My last chemo: 12/21/2015.
Last week I laid in my bed, the night before my last chemo unable to sleep well. There is this fear that grips me; it tightens my throat and waters my eyes like an icy cold blast of air. What if this isn’t the end? What if I haven’t done enough? I’ve spent the past 6 months in defensive mode against cancer. I’ve exhausted those months always doing something; chemo, mastectomy, pills, exams, diets, needles. Now it’s all over with. Sometimes I feel like I’m going to be that dove that is freed from it’s cage and flies right into a glass window.
I had read about and anticipated this emotional feeling on cancer websites, but it hasn’t stopped me from feeling this way. I am definitely SUPER FUCKING HAPPY and excited that my chemotherapy journey is over, but it’s not without mixed emotions. Of course I don’t want anymore chemo, but it’s a little scary knowing that I’m not receiving the cancer-killing drug anymore.
In the past, I let my fear control me. It manifested itself in anxiety, self-doubt, and denial in my life. Now I’m choosing to control my own emotions. It actually did take me 30 years to realize the simple fact that I can manage my own emotions and create my own destiny. Better late than never I guess? I anticipate that this post-cancer anxiety is going to feel like a dark cloud over me some days, but I’m choosing to stay in the light and believe with all my heart that this is the end of the road for cancer in my life. I will love every gorgeous breath that I inhale and be forever grateful that I was given a chance to stare death in the eyes and tell him to fuck off.
People often say to me “You’re so brave! You have so much courage!” and every time I hear it, I tend to nervously laugh it off because I’ve never considered myself brave. And you know what, honestly I was NOT brave, I was scared shitless every second. But when you’re faced with a situation in which you could actually die, you choose LIFE, not because you’re brave but because surviving is inherent in each of us. I didn’t run towards danger, I ran AWAY from it! I’m not a hero! Instead of saying I’m brave, I’d like to think I was just lucky enough to be in a situation where I could confront my deepest fears and learn from the experience. I’ve learned the emotions and mentality that it necessitates to be brave, and from here on out I will be that way with a grateful heart. Everyone has bravery in them so I challenge you to do something brave! Go skydiving, admit when you’re wrong, pursue an impossible dream, sacrifice something of yours for someone else, face your phobias and fears! You are in control.
“Promise me you’ll always remember: You’re braver than you believe, and stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think.” – Christopher Robin to Pooh