Can I just say this?

I am sensitive to the idea that other people have not had such an easy road with their breast cancer as I have had, and I'm also nervous to go crowing to the wind about how great things are now. I don't want to jinx myself when it comes to a recurrence. BUT, there comes a time when a woman just needs to look things straight in the face and be honest with herself and with her friends who read her blog. I am HAPPY! I feel so LUCKY. I feel like a better person now than I ever was before breast cancer. I'm grateful to God for this journey.

Life is so fun, when you aren't worried about making your next doctor's appointment. It's so fun to put on your bathing suit on your vacation without worrying about if your breast form is in right, or who might walk in on you as you fiddle with your stuff. It is so great to go to my girls' first basketball games, and see old friends, instead of staying home and trying to either rest or catch up on something I need to have done before my next medical thing.

It blows my mind with happiness to think about this spring and to know that I don't have anything that would keep me back from doing whatever I want in my yard. I can make as big a mess as I want, experiment in countless ways, make more mistakes as I teach myself about gardening, and have enough time to clean it all up and try again without worrying that I'll not have the energy or ability to get to that clean up.

But, you know, it was also fun to have those doctor's appointments...more fun than I thought it would be at the start of everything. I met great people. I faced lots of fears. And honestly, I think I grew up. Today I had a realization - more than pregnancy, motherhood, or the passing of 35 years, breast cancer has made me feel like a woman. YES - I gave away my breasts, my ovaries, and my hair - but finally after 35 years I feel like I can call myself a woman instead of a girl.

I've spent so long wishing for those girls that I was in the past - the runner or rower that I was, the smart girl with all that possibility. I think that is what was keeping me from embracing the woman in me - I still wanted to be that girl. Today I realized how silly all of that is (of course, I was struggling on the treadmill when I realized this - I always have realizations when I am struggling to exercise!). It's ok that I'm not that same girl anymore. I'm happy to be a woman, and I'm proud to be grown up. I'm happy and lucky to be here.

(OH, and it is so fun to be annoyed at all of the minutia of daily life, too. I find myself getting annoyed at some of the same things (and avoiding some of the same things I would avoid before) - and then I catch myself and smile. How fun to be back to normal, too.)


lori b said...

you SHOULD be happy and celebrate each day!!!!! and your real "true" friends who arent as fortunate as you with their cancer situation, will be happy for you too!

Tom Murray said...

Pam, this was an awesome post! You are always in the prayers of our family and are an inspiration.