Monday, November 06, 2017

Happy Anniversary to Me!!!

Five years ago today, November 6, 2012, Barack Obama was voted into his second term as President of these (questionably, ostensibly, gun-loving, very violent) United States of America. I miss him and his dignity, his grace, his intellect, his class, his demeanor a whole heckuva lot these days. But that's a whole different topic for a whole different day...

Five years ago today, I received the terrible news that I had cancer, kanswer.
Five years ago today, I came home from that doctor's appointment with both hands full of books, pamphlets, a pillow, and a sheaf of papers I needed to read and fill out and cry over. I had appointments scheduled for tests and scans and blood work. And I had a lot of appointments to make for other tests and scans and conversations and chemotherapy choices.
Five years ago today, my life changed. Drastically. Unexpectedly. Uncontrollably.

This is what I looked like on the day I was diagnosed.
Smiling between bouts of tears.
Getting ready for the toughest journey of my life.

Today, I am arguably healthier than I was before that diagnosis.
I eat better. I sleep better. I breathe better. I pray better too.
I live more joyfully and hopefully.
I am grateful to still be here, in good health, and in great spirits.

I relish the beauty of the seasons more.
I am grateful for both the arrival and the passing of each day.

I stop and watch squirrels chase each other.
I laugh at their antics.
I am grateful for the wonder of nature, both theirs and my own.

I no longer pluck or color my gray hairs.
I am grateful that I have hair.

I clean my house less often and with less obsession about doing it perfectly.
I flip through magazines more.
I watch more Law and Order Criminal Intent marathons.
I watch Project Runway with my daughter every week.
I play with pens and markers and watercolor paper more.
Because life is too short and too precious to spend it sweeping, vacuuming, and dusting ceiling fans all the time.

When someone invites me to do something new, something adventurous, something out of my normal routine, I am more likely to say "yes" now than I was five years ago.
I am grateful for so many invitations and opportunities.
I am grateful for new friends and deepening connections.

Five years ago today, I wrote a blog post about how my life journey had been shifted on its axis.
I had no idea all that was ahead, but I knew I wasn't going to face it alone, nor was I going to face it with a spirit of defeat or despair.

Five years ago today, I didn't know if I would be here today.
Would I survive the kanswer treatment?
Would I be alive five years hence?

A few days after diagnosis day, I curled my locs one last time.
And my daughter followed me around the house with her camera.
I don't miss my dreadlocs at all.
Not one minute of one day.
I loved them when I had them, but now they are no more.
Truth be told, I still have them. In a bag.
But I have no interest in having long hair again.

Kanswer came. Now it's gone.
Although I was warned, although I was given an explanation of my dire situation,

Five years ago today, I was facing a serious uphill battle,
and I made it. I made it! I MADE IT!!!
I am here. I am ecstatically here.
I am gratefully here. I am peace-fully here.

Thanks be to God.
Thanks be to the doctors, nurses, receptionists, technicians,
the chiropractor and the physical therapist who walked that journey with me then.
And who continue to walk with me on this ongoing healthful pilgrimage.
Thanks to all the family and friends who supported me,
prayed for me,
took me to chemo,
brought meals,
came to visit,
and loved me and my family through that journey.
Many of you continue to love on us and take care of us - even now.
There is so much love, so much beauty, so much to celebrate in this life.

Happy anniversary to me!

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