Yesterday, July 9th, marked my one year cancer-versary. One year ago, on July 9th, 2014, I received a phone call from the first of many doctors confirming that, yes, I had breast cancer.
What a difference a year can make.
I think back over the last year and I’m overwhelmed by the enormity of it. Leading up to July 9th, 2015, I was afraid of the feelings that I might have to confront. That I’d be overwhelmed like I was a year ago, turning me into a sobbing puddle in the corner.
I’ve thought for a long time about what I wanted to do on July 9th, 2015.
I thought of commemorating the day by burning the bra I was wearing when I was diagnosed. Why I kept the damn thing I don’t know. It’s ugly and it has bad memories attached to it. I certainly haven’t worn it since.
The thought of burning that bra felt defiant and appropriate. Something a character in a book would do. But it also felt like I was looking backwards and that’s not the direction I want to go.
Instead. . .
I worked out with some friends. I managed a side plank on each arm for a full minute (first time!).
I took the kids to the pool. We stayed there for three hours and I wore a bikini without shame.
I drove a friend to the airport then took the kids to the grocery store to buy ingredients for a home version of Cupcake Wars.
July 9th, 2014 was an epically bad day.
July 9th, 2015 was just a normal day. . . with a touch more reflection and a shit ton of gratitude.
The bad feelings were all still there. Fear, anxiety, anger. But they were quiet, as if in deference to the day.
I’m glad I decided against the bra burning. It felt good to not to let cancer govern the day.
I’d much rather focus on life.
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