I am driving away from elementary school drop off, watching my middle and youngest head off to the school grounds. The middle and moody child immediately breaks into a smile when she catches up with her buddies...giggling and chatting. It's a beautiful thing to see when she does smile. My eyes then follow my youngest as she skips off to hop on a swing at the playground before the bell rings signaling it's time to enter the school.
As I drive away, I feel my chest tighten up and out of nowhere, I feel like I can't breathe. I am suddenly about to burst into tears...I need to come up for air...
It's been 5 months almost to the week that I was laying in the hospital bed looking out the window watching the world go on without me...not having a clue as to where I would be and what my prognosis would be in 5 months. How far the cancer had spread? One of the hardest challenges was the unknown....the other was the feeling of being so alone.
This hasn't changed. I am feeling my way through living day to day. I am not crying once a day like I did when I was going through the many phases of diagnosis, and initial treatment and recovery. My faking it until I make it is finally paying off.
For the month of November, I have not had one doctor appointment, scan, bloodwork...no driving down to Boston...I am almost temporarily and literally removed from my world of cancer (until this 6 weeks ends & I'm back down to the city for the works in December).
With a cancer diagnosis, I don't think you ever get back a complete sense of security. With time, that space in between those moments of feeling fine is longer. It may last for days or maybe weeks...but the thief is still there, waiting in the dark. For me, while I am driving or in some other unrelated moment...waiting to come up from behind & put me in a choke hold.
Cancer sucks. There is no cure, no real cure yet...so all of us cancer patients, survivors, fighters...whatever word you want to use...we are all waiting...waiting to be able to take a full breath.
This Thanksgiving, in normal fashion, my family went around in a circle before dinner to say what we are thankful for. I couldn't even begin to speak how I really felt so I very quickly said "my family" because I just couldn't go any deeper than that. The summer months of limping around and taking trips to Mass General every two weeks was not that long ago...I remember. I remember not knowing what could happen this fall, this Thanksgiving....I've read one too many stories of people like me who die from this deceitful and cunning disease.
And yet after these moments of feeling my life on the line...when I pull myself together...I realize that as much as this knocks the wind out of me...it reminds me of all the millions of wonder in my life. Life is moving on in every second that I breathe or gasp. I feel terror and beauty all around me. And it's okay to feel them both...they've gotten me this far....
"I've never been so alone....and I've never been so alive" -Third Eye Blind
- What started as a little experiment in blogging has evolved into my renewed love for writing the raw, gritty truth. Running has always had so many parallels to life's ups and downs. As a new cancer survivor/fighter, running and writing has continued to be there for me in my quest to always move forward, always try to be better than yesterday. Find me: http://www.curetoday.com/community/kate or on facebook: running, cancer, and everything in between or on twitter: runliftbreathe