I have this joke with my boss … whenever he mentions my birthday I scream “Yes! I am 26 times 2! And doing it right the second time!”
We laugh. And I smirk because if there is a women who resisted adulting all the time, it was me. However, cancer makes you grow up pretty effing fast.
It was one year ago yesterday – January 22 – when I knew for sure there was a foreign lump invading my breast. I stopped ignoring it and began poking it.
It feels very weird to go back and relive the dates. January 30th = my appointment with my GP. Her student doctor felt my lump, read off the list of risk factors and said “Well you should be fine!” … January 31st = my mammogram and ultrasound. I sat there alone, picking dog hair off my black leggings in an attempt to keep my mind busy. But I played “Do I? Don’t I?” until I looked at the ultrasound screen. It was a very large and very dark mass. I tried so hard to be brave. Monday, February 6th = My GP called and I knew it was bad news, but I was leaving for Ottawa. Out of a scale of 0 to 5 … I was a 5 meaning highly suspicious of malignancy. Saw the surgeon two days later. Biopsy on February 17th. Diagnosis of cancer on March 3rd. Lumectomy and sentinel node surgery on March 10th. Green hair St. Paddy’s party on March 17th. Chemo started April 10th … In between the start of radiation on October 9th there were many ups and downs. Hospitalizations. Genetic testing. Broken fibula. A life blown to bits.
As I approach the recycle of dates, I am stunned at everything that packed itself into 2017.
If only I knew then what I know now.
What an amazing year!
While I will never say cancer is a blessing, it isn’t a curse. It’s a game-changer for sure. I found the gift of life in the hallows of death.
You find out what you are made of. And others. I’ve had to deal with so many hardships in the past year, I get dizzy trying to list them. I begged God to tell me why my mountains are so high … and there is a full range of them. It wasn’t surprising in the least when a Facebook friend gasped and apologized while noting that I had something called a Grand Cross in my birth chart.
Nothing comes easy when you are burdened with a Cross (said Jesus).
All aspects in a Grand Cross are considered difficult. It is seen as a source of extreme tension where various aspects of the person’s life are at conflict.
I am Fire, Air, Earth and Water.
People born with a Grand Cross in their birth charts may find themselves constantly pulled in opposite directions, with spectacular successes and equally stunning failures. Steve Jobs had an astrological chart like mine.
For some reason, it was a relief to find out “Why me?”
I am destined to carry a bigger load of life. Which explains why I’ve had to deal with 9 out of 10 major life stressors. Almost all at once. At least in succession.
Yes, it caused fissures and cracks in my heart and soul, but like Kintsugi, I hope to be a stronger, more beautiful spirit because of my breaks. Japanese philosophy embraces the flaws and imperfections. Don’t hide them … make them stand out.
I am finally free to be me.
Sometimes I need to receive a lesson multiple times because … wait for it … I am stubborn. While I try not to repeat my mistakes, I embrace my faults which I have cultivated with precision.
I will ever forget my saga, but I won’t relive it day by day.
“Don’t look back, because you aren’t going in that direction!” says one of my favourite Inspirational Pinterest pins. Yes, you are right. I won’t be tardy with my destiny. And for anyone who has critisized my path … A) Walk a year in my shoes, B) Zero fucks are still given, C) Get your own shit together before commenting on mine. But I mostly thank you for generating huge hits on the blog!
It’s been a long, hard year of pile-ups and pile-ons.
However, I have found that I can’t deal with everything layered on at once. I have to pull myself out of analysis paralysis and take steps forward. Because it is incredibly easy to become overwhelmed with the stuff thrown at me.
Today is the first day of the rest of my life.
And I kickstarted it with another visit to the gym. Back to the old self!
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