In 2013 - I heard the words... "You have cancer". Then I was given those ugly survival percentage statistics. I was told that if I refused treatment, I had a 21% chance of living beyond 5 years.
In 2014, I suffered through the physical trauma of surgeries, chemo and radiation for a year, then staggered through emotional distress trying to find a new normal for another year. Those two years literally sucked for me and my family. That's really the bottom line when it comes to cancer treatment... it just sucks.
Not a single day goes by that I don't wonder when the cancer will return, but I keep myself busy enough to ensure those thoughts in my head are just a whisper. And more importantly, not a single day goes by that I don't remain completely grateful. Grateful for every experience, every adventure, and all the people in my life who share these moments with me.
Do I live a perfect life? No. Am I happy every moment of every day? Shit no. Life is life, and just like anyone else - cancer or not - I have bad days and sucky moments. But I still remain grateful.
There have been a lot of changes in my life - especially in 2018. Had the cancer treatments not worked or had I chosen not to lose my hair along with my dignity and every ounce of self esteem - I would have missed my oldest daughter's wedding, my youngest daughter's graduation from nursing school, my better half's promotion at work, my new adventure in Connecticut, my parents retiring, and so much more... so much... and that's just one year - one year that isn't even over yet!
I don't want to miss one second of my life. I want my life to matter. I want to be a smile on someone's face. I want to be the warm hug that someone needs. I want to see the excitement from my dogs when I walk in the door. I want to feel the sun on my face and the ocean breeze in my hair. I want to live. I am grateful for my life and that I lived to see my 5 year anniversary.
One word of advice... no one knows your body like you... if anything seems odd or changes - get checked and don't delay. Had I gone to the doctor when I first noticed a change, the cancer may not have traveled beyond the breast and may not have been 'as' invasive...