Blog 2: One year check-up.
Having surgery and being treated for breast cancer differs for us all. The order we have our surgery and treatment, what treatment and the side effects varies per person. We are always aware in that first year of the reality of our battle. Each step tests our resilience along the path to winning not just the battle but the war too.
“Courage is not the absence of fear, but rather the assessment that something else is more important than fear.” Franklin D. Roosevelt.
We are told we were brave. I know that the idea that my children could grow up without me terrified me more than any of the procedures I had.
I had no idea how that first year check-up would play out in my head. I thought I was strong and fine. Resilient. The noise in my head before I went to the scan was deafening so I put on my new running shoes, my tough-as-nails sports bra, new shorts and ran around my favourite neighbourhood. It helped quieten my mind and prepared me to hear what I needed. In that clutter the message was still clear: I was afraid to leave my children.
The check-up went well, all clear and two thumbs up!
I am grateful for this. One of the beautiful women I spoke to before my surgery, and who had had the exact procedure I had, told me that at her one year check-up they found a new tumour and she lost one of her prosthetic breasts. Wellness and wholeness is never a given for me anymore. It was only after this day that I learned how much I had been holding back. My life was on hold. The decisions I made were small and limited to a small and manageable life.
Of course, if you know me, that is not my core character. I was on hold for a year. I am emerging from this and regaining my physical strength (I joke that I am missing ten thousand squats and lunges from that year and it’s actually true), watching my health and doing some things I have always wanted to do … living in the now.
I am learning to breathe. I highly recommend breathing: in until your lungs hurt and out until you have not breath left in you. Find time to do this several times a day.
What was your one year (or every year) check-up like?
What are you doing to keep calm in midst of the clutter and noise in your head?