One year ago.
I literally can’t believe it’s been an entire year since I was diagnosed with CANCER. Guys, I. LITERALLY. CAN’T. EVEN. <— I don’t really talk like that. If I ever do… shoot me
But to be honest, I can’t believe an entire year has passed because it’s gone by really quickly. Maybe it went by so fast because a majority of it was spent waffling between a foggy state of mental shock and an actual drug-induced fog from chemo and pain killers. My murky gray memories are laced together by the highlights of my disease like a constellation in the sky. Diagnosis. Mastectomy. Recovery. Chemo. Renewal.
This day feels bizarre. Should I be happy? Should I be upset? Should I just say “FUCK this day” and go to Target and buy stuff that I don’t need? Probably.
The real question I am curious about is this….. How would my life be different today if I never got cancer?
I think it would be enormously different. Would it be better? I don’t know. Getting cancer is not a GOOD thing. But I’ve really learned so much from the experience that I kind of feel like the good outweighed the bad. And when I consider what I lost… my hair and my boobs… I didn’t really LOSE them. They’re just different now.
I wouldn’t have got a dog. I wouldn’t have started a blog. (hey that rhymed!) I wouldn’t have started making bracelets. I wouldn’t have seen my parents as much as I got to in the past year. I wouldn’t have gotten over my fear of needles. I wouldn’t know what it’s like to feel truly grateful that I’m alive. Like really REALLY thankful. I wouldn’t know what it’s like to stare death in the face and tell him to go fuck himself. I wouldn’t have learned to love myself, regardless of how I looked or felt.
I wouldn’t have been able to help other people with cancer.
But I DID get cancer. And I was able to do all of those things. For that, I will be forever grateful. Even if cancer takes my life eventually (which it better fucking not), I’m going to be thankful for what this disease did give me.
So thank you cancer. Thank you for talking my boyfriend into getting me a French bulldog that I’m obsessed with. Thank you for my bad-betch attitude. Thank you for my new, sweet, lesbian haircut. Thank you for my nipple-less circus boobs. Thank you for showing me just how awful hospital food is. Thank you for introducing me to numerous wonderful nurses and doctors. Thank you for showing me what an amazing, patient man my boyfriend Jeff is. Thank you for showing me how fucking awesome my friends and family are. Thank you for inspiring me to write this blog and to help others on their cancer journey. Thank you.