Sunday, June 6, 2010

I Think This Is Where We Came In

Guess what?  

Halfglassistan was founded one year ago. One year ago, yesterday. Which is when some inspired message about how far this little land of my creation has come would have been appropriate.

Yeah, don't scroll back. It's not there. 

That's what happens when your fearless leader is a procrastiperfectionator. Or is happily absorbed in her new job. Or is too busy transcribing all the ideas that came to her on her beach trip. Or is working on the next step in world domination improvements to this little spot on your mental map. Or is just too focused forward to spend too terribly much time navel-gazing about the precise progression of the past 360-odd days.

A little looking back is appropriate, though. Especially when I see that one year ago on this day, the first Sunday in June, I wrote about National Cancer Survivors Day. At the time, I already knew Mr. J and I were survivors. But to what degree? And of what exactly? That was all still a big, huge, scary unknown, less than two weeks into chemotherapy. 

Now, rereading those words today, I remember how we faced it with a single-minded determination. And I can't improve on the message, so I won't try.

But I will add this: Mr. J had his latest round of post-chemo bloodwork this past week. All clear. So amen and thank you, again, dear universe. And, uh, cancer? Take that.

From June 7, 2009: (and yes, it still means you)

Happy National Cancer Survivors Day 
(Yes, This Means You!)
Today is National Cancer Survivors Day. What's that you say? You didn't get your Cancer Cards out on time? You don't know any Cancer Carols? You didn't hang your Cancer Stocking last night or find gifts under your Cancer Tree this morning? 


'Fess up. You didn't know it was National Cancer Survivors Day. Neither did I. You probably don't think it applies to you, either. Neither did I. 


We were both wrong.
"The National Cancer Survivors Day Foundation defines a 'survivor' as anyone living with a history of cancer -- from the moment of diagnosis through the remainder of life."
If you are one of the millions of people who has ever heard the "C" word as a label for anything growing on or in your body, I hate to burst your bubble, but it needs to be done: You. Are. A. Cancer. Survivor.


And if you're someone who actually uses the phrase the "C" word, you probably also think there's cancer and cancer. Cancer is cancer is cancer. Stick with me, please. Because while it is simple, I am not naive enough to think it is that simple. Cancer is a complex animal with many levels of invasion, treatment and survival. Hell, why else do all those terms stage, grade, spread, size and myriad other qualifiers exist? The depths of that, though, are a topic for another day.


Today, cancer is cancer is cancer. Cancer is learning about that funky mole you just had scooped out. Cancer is learning that those funky cells somewhere inside you need to be removed before they grow. Cancer is learning that the funky pain that won't go away isn't going to go away. 


A survivor starts paying attention and isn't scared to have tests. A survivor isn't afraid to have surgery that removes vulnerable tissues or organs. A survivor accepts that life as it once was will never be again, but there is still life.


Survivors talk about cancer. And that's how we live with it.

4 comments:

  1. That's the post where I met you my survivor friend! I actually am not afraid of surgery as you've said, but I am afraid of chemo. The research just isn't there yet for my less than 1% type of C. When the time comes I hope I end up with the drug that will work, and not just go through all the side effects for naught. Life will never be the same after that I'm afraid.
    It's been a tough round for me this time, knowing it's still in me and growing. I want to stay a survivor, I want so badly to be here.

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  2. Happy Blogoversary!!! Happy All Clear!!! Rejoice, rejoice, rejoice!!!

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  3. LIVESTRONG and love you my friends. All clear are the happiest words on earth.
    Better than Disney or Champagne. xo, T

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