackie! You've been so supporting since day 1!

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  7. I'm so happy to see how far you've come since a year ago when you found out you had cancer. You have made amazing strides and are stronger for it. I love the quote and I love that you are excited to get older. I was never one of those girls who dreaded getting a year older because, as you very well know, it's a blessing to be able to live another day, week, month, year in this world.

    P.s., you're the best!

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    1. Aw thank you for the kind words Cheryl! So glad to hear another person to be excited about getting older. Life's too short to complain!

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  8. Rach, this post literally moved me to tears! You are such an inspiration! You're such a strong fighter I can only admire! The quote is everything too! Rach, you ARE A QUEEN and I love that you have a positive outlook towards life! You will and can beat this! Love you!
    xoxo, Vanessa
    www.WhatWouldVWear.com

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    1. Aw Vanessa you are so sweet! I know I can too :) I hope to see you soon. Love ya girl!

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  9. Your story is such an inspiring story. I love how strong you are to share these photos with us.
    http://societyfix.blogspot.com.eg/

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    1. Thank you so much! It was a tough year but these photos made me happy :)

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  10. Thank your for sharing such a heartfelt story. I wish you the best for your recovery!
    -Kate
    http://www.katekoutures.com/

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    1. Thank you so much Kate! I think I am already on the road to recovery!

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  11. Thank you for sharing this..you are truly an inspiration!

    Cheers
    http://www.floridmaven.com/2017/01/ootd-in-city-of-angels.html

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  12. You are a badass woman! I'm so inspired by you! You kick cancer in the butt (and looking stylish along the way, I might add!)

    xo Deborah
    Coffee, Prose, and Pretty Clothes

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    1. Thank you so much Deborah! Honestly, blogging is what helped me though and showed me that I can still get up and go during chemo even if its for a few minutes of photos.

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  14. Wow! What a year you've had and so happy to celebrate big and small victories! You are such a positive spirit, Rachel! I really hope you're doing well - always thinking and praying for you sweet friend. You got this!

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    1. The small victories definitely all turn into one. Thank you so much Katie. I am doing really well. Just so bumps on the way, but overall I'm good. Thanks girl!

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  15. What an inspiration you are! I truly admire your beauty and strength! Sending love and hugs your way!


    - Cielo
    Mermaid in Heels

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  16. You are such an inspiration with your strength and positive spirit! It is amazing to see how far you've come over the past year. I'm so happy that you've hit the 1 year mark and wish you the best as you continue to fight!

    Nicole
    Nicole to the Nines

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    1. Thank you Nicole! It is crazy to think it all happened a year ago!

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  17. Thanks for sharing this post. I know it must be emotional for you. You made it! These photos show your strength. I bet it was hard being at work and thinking about this milestone. You enjoy those trees when the time comes!

    Amy Ann
    Straight A Style

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    1. It was and the week leading up to it I think was much harder. I probably was just anxious. I am so looking forward to Spring and going to the parks! Thank you Amy Ann!

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  18. Oh wow, you are one incredible woman! You go, girl. Sending prayers your way!

    www.jeannieinabottleblog.com

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  19. You are so incredibly strong and an inspiration. I am seriously amazed by your positivity and light!

    By Lauren M

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  20. You are so beautiful, inspiring, & amazing!! xo
    http://publiclivessecretrecipes.com/2017/01/indoor-smores-on-a-stick-recipe.html

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  21. So inspiring. You are an amazing example of having a great attitude during struggles. Best of luck to you for 2017!!

    ~Krisztina I http://www.krisztinaclifton.com

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    1. Thanks so much Krisztina. I strongly believe that having a positive attitude makes a huge difference!

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  22. You are amazing, lady- so strong and determined! It's also been so brave of you to share your journey, however difficult along the way, with your readers. I am so happy that you are recovering and living your life to the fullest!

    -Ashley
    Le Stylo Rouge

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    1. Aw thanks Ash! Thanks for your support!

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  23. You are such an inspiration!! Thank you so much for sharing your story, even though it can be scary to do so. Your positivity and bravery are so inspiring!

    http://thecourtneydiaries.com

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    1. Thank you so much Courtney! I hope my story helps others too!

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  24. You are such a strong and inspiring woman Rach. Thank you for sharing this part of your story and your positivity with us. Stay strong dear. Have a wonderful rest of the week :)
    xo
    Sauniya | Find Your Bliss ♡

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    1. Thank you Sauniya! Hope you're having a great weekend!

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  25. Girl you are such a powerful woman. Thank so much for opening this part of your life up to your readers and being so raw and honest about it all. You're truly inspiring!

    xoxo Rina
    http://www.andshedressed.com

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  26. Thank you for being so strong. I cannot imagine how painful this is.
    You are amazing!
    Dora www.BangsBang.com

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    1. Thank Dora! It does help when I share my thoughts!

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  27. Very inspirational! You are such a strong woman. :)
    Thank you for sharing this powerful story.

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    1. Thank you so much Jennifer for your kind words!

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  28. Oh, Rach, you are such an inspiration to me. Your strength and courage is so humbling and beautiful. I cannot imagine ever going through this but I've had family members suffer and pass from cancer so my heart goes out to you in your fight. You are triumphing over your cancer every day. Thank you for sharing this with us and I'm sending you all my love and positivity, always.
    Julia・Little Miss Haute Couture

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    1. Thank you so much Julia!! Your support means so much!

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  29. Wow this is such an inspiring story. Thank you so much for sharing with us. You're so strong and beautiful and I wish you all the best in 2017!

    xoxo, Christina

    Stray Birds and Lavender

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    1. Thanks Christina! So far 2017 is looking good :)

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  30. Good for you girl! keep fighting! You are an inspiration for others!

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  31. You are such a strong woman.You posses so much strength and determination and this is surely an inspiration to many.Walk head high like the queen you are...and May God guide you through this journey only he understands better.Much love.
    http://wanjirukariuki.co.ke

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  32. Thank you for sharing, how brave of you. I've worked in cancer-related research at various companies and still, each story is so sad.

    -Kirsten // pork & cookies

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