Ring The Alarm (Or Bell)
Well, I made it. I seriously still don’t know how I even ended up here. It is like my life over the last 9 months is constantly hyper lapsing through my head. A song or smell reminding me of everything I have gone through over the last year.
According to Facebook memories, this time last year I was attending an annual Christmas celebration dinner with a friend. Sipping cocktails at a spot in the West Village called While We’re Young. How appropriate. I am sure I was complaining about something so trivial, like Steve leaving his clothes out, or that I had nothing to wear on New Year’s Eve. Those were my biggest problems. December, 2017 were simpler times, undoubtedly.
It is almost as if everything that has happened from March 2018 to present has been my life speeding up, yet standing still. I don’t even remember what it was like to be this other person. This other version of myself worried about what to wear, or getting irritated when I don’t get a seat on the subway. Don’t get me wrong, I still get irritated by small things but it just means so much less to me. I am lighter, because of the heavy.
This year I had major surgery. I lost two friends. (My right and left breast) I spent time healing and adjusting to a new normal with a new body. I started Tamoxifen, which is a hormone blocker pill that I will have to take for 10 years. I stopped Tamoxifen to start chemo. I took the chemo beast on for 8 rounds, which worked out to be 4 months. I slept. I moaned and groaned. I missed events. I missed workouts. I started a new job. Yep, radiation. A Monday-Friday gig that paid me nothing. I will have to see the Department of Labor about that one. Scratch that, I guess radiation paid me in life, so that’s something.
On December 10, 2018 I went in for my last radiation treatment. I wasn’t sure how to feel. I was so excited. I was nervous. I was scared. I was relieved. When I laid on the table for the last time, my knees were shaking. I noticed cracks on the ceiling that I hadn’t noticed before. I fought back tears. When I came out of the room, Steve was standing there to take a video of me ringing the bell. For those of you who have seen this video, seen here you will notice it is a little anti climactic. I am seemingly void of all emotion as I ring the bell, and then I drop to my knees awkwardly and just sigh. What the video didn’t capture, is the tears streaming down my face and the immediate breakdown I had when Steve stopped filming. There was one elderly woman in the waiting room, and she clapped for me. I always envisioned this moment, but never thought it would come.
I am not going to lie, I never thought I would make it here. There were many times I thought what if I die from this? I still could, I guess. My doctors tell me my prognosis is a great one. I have no evidence of disease. That can change. It can change for anyone, really. Cancer or not. Still — I started this blog for a reason. I started it to give you guys more than a highlight reel. These are real feelings. I am beginning phase 2 of this journey. Phase 1 was full on attack mode. Phase 2 is learning how to live with my post cancer self. Learning how to manage anxiety. Learning how to find my new normal. What will I do without those daily radiation visits? Those weekly doctor’s appointments? Am I supposed to just go on like nothing happened? Something did happen. So, now what do I do?
To be continued, y’all……