Wow, it’s been a while since I last blogged. I actually took the time to go back and find my last Fierce Romance entry. It was in December of 2011. I had been rattling on about winter and how it looked like we weren’t going to have a white Christmas.
For the record, we didn’t.
There’s a good reason for my prolonged absence. Right after that non-white Christmas I talked about in my last post, I discovered that I had breast cancer.
I go into detail of my diagnosis, etc, in a blog I started (and sadly have not kept up with). It’s here, if you'd like to read it.
The last ten months have, by far, been the most difficult of my life. My diagnosis was quickly followed by five months of chemotherapy and then surgery. I’m pretty sure that I’ve cried more tears this year than in the rest of my life combined. But I also learned a lot about myself, too. I learned that I’m tenacious. I learned that I have more patience—and more guts--than I ever thought I had. I learned that your life can change in an instant—which, sure, I already knew that was the case. We all know that’s the case. But knowing about it and experiencing it are two very different things.
|The "more guts" part I mention above? That showed up when it came time to shave my head. It had to have been one of the hardest things I've ever done. Good thing I looked okay without hair, huh? :)|
|Chemo... Awful,yet life-saving.|
|My husband--my ROCK--and I at a wedding this summer.|
All year long people have told me how strong I am. How brave. Honestly, I’m not sure I’m either of those things. I’ve never been so scared as I was this year. But I said from the get-go that I would do whatever it took, whatever my doctors told me to do, to fight this thing.
And I did.
I met with my oncologist on July 20th, ten days after my mastectomy. On my paperwork, he wrote the letters NED. That means: No Evidence of Disease. I am now considered to be cancer-free!
Am I cured? No. There is no cure for cancer. Can it come back? Sure, it can. I hope like hell that it doesn’t, though.
Right now, I’m in the middle of reconstruction. I have a few more surgeries coming up—one next month and the rest sometime next year. I still go in for treatments every three weeks (not chemo, but a targeted therapy). Those treatments will continue until next April or May. The process of fighting this disease certainly is a long, drawn-out one. But hey, my hair is growing back, and I couldn’t be more thrilled about that!
Just as thrilling is that fact that I’ve started to write again. I took most of the year off simply because I’m the type of person who, when the going gets tough, my creativity tends to freeze up. Over the months, I’d work here and there on the book I started in 2011, and I’m happy to report that I finished writing it last week! It was one of those life-changing moments for me. I typed “the end,” then bawled like a baby—but it was a good bawl. A happy bawl. A very accomplished bawl, and an even more relieved bawl. The book is titled My Tye, and will be out hopefully before the end of the year through Ellora’s Cave. I’ll tell you all more about it some other time, though.
For now, I’d just like to say it’s great to be back. We all know October is Breast Cancer Awareness month, so let me sign off with a reminder to not only check yourself, but to remember to offer some personal kindness to those already living with the disease. There was nothing more special to me than having a meal made by a friend, or having someone step in to take me to doctor visits when my husband couldn’t. That was another thing I learned this year. It’s the little things, every day, that mean so much.