4 years = 1826 days. 4 years ago, I thought that I’d never forget April 8th. While I never forget that I had cancer, it took my Facebook memories to jog my mind regarding April 8th’s true meaning. Monday seemed like just another Monday, but it wasn’t. 4 years ago, I rang the bell at Roger Maris Cancer Center, signifying the end of active treatment for breast cancer. 4 years ago, I stood with my family and friends while strangers watched me ring the bell. Perhaps it gave hope to someone just starting their journey, that they too can make it to that point – the bell ringing day. I gave my phone to someone to take pictures. I’m so glad I did. I want to remember the image of that strong, but scared 41 yr old. I want to remember the look on my husband’s face of pride and relief. I want to remember how small my boys were.
It’s a big deal. I still carry the card in my wallet from that day. I don’t want April 8th to be just another day. Why? Because not everyone sees 4 years go by. I don’t want to take that for granted. “Easy cancer” or not, cancer is still cancer. Fighting to make sure it’s gone and stays gone takes effort, determination, strength and luck. It shouldn’t be underestimated. It should be celebrated. So I ran over to our grocery store and bought these pink flowers for myself. (4 kinds/colors of pink and white) and some cookies for my co-workers. (I know I should have gotten fruit or something more healthy, but cookies are fun.)
It will likely be a day where the details fade over time, but the memory of ringing the bell still stays. Do you have an event that changed your life? How do you remember or celebrate it? In what ways has it shaped your life from that point on? I want my kids to know I’m not perfect. There are things I would have done differently, but those things also taught me lessons. Ladies (and men), listen up:
- You’re “only” 41? Cancer doesn’t care. Get checked.
- No direct relatives with breast cancer? Cancer doesn’t care. Get checked.
- Your family depends on you? Cancer doesn’t care. Get checked.
- You are flat chested, big chested or even male? Cancer doesn’t care. Get checked.
Cancer is a jerk, it doesn’t care. Monday was not just another day. It was a reminder about life being short. So eat the cookie, but go for a walk. Love the body that is home to your soul. Hug your kids, even the teens. Tell those who love and support you just how much they mean to you. We aren’t guaranteed our tomorrows. I wish you peace on your journey of enough. You are always enough. Sometimes I feel like too much, but it’s always just enough.