I've been very sulky lately.
In the midst of this, my little guy, graduated from Pre-school. A significant milestone, but its importance intensified by the memories it triggered for me. Two years ago, my oldest son took part in the same ceremony. He accomplished the same achievement, but I was newly diagnosed then, still facing a mastectomy. The final pathology still unknown and weighing heavily on my mind as I sat among the crowd of smiling parents.
Instead of basking in his happiness, my son's rite of passage proved to be bittersweet. I was mourning. Our future, one big question.
It's ironic, sad even that I recently found myself in a similar situation, but despite my worries I knew I was better off than two years ago. After all, these uncertainties were the product of my own paranoia, not any facts. Not any new diagnosis, just the one I conjured up for myself.
Carrying that little fact close to me, I watched my five-year old parade past to collect his "diploma" and walk toward his future without my skin prickled by unspoken anxiety. The words cancer and future so rarely go together, but this night, I tried my hardest to believe.
It's been about a week since my oncologist declared me normal. Since learning the scans I was so twisted over were clear and I've become aware of a new emotion or rather, an old one I needed to reacquaint myself with.
Excitement. Remember that?
I've noticed small sparks of something down deep flaring when thinking about upcoming commitments, parties, vacation. For the first time in a long time, I'm looking forward to things. My mind doesn't immediately go to that dark place or to a long list of unwelcome appointments. There aren't any in the immediate future, in these summer months. The black cloud has lifted for the moment and I can see past cancer.
It's freeing and scary all at the same time. I'm afraid to even write it here for fear of jinxing myself. I'm not superstitious, but cancer changes a person, changes the way I think of hope, makes it small. I'm worried I shouldn't feel too good about stuff...or else.
Crazy, I know.
Anyway, I so often share the crappy side of cancer that I wanted to say I'm feeling positive these days. Dare I say, enjoying myself and my family. I'm no longer the only one at the party faking the laughter. I have a slight recollection of life as I used to live it. It's nice.
But even now, I can't end this post without saying I know cancer lurks just out of sight, as the sneaky bastard tends to do, but today, it's not breathing down my neck. I'm grateful for that and for these days.
Enjoy...is one of my favorite words. I plan to enjoy my summer. I so hope there's joy in yours.