Here we are. 24 hours till the end of isolation. 24 hours until the end of any foreseeable cancer treatments. 24 hours till the hug fest. Oh how I long for this to be the end of it.
I now know, however, that I will never be "done" with cancer. It will always be part of my life. And though I transition from fighter to remission to survivor, I will always be one of the three. Cancer has changed me forever.
This last bout wasn't bad, relatively speaking. Sure I was tired, had pain after surgery, lost some of my singing range and power, had a funny taste in my mouth for days, and felt blah overall, but that's nothing compared to even just one round of chemo or the effects of external radiation, not even close.
Before the thyroid cancer was diagnosed, I was planning a party, a BIG party. A party to celebrate the end of remission, the possibility of adoption, and the simple fact that I was alive. I've decided not to have that party. Not because those things aren't worthy of celebrating, they are for sure; but because the real reason I wanted to celebrate, was because I would be done with cancer. That reason no longer exists. In fact, it never did, I only thought it did.
Now before you go trying to talk me into having it anyway, please realize that I made the decision months ago, and thus- stopped saving months ago. So if you want a party you are going to have to pay for it. We also didn't plan the date into Chris's vacation time, so it would not be on June 1st as originally planned (at least not up in MA.) Also, Chris did an EXCELLENT job of helping me celebrate on the weekend of February 1st, the actual date when I went from being in remission of breast cancer to being a breast cancer survivor, despite being in between treatments for thyroid cancer. So I don't want to hear a peep about having it anyway. Got it? Good.
Instead of throwing a party and having one day, or even a weekend of celebration, I suggest that you all change your life the way that cancer has changed me. Each day we are breathing is a reason to celebrate. Celebrate the big things, the little things, the obscure holidays, even the stuff that drives you nuts. Because you know what? There is a guy lying in a hospital bed wishing for the chance you have to cart your kids here, there, and everywhere. There is a girl who would give anything to have a kid who knows how to push your buttons, because it means she has a kid. And there is a kid who doesn't know if he'll have another birthday cake, because he may not be alive by his next birthday. (I've been that guy, that girl, and that kid.)
Life is a gift from God. We need to spend it showing love to each other, focusing on what is most important, and learning to be friends even when we disagree. Perspective is a funny thing. We can learn so much if we just open our eyes to the world around us.
Today, in the last 24 hours of treatment, I'm going to read, scrapbook, eat ice cream, and wear my wonder woman pj's with pride, because I feel well enough to do so. Find your reason to party and live well, my friends. Live in love.