Saturday, December 5, 2015

Just Keep Swimming: Three Years Later

This has been a tough couple of weeks. Between all the firsts without my dad (Thanksgiving, my son's wedding, going on our annual Christmas tree hunt today, and his birthdays which are this Sunday and Tuesday), finding out a dear friend's sister's battle with breast cancer has taken an unexpected turn, the sudden death of someone close to another dear friend, and then being sick on top of it, I am not really "feeling it" today so on this three year anniversary of being cancer free, I thought I would post something I wrote on my Just Keep Swimming Facebook page on this date in 2012.  The words are just as true today as they were the day I wrote them...

There are several dates in my life that I will never forget. December 5, 2012 is one of them. After reading through everything I have posted over the last year, rather than trying to come up with something completely different, I have decided to expand on words already “spoken.”

I'll never forget what it was like a year ago today... driving to the hospital with Paul in the morning, so afraid of the unknown; enduring some pretty painful “pre-tests” without anything to dull the pain; holding hands with my family as Papa D prayed right before they came to take me to surgery; saying “goodbye” to my loved ones as the hospital staff wheeled me down the hallway; joking with the staff in the OR as they got me situated; waking up in the recovery room and the first face I remember seeing was my sister who came to check in on me (having a sister who is a nurse at the hospital has its advantages); and "waking up" again afterward as I was being wheeled into my hospital room and seeing so many of my loved ones there waiting for me. Hard to believe that was a year ago today. I remember that day as though it was yesterday and I still remember the days that followed; those who came to visit and those who expressed their love and support in other ways. I have every card I received, every email, and every message. Over the last year, I have read them several times. They are constant reminders of how lucky I am to have such wonderful people in my life.

Today I am a survivor but I know my journey will never really be over. I know this disease could rear its ugly head at any moment, in any form, or that God may have another trial for me to face. But rather than dwell on the “what ifs”, I choose to enjoy each day and live each one with no regrets. I thank God for the days He has given me thus far and for the days He will give me tomorrow. I thank Him daily for my husband, my boys, and the strong support system I have in my family and friends. Regardless of what my future holds, I know I will never be alone. I am truly blessed.