Mother's Day will forever become one of those "cancer anniversaries" for me. Cancer survivors mark anniversaries. It's just something we do. We note the dates of our diagnosis, biopsies, surgery dates, chemo dates, radiation dates, etc. So, why Mother's Day? In Minnesota, Race For The Cure is held on Mother's Day. It's a big day for breast cancer survivors. It's a time to remember both those who lost their battle with this disease as well as those who continue to survive in spite of it. Last year I met a 96 year old woman. She was diagnosed with breast cancer when she was only 32. That was 64 years ago. Amazing and she was still going strong!
Last year I had chemo the Friday before Mother's Day. I wanted to walk in the race. I really wanted to do it but at the same time I was so scared. You see, I would have my chemo on Friday and on Saturday I had a Neulasta shot which accelerates the growth of white blood cells.
For those of you who don't know, you usually feel fine after chemo. The next day isn't so bad either. Then wham! It knocks you down, twists you around and tries to spit you out. I always got hit on Sunday. It was exacerbated by the Neulasta shot because I was one of the 20% of the population who has an extremely painful reaction to Neulasta. I rarely remembered the Monday after chemo as I slept most of the time.
I wanted to be at the celebration so bad...but what if the chemo kicked in. I decided to try it anyway. I would pray.
Painfully I got out of bed the next morning. Neulasta was already doing it's evil work in my lower back and legs. I said a quick prayer before getting ready. I hobbled painfully out to the car. The walk was only 1K but I had to stop frequently to rest. I made it to the survivor's circle anyway.
That was last year. This year, I will go to bed in a little bit and wake up feeling this time. This year I will not have searing pain going through my lower back and legs. This year I have a soft little thatch of hair covering my head. While it is gray and not very long, it is about 2 1/2 inches long. It is long enough to get a few early morning snarls. I'm not complaining!
This year I won't have to stop and rest. This year I will have the strength to easily get me through to the finish line. As a result of what I went through last year, I am able to enjoy this year. I can't help but remember my oncologist words when I asked him to estimate how much time I would have had if I had not treated it. His reply was two years. I'll remember that...
Looking back, I can't help but think of the times we don't like it when God starts purifying us. It is not a comfortable position in the least. However, have you ever stopped and considered what the ramifications might be if you don't go through treatment. It isn't pretty....but it has to be done. It is vital to our spiritaul well-being...the end reults will be priceless.
You are right k, the end results will be priceless! You will remember this for a long time to come, and hey, someday you're going to be that 96 year old woman truckin' along, inspiring youngsters like yourself :wink: