It's been 17 weeks since I was in a pre septic state and had emergency surgery to remove my left breast...not that I've been counting. haha. It's been three years and four months since I was told that I had cancer. It's been an uphill climb ever since. There have been moments where I thought I was beginning my descent. Where "ease" was finally a word I felt like I might be able to use to describe where I found myself amidst this crazy existence. Much to my dismay, these moments were just slight detours that ultimately resulted in more challenges, hard truths and heartbreak. I just left my surgeon's office and finally got the "all clear" to start putting this Humpty Dumpty back together again. I thought I'd cry or scream with joy, but the honest truth is I"m quiet. I"m relieved, ready and cautiously, calmly optimistic. These last months have been hard. The emotional toll this situation has taken on me has been significant. I've learned that sometimes healing looks like wallowing in the pain a little bit longer than you would like. There's nothing wrong with that. It has actually felt like I've been much more thoughtful about how this has affected me and I didn't just sweep things under the rug and pretend that Warrior Mia was just taking care of everything and is fine. I legitimately had someone say to me recently how happy they were that I am doing so great.....yeah, not great here, but thanks for the attempted compliment? There was a time in my life where I would have just said "yes! I"m totally fine!". I mean, I didn't want the attention, the stares....the pity. I still don't necessarily want that, but my desire to be authentic outweighs my desire to make everyone comfortable. The truth is that cancer and all that it entails is crazy, ugly, messy and not a quick fix kind of situation. I"m damn proud of my response to the crappy hands I've been dealt and how I keep moving forward.
I read somewhere that if you were to list out all of the things you have overcome, you wouldn't doubt your ability to overcome what you're dealing with now. So here goes: Cancer, chemo, radiation, scars, burns, organ failure, sepsis, double mastectomy ,reconstruction, staph infection, injections, clinical trials, neuropathy, lymphedema, hair loss, emotional trauma, another mastectomy, scans, port surgeries and soon to come another more invasive reconstructive surgery with more grafting, spacer and follow up surgery to boot and so many other things I"m glossing over right now. If you have ever read the book Untamed by Glennon Doyle (if you haven't I highly recommend), I think this makes me a fucking cheetah. Boom. The point is, I've been through a lot....I'm tired, but I"m also super capable of making it to the finish line, right?
I was getting ready this morning and I was reflecting on the fact that my eldest niece and nephew graduate from High School this weekend. When the twins were born, I fell in love with them immediately. Our bond is special and it's strong. One of the reasons I live where I do, is because I wanted to be able to watch them grow up. Thinking about their milestone made me realize how grateful I am to be here to watch it all happen. There was a time where I didn't think this would be the case. I also acknowledged that I don't really look or feel the way I thought I would at this stage of my life or at this time of their's. For a split second I had this epiphany that this weird lull I've been existing in, doesn't have to be where I will be next month, next year or when my own babies are graduating. Throughout this whole debacle, I've limited myself in thinking about the future. I haven't really felt like I had one...but this morning, it's like I had a vision of my future and I was finally at peace. With myself, my body.....with my life. It's ok for me to feel lost within my own body right now, but it doesn't mean this needs to be where I will be forever. I know that sounds like a "no duh" moment to most of you, but I think I'm finally allowing myself to believe it. As long as this next surgical phase will be.....it is a way for me to start down the road of more self discovery, healing and ultimately finding a place in which I can rest and move on with life. It's just time for me to feel not so stuck and a little more whole. Both inside and out.
I really am grateful for what this stage of my life has taught me, but I'm ready to let it go. I read the coolest quote the other day that read:
"Before you move on from something, you have to honor it. Take a step back and see what it taught you, and honor the transformation. Allow yourself to grieve, smile and reflect on the situation and then you'll be able to move on."-Sylvester McNutt
Thank you for the lessons....I am forever changed. I've wept, I've laughed and I'm finding my way out. This is just a season. Ready for the challenges, more seasons, beauty and opportunity to continue on with this life I'm given. Keep on Killing It....Always. -M