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Friday, February 18, 2011

I'm Flying Again

Its actually a symptom of ADHD- the incredible highs and the bottom-of-the-barrel lows. I have virtually vibrated right out of my skin from powerful feelings of joy and then days later been weeping from how futile everything seemed. But when you're in that moment the world sparkles and it was in this space that I jogged to the Southern Interior Cancer Clinic for my last radiation treatment this morning. Indeed, the LAST treatment of this entire horrific roller coaster ride. I jogged not because I had a ton of energy because I don't this week. It's been steadily declining since Monday. I jogged because I was making a statement to myself. I had cancer but it did not beat me. I have made it through alive and still in one piece. I have two breasts, five scars a head of peach fuzz and nothing but the rest of an amazing, never-a-dull-moment life to look forward to. The suffering has ended, hopefully forever.
I am now officially a breast cancer survivor and will be until I die.
Today was the only time the techs were two young men, both who grinned broadly at the booming Yahoo! that was shouted as soon as the last beep of the radiation machine sounded. They pretended not to notice the tear marks streaking my cheeks as I leapt four feet off the steel bed I'd been on, not waiting for them to lower it. "Good-bye and good luck everyone," I threw over my shoulder at the people dressed in their hospital gowns waiting their turn to go in.
I changed, put my ear buds in, turned on the MP3 player and began the jog back to my Uncle's home.
Three streets later I slowed to a walk because I could no longer stop the flood of emotion overwhelming me. Inside my head was a movie playing every single moment of this entire experience. Like a powerpoint presentation of someone's life, I flashed upon, well, I just tried to write them all out but there are so many. Suffice to say I flashed and I flashed and the flood of tears kept coming with every incredible moment. The fear, the encouragement, the shock, the love, the pain, the calls, the concern, the small triumphs, the harsh realities, the rug being pulled out beneath my feet over and over, the look on Barry's face, the look on Sharon's face, on Sandi's, the arms that held me, the tears that mingled with mine, the strong hands that soothed me, relaxed me, assured me everything was going to be alright. Barry and Kim and Sandi and Jane and Sharon and Kelly and Dorothy and Terri and Carlie and Debbie and Grace, Jen, Marelize, and our families and the e-mails from old friends, the staff at all the doctors offices and clinics and hospitals- the astounding amount of people I have been funneled past-the young man on the t-bar that told me I was beautiful and didn't need my hair or my boobs to be so.
It's time to get another box down from the shelf inside my head. I am going to pack all these memories into it and put it somewhere safe. In a place that I can reach if I ever need to share the story with someone going through the same thing, but in a place behind me that I can move forward from.
I believe all things happen to us for a reason. I mean I TRULY believe this with all my heart. I was meant to go down that road and you were meant to be there with me. Thank you to everyone for every little or large action that you took, whether it was merely a smile or a kind word, a little surprise or a house to borrow.
The cancerous chains have come off of me and I feel like I'm finally flying again.
I'm going to relish this ecstasy as much as I can for as long as I can hang onto it.
We're starting the celebration with dinner out at the classy Yellow House restaurant. I guess we weren't meant to have dinner there on Valentine's Day, after all.
Funny how life turns out if you give it a chance to reveal itself.