This is good news, but we meet it with mixed feelings. You see, here's the thing. When you get that diagnosis - when you hear those words - suddenly your life changes. Forever. Not just for a day. Not just for a week or even a month or a few months. It. Changes. Forever. Cancer takes away a lot of things, but the worst is probably your feeling of security. Suddenly you come face to face with your mortality - a thing we all know we have to face, but a thing so easy to ignore.
And then there is the time. This took six months of precious time. Never, ever, wish a person with cancer a 'speedy' recovery because there is no such thing. And six months is minor in comparison to what many people with cancer have to face.
Chemotherapy is probably the hardest to endure, but make no mistake about it, radiation is no cake walk. Everyone says, 'Oh, radiation. Well, that's SO much easier', then they smile and go merrily on their way because, let's face it, it's just radiation. You can just go on about your normal life now. Wrong. There's the exhaustion that no one escapes. There is the disruption of your life from having to go to appointments every single day. And then there are the burns. Nope. A cake walk it ain't.
No one that has cancer has an easy time. And, you know, it doesn't matter if your cancer is Stage 1 or Stage 4. Every person's experience is difficult at best. Granted some folks have more to endure than others, but it doesn't make any difference. It's all difficult and it's all important. Don't make the mistake of saying things like, 'Oh, well, you didn't feel so well, but I can tell you stories ... ' Never denigrate someone else's experience. What is that old saying about walking a mile in someone else's shoes?
But for all that cancer takes away, fortunately it gives too. Suddenly the brightness of other peoples' souls shine out like lighthouse beacons on a stormy night. Safe and warm and all-encompassing, helping to guide you through. What would we do without them? I certainly do not want to even entertain the thought. Faith in and love of your fellow creatures on this mercurial and unpredictable journey we call life. That's what cancer gives. And it gives you new eyes with which to see. Suddenly some things don't look quite so bad, and others look too wonderful for words. It gives a new appreciation of so many things we previously took for granted. It's all important and it's all good. Remember?
And so, my friends, the journey doesn't end here. We've only really just managed the ever so rocky beginning. We want to thank each and every one of you who have stayed the course along with us. Our thanks and our words will never be enough to truly express our gratitude. We have been graced, blessed, and honored beyond what we deserve. And if you are one of those folks who puts off having those yearly tests because they are just too much trouble , or you don't have time, or you don't want to be 'exposed' to too much radiation, or any of the other one million and one excuses we manage to come up with, trust me. It isn't too much trouble, and you do have time, and the amount of radiation you receive in an x-ray or a mammogram is just a drop in the bucket compared to what it could be. Just. Do. It.
Special thanks to our friend, Mrs. Micawber , for providing the most appropriate quotation for this post:
“The realm of Sauron is ended! The Ring-bearer has fulfilled his Quest.” And as the Captains gazed south to the Land of Mordor, it seemed to them that, black against the pall of cloud, there rose a huge shape of shadow, impenetrable, lightning-crowned, filling all the sky. Enormous it reared above the world, and stretched out towards them a vast threatening hand, terrible but impotent: for even as it leaned over them, a great wind took it, and it was all blown away, and passed; and then a hush fell."
Welcome to the hush ...