I was wondering how today would hit me. Although I forced myself not to think about it. It’s just another Friday. How is anyone supposed to feel on the anniversary they had their world blow up in their face? It’s a slope I can never seem to navigate comfortably.
I Don’t Know What To Call Today – Does It Need A Name?
Ten years is a long time to survive in the world of metastatic cancer. This particular year is such a mixed bag of emotions. So many friends are gone, a few are really struggling, and another I’ve known almost as long as I’ve been in these circles and have the utmost respect for will be entering hospice. While I know this is how it all goes, I have conflicting feelings about celebrating my longevity.
I can count on one hand the people I know who are living double-digit years with MBC. A few, like me, have reached the elusive 10 yr mark. Are there more? No doubt, but I can only go by who I know. Am I grateful? Absolutely, yes. However, I didn’t do anything unique or different than anyone else has or will.
I wrote about this in an article featured on Health Union’s AdvancedBreastCancer’s website earlier this year. Now that this day is here, I relive that particular day as I do each year. Groundhog day, if you will.
Hour by hour.
Minute by minute.
Each action, conversation, and phone call that happened that day is engraved in my memories and replays like a D-list horror movie, whether I want it to or not.
What I Wish I Knew Then And Burden Of Loss
I wish I could go back and tell that frightened and angry younger me that while the doctors meant well, they would be wrong about my prognosis. I would tell her this ride won’t be all pink glitter and sunshine but that she would meet people and have experiences that would fundamentally change her. I would say to her it’s OK to feel all the feelings, that a perpetual smile won’t help or cure her no matter how many insist that positivity is the key.
Since Tori died, things don’t seem to hit the same way for me. Her humor, her wisdom, and her understanding of all of this was such a comfort. It hasn’t gotten easier. It never will. I have to learn to live without her. I hold on to our conversations, shenanigans, and the other close friends she introduced me to. I know she would be so that we talk regularly and have helped each other.
The Bright Sunshine Burning Away The Gloom
The day is half over, but not the worst part. That comes at 5:30 p.m. That’s when I received THE call. That’s when I finally understood the gravity of those words. When my brain began to swim, I felt like I was drowning. The oxygen left my lungs as I thought of how I had to tell my loved ones and my then 14-year-old son what I knew.
As the clock ticks down to that hour, I will focus on my beautiful granddaughter, Piper, and my second granddaughter, arriving in October. Piper has been the gift I never dared imagine I would know. Her sister, Sophie, will be another blessing in my life. It’s those girls that I will be focusing on.
I don’t know what the scans in November will show, and right now, I choose not to think about that. I know that whatever the results are, I will continue to live a life my granddaughters can be proud of.