|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)|
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.
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.