We have now come to the end of our Easter holidays and the children will be returning to school, rather reluctantly, in the morning. The holidays seemed to arrive just in time and we all feel rejuvenated after two whole weeks with no routine. We still have a mountain of Easter eggs but after today I am calling a halt and tomorrow I will be virtuous once more and stick to my healthy diet! I am one of those people who nearly prefer the calmness of Easter to the hectic frenetic Christmas season . It is a time of year when Spring surges forth and there is a sense of hope and anticipation for the forthcoming season. However, for me, in the far recesses of my mind the past four years has brought mixed feelings for this religious calendar event, as It is around this time that I had a recurrence diagnosed.
I feel that the time has passed by so quickly but yet….but yet…sometimes I still feel as if it was only yesterday when the doctor rang to confirm that yes they found “a few cells”in the biopsy.
I wonder does one mark each cancerversary as they occur or simply forget about them?
I remember when a friend of my sister’s was diagnosed with breast cancer. I was well recovered at that stage as it was at least eleven years since my primary diagnosis. Trying to console her, as I only knew too well how devastating the first few days of a cancer diagnosis are, I wrote that on my first cancerversary I was boarding a plane to go on holiday when I actually remembered what day it was. At five years we decided to throw a party for our family and close friends in appreciation for all the support we received during the previous years. At ten years I literally forgot about it, I was so busy looking after our young children.
Second time around my first year was caught up with returning to work and the stress that brings. The following year revolved around my realisation that I was not physically able to work (more of that in another post!) and now my fourth year I am as well as I could ever have hoped for despite a few niggly problems.
The difference of a recurrence anniversary is the admission that yes I am well and grateful for that but there is no knowing when any rogue cancer cells will rear their ugly heads and take off replicating again. There is no distance created as each year passes in the hope that each year will minimise any further risk of recurrence as is the case with most triple negative breast cancers, only acceptance that this is part of my life now and it is up to me to live it as full as possible. I don’t know when or if I will ever get another recurrence or even metastasis but I am not going to spend my time waiting. I will do my best to stay well by eating healthily (except for the odd slip!), exercising and having a moderate lifestyle.
So in answer to my rhetorical question, I won’t be marking my cancerversaries in a significant way only quietly acknowledging them myself, and planning a big party for next year to celebrate reaching a significant age!