Today I'm grappling with the concept of death. It has taken me a couple of weeks to digest the information that came out of my surgery and to read the faces of my oncology surgeon and my oncologist. I'm getting it now: I am lucky to be declared cancer free. That my tumor was still 6cm in size after chemo means it was probably 10cm when discovered. My doctor can only speculate, but feels the tumor was at least 6 years old and that I had 2 positive nodes after chemo probably means I had 3-4 prior to chemo. My cancer was big and aggressive. My oncologist is clearly worried that I have been 9 weeks since chemo, even though the cancer was removed. I understand he is nervous at the prospect of even a few stray cancer cells drifting about in my body without the benefit of radiation or Tamoxifin. My doctors' solemn nods and monotone voices have meant that the fact that my cancer did not spread to other areas of my body is nothing short of a miracle. I'm lucky to have dodged the bullet this time, but what if I don't the next time it comes around? How am I supposed to digest this information? What do I do with it?
I find I am overwhelmed with the beauty in the world these days. When I think of how my friends & family have driven me to appointments, donated money, taken my kids, cooked my family meals, and just sent me messages or calls to lift my spirits; I cry. When I watch my boys (including my husband) play and carry on and think that I might not have been here long; I cry. When I think of my brave cousin who lost her young husband to lymphoma; I cry. When I am surrounded by friends or family; I cry. Sometimes I look out the window to watch the blue sky and bright sun and I cry. Is this what they call the will to carry on?
Even through this haze of contemplation, though, I am overwhelmed with selfish thoughts and desires. As my gran said, "Life is short." Mine may be shorter than average. There is so much I want to see and do. I have a mad desire to fly to Sweden for the Love & Peace Festival and hear Kings of Leon. I'm fixated on trips to Europe, San Francisco, New York. I want to shop Melrose Ave. and catch every Indie concert performed. None of these plans include my family. And it all reminds me that I'm being so incredibly self-centered. I owe my husband a lifetime of gratitude and devotion for his single parenting and caregiving for the last 6 months. I hope all these feelings shake out into a comfortable compromise in the next few months. Radiation therapy outa zap this energy right out of me! :)