Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Reflections on the Past Year

It's definitely been a while since I wrote...about two weeks, in fact.  During that time, my team, Rivertown's Bosom Buddies, participated in the walk for Breast Cancer Awareness on behalf of the American Cancer Society at Manhattanville College in NY on October 16th and raised over $7,000!  I am doing much better without the extender on one side of my body (it will be replaced once again in a couple months); and my blood pressure (which was a problem) is now under control.  I have been spending a lot of time lately in moments which are very reflective of my particular experience.

I keep thinking back to a year ago and where I was then and can't quite believe I have come so far.  I remember the week my sister-in-law spent with me while I was going through the beginning of chemo and when I first started to lose my hair.  I was so glad she was there and that she never showed how shocking it must have been to see me lose my hair overnight!  My husband also took everything in stride and never seemed to be "turned off" by my physical appearance.  In fact, if anything, he became more affectionate and more understanding than he ever was before.  The staff at my preschool never let me feel that my absences were a problem...truly, I feel like they worked twice as hard to make everything go "smoothly".  My church continued to let me know that even though I couldn't do all I did before, it really didn't matter.  They just wanted me well and told me so all the time.  Friends sent messages, small gifts, meals, prayers, and made phone calls to let me know I was not alone.  Of course, life is not perfect, and there were other problems within our extended family at that time that were very stressful.  These concerns made this time additionally difficult despite all the support I received.  Yet, I truly, truly felt the prayers that were being upheld for me; and it is because of these prayers that I could stand and face each wave of battle that had to be won over and over.

Creating a team for the Breast Cancer walk was one very positive action I could take at this time.  It gave me an energy to do something positive on behalf of all those who will follow me into this abyss of life-changing forces.  And it helped me to see it all beyond my own face...in the face of one in every eight people that I meet.  I am glad to have been a part of that walk and I was overwhelmed by the number of people who joined the team and made the walk with me!  Our local newspaper even wrote an article and me, my battle, and my wonderful walking team.

But each day lately,I remind myself of how far I have come.  Not that I don't think there is more ahead to fight through or fight for...but just that I HAVE survived all that has happened over the past year and I am more than ready to keep fighting.  I have met amazing people and have found support where I least expected it and have been so thankful of those friends and family that stayed with me no matter what! 

Life will have some changes as time goes on...as it should.  Perhaps it will have more changes because of all I have been through...as should be expected.  I know I am changed because of it...that is a "given".  More importantly, I am proud of all I have done and will do...and I will never take life for granted again.  

Thank you, everyone, for all you have been to me and for all the support you have shown.  It is incredible, amazing, and wonderful...Thank you!

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