Anniversaries and Firsts

Last week I got a cold hence no blog. Thank You for your patience. 

Yesterday was August 18, which means I have a month before my 9th wedding anniversary. I have been married for almost 9 years, which is impressive, considering our worlds divorce rates. As a cancer survivor anniversaries became something, I started to love and hate. 

When I was thinking about my anniversary the other day, I was excited about the fact that I have been married for almost 9 years. 

However, with happiness, there are moments of sadness, dread, and apprehension/.

As we approach the end of August, the familiar dread fills my stomach and grief that I feel every year. At the end of August, I was told that something was wrong. That was the scariest day, and then life entered the twilight zone. Where growth, slowed and sped up, and fear and darkness seemed to be the norm. Early September and August are always hard. 

With bad memories, there are good anniversaries. Some like the distinct such as the ending of chemo, end of radiation, first Christmas healthy. But the ones that I cherish the most are the one that I got to choose.

The first time I was by myself after treatments. I was at a women’s retreat and instead of hiking, or talking with others. I spent some of my free time writing poetry and regaining my confidence that I could be by myself. Later that day I walked down and rejoined the ladies and then I was able to enjoy some company. But being able to be by myself and after 10 months of being under the watchful eye of doctors, and family being able to be by myself was perfect.

First time I traveled. During treatments, we were told that I couldn’t fly. We took one trip to Sacramento, for Jman’s birthday but nothing over mountains or on a plane. The first time I took a flight. I think I was flying to San Diego, and I almost had a panic attack when I got to my seat because the plane reminded me so much of a CT scan. I turned on the air and prayed for calm. I landed safely and got off the plane, and my mom was waiting on the other end.

The first time I went to Disneyland. It is no secret that Disneyland or Disney World is one of my favorite places in the world. I went to Disneyland after I beat cancer treatments. I filled out a celebrating pin. It said, “I’m celebrating being cancer-free.” It was made for a beautiful day. Guests were congratulating me, I got complimented by Captain America and cast members made the day very special, and I realized that my favorite place wasn’t different. It had stayed the same even though I had changed so much. Also became more magical with the love I received from strangers. 

First haircut. It took me 6 years after my cancer treatments to cut my hair instead of getting it trimmed. During my treatments, I kept my hair in a pixie cut; afterward, I grew it out but kept growing it until it was it almost to my hips. Then last summer I needed a change, and I cut it short. It was freeing to know something as simple as a haircut wouldn’t change.

First major vacation, Actually this was this summer. And Jman and I flew to Disney World with my family. It was nice to know that Jman and I could enjoy a beautiful vacation together and spend time with family. When you have a disease like cancer, you start to worry about things like vacations and how we travel together. Are we able to go along, are we able to enjoy being together, will we be able to enjoy a vacation without children? 

There were so many other firsts that helped me realize I was living and not just surviving. These firsts are burned into my brain and help me realize how far I’ve come and yes. The end of August and September is hard, but I survived, and I get a whole world of firsts. Yes, during those moments there is always a flash of this is the first time I did this or first time since cancer. Or moments of how blessed I am to be able to experience life. Those moments become bittersweet and beautiful. In those moments, I always let whomever I am with that I am feeling emotional. And those moments I am reminded how wonderful it is to be alive.

Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have God’s Son does not have life.

1 John 5:12

TTFN and God Bless and Keep You

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