Bye bye summer

I love the heat, but only when I’m by the pool ?. We have been so lucky this summer with the weather. But I’m ready for it to change.

It’s been a long year. Last year I was just starting this adventure, I had a full head of hair, two breasts, more lymph nodes than today and ovaries. I wish I could really see it that way, as an adventure. The reality is I am mutilated, physically and emotionally. But people tend to prefer to hear the glossed over, the not so realistic version. Just like we all know that our perfect family pictures are sometimes a fake. Of course there are good, happy moments. However let’s be honest; we all have struggles that we hide, negative thoughts of feelings that overwhelm our every day, and darkness that sometimes cannot be escaped.

So back to my “adventure”. Last year at this time we were in Cape Cod. I remember the emotions I was feeling so clearly, like it was a moment ago. And that has been the trend throughout the year: I remember it all. Some expect me to forget and go on… but it doesn’t work that way. This is with me e-v-e-r-y moment e-v-e-r-y day. This isn’t gone. It will never be gone. I am not “cured”, yet. And because I’m not cured, I need to be very very careful.

I cannot fall back into my same habits… they will be my demise, they will kill me. Call me dramatic, I call it the truth, I call it smart because I do not want to die. So, as I head back to work, mindfulness is key. Not just for me, but for those closest to me also.

This week I did go back to work. However before I did, I had a treatment called Zometa. It’s to help prevent osteoporosis due to my lack of estrogen, and it also increases my survivability by 3 or 4%. And I will do whatever it takes to help me live longer. But boy did it do number on me… it felt like my docetaxel chemo all over again, it just didn’t last as long thank goodness! I will need to do this treatment every 6 months.

Anyway, I went back to work regardless of my pain. Because I just want to get on with my life. My kids need to see me going to work, and I need to feel useful and accomplished. But, I must always be mindful and fully present in my new reality. I cannot forget, I will not forget.

Forgetting would be like forgetting Michelle, Victoria and Hope. 20 years later I still remember every second like it was a moment ago. These moments will last an eternity, they are what I am made of, they are who I am… and they will be the reason I beat this…. so I can never forget, not for one moment. My life depends on it.

  • Anne-Marie, thank you so much for sharing your journey and your honesty. I cannot begin to imagine what you have gone through nor what you will continue to experience, but I hope you know that as one of your work colleagues, I continue to admire your strength and courage as well as your vulnerability. My thoughts continue to be with you. Hugs!