Three hundred sixty five days ago my life changed forever. In that hotel room, waiting for my boyfriend to get ready for dinner, I lay on the bed and brushed my hand against my chest: chills illuminated my spine. Oh no; ME?! I examined it again: standing up, I hoped the shape would change; it held fast. Fear, terror: Oh My God, this doesn't feel normal, it's too big and too hard! He said "It's probably just a cyst," Wishing he were right, my instinct knew otherwise. I shut down, not feeling heard or comforted - patronized, sensing this was a battle I'd have to go alone. Thoughts raced:
This changes everything!
I'm being invaded. Something unwanted is growing in me. I am a foreigner to my own body. My cells are reproducing and attacking me.
I feel betrayed and abandoned by my body, how could it do this to me!
Is this it, has my time has come?
I'm about to have a birthday, instead of celebrating life, am I to start preparing for death?
Why NOT me?
What have I done to deserve this?
In Washington, D.C., five-thousand-twenty-five-thousand-six-hundred-minutes later I return to the scene single, one breast lighter, hair short, curly and grey. I'm here to look my cancer, my past, my struggles, fears and triumph in the face, and create a new memory of that day I took that treacherous fork in the road. I tread the same path, bombarded by memories: we held hands exploring these streets, the man who convinced me of his unwavering love for who I am on the inside. His dedication detiriorated in proportion to my outer decay, so I walk these streets alone, jilted. One less burden to bare, pieces of my heart being held together, not for him - for the betrayal of love in the face of tragedy.
I VORACIOUSLY CELEBRATE THAT ONE YEAR LATER I AM ALIVE AND HAVE SURVIVED CANCER FOR ONE MORE GLORIOUS DAY! I've done it alone, with friends, family, God, prayers, holistic healing, visualization, surgery, meditation, tears, laughter, anger, medication and determination. Today, I have a more zealous zest for life, seizing the moments, living boldly; I don't know what tomorrow will bring, so I live each day fully.