One year – 365 days. Sometimes they feel like the movie “Groundhog’s Day” (where Bill Murray repeats the same day until he gets it right). Other times it feels like they just fly by & we wonder where the time went. I think of that when I look at my son, almost 13 & now taller than me with much more facial hair. One year ago today, I had the mammogram that would change my life. One that seemed to be routine. Quick in and out, minimal pain… No big deal, right? Nope, not that time. But one year ago today, I had no idea of what was ahead of me. No clue as to how much my life would change. The thought of being a cancer survivor hadn’t yet crossed my mind. This was just routine.
Last week, we traveled to CA to see my sister & her 2 girls. We celebrated life, Thanksgiving & called it “mom survived cancer” trip. I struggled with the guilt of going… The expense, the time off & not being able to give myself credit for the last year. My sister helped with some of the expense, my employer allowed me to go in PTO debt, and a fellow cancer survivor made me think about how tough it is to go through cancer – and how coming through it SHOULD be celebrated.
The thing about cancer is, you “just do it “. There is a plaque at my desk that says “you never know how strong you are until being strong is the only thing you can do”. It’s true. I treated my diagnosis like a project. A task to finish (survive)… Complete with flow charts, spreadsheets and progress tracking. When people told me I was strong, I didn’t believe them. It’s still hard to. When you’re faced with something like that, you just do what you need to in order to get through it. So to me, my “accomplishment” was no big deal, because I did what I thought anyone else would do. Yet I feel like I didn’t do enough. Didn’t handle certain things like I wanted to. Didn’t address my youngest son’s anxiety about my diagnosis soon enough. The list goes on.
I feel less than inspirational most days. It goes back to being enough and talking to yourself how you would talk to others. It’s a process. A slow one. But with Thanksgiving in the rear view mirror, another birthday in the books, some new kinds of “anniversaries” & Christmas just around the corner, there is a lot to be thankful for. What are you thankful for? List yours out, say them out loud, think about it in your car ride or while you are waiting in line. What have you done with your last 365 and what will you do with the next 365? Peace be with you on your journey of “enough”.