Since my mom needed reading glasses–cheaters–in her 40s and I had always followed after her, I expected to need glasses at some point in my 40s–and I was right. On the other hand, breast cancer showing up 5 years ago today on December 1st, was not expected.
Today I officially hit the 5 year mark of being told that I have BC. While it was a sunny day in NOLA when I got the news, it was gloomy here today in Chicago–with slivers of sunshine coming through. On the surface today was like any other with a mixture of good and bad. However, I was also on hyperactive alert mode and found a number of moments where I really wasn’t sure where I stood or what I wanted.
I was sad that I was diagnosed with BC in the first place, while happy that I am still alive and kicking and have hit the mythical 5 year point. I’m mad that I drew the Cancer card and lost a breast and have been forced into the BC community, while I’m also ok with the whole situation, knowing that life happens to all of us. I’m relieved that I have hit the 5 year mark, but I know that 5 years for E+ (Estrogen positive) BC does not guarantee that my cancer won’t metastasize. I have extreme moments of panic about the whole situation as well as intense feelings of calm. I have moments of intense insecurity, scared of my own shadow, but then also feel this increased confidence where I have looked into the eyes of Cancer and while acknowledging where I started this trip, I feel strong because I have faced so much.
Totally unexpected today was this feeling of missing NOLA’s comfort food to help me deal with my conflicted feelings. I came home wanting to pay tribute to this cancerversary in some way, to celebrate being here another year and to honor the loss of the old me and a certain innocence. Food and eating out is so often a way Terry and I celebrate and find comfort and so it wasn’t really out of the ordinary to want a good dinner; however, I was totally indecisive as to where to go. Turns out I wanted to go to one of my many favorite restaurants in New Orleans–but since we are 14 hours away, Terry and I ended up cooking up shrimp and grits for dinner at home instead.
Not a bad way to mark this rather odd anniversary.