It was 4:22pm.
The telephone rang; ENT Consultants, the call display read.
“The pathology report has finally come back. There was cancer found.”
I was numb. Completely, entirely, utterly – numb.
I sit here typing this, my stomach in knots. A full year has gone by. So many things have happened. That phone call might as well have been yesterday. I’ll remember that day, that phone call and his voice for how ever long I’m fortunate to be alive. It haunted me for days; weeks really. That word. It’s implications. The uncertainty that now consumed my very near future.
I was a very healthy, very active 28 year old woman.
This just wasn’t right. I was so sure he was wrong. My brain refused to accept it as I moved through the motions to prepare for surgery #2. I still can’t explain what this does to a person mentally and emotionally. There are no words for those weeks last year. No words could adequately describe the emotional roller coaster I experienced.
Or how I felt 49 days later; seated with Vic as we received tests results stating spots had been found on my lungs. Further tests would be needed to see if it was cancer that had spread or if it was something else.
Merry Christmas to me.
It was a nightmare I couldn’t wake from.
That day, just two weeks before Christmas, the bottom fell out of my world. Honestly. I came home to an empty apartment and cried like I had never cried before. I couldn’t stop. My body shook, my head pounded and my chest felt like it would break apart. I was terrified. Absolutely, positively terrified. The only thought I had for days after was that I didn’t want to die. It may sound irrational to some, but to me, that day, it was reality. If it was in fact cancer that was spotted, I was in for a whirlwind or treatments and surgeries.
Having to wait 2 and a half week for results (due to the holidays) gave me too much time to think. Of all the things I wanted to do with my life and haven’t. Would I still have time? I had compiled quite the hefty bucket list. Would I get to experience any of it? I had a wonderful man who made me so incredibly happy. Would I get to plan our wedding? Have children?
Would I get to experience another Christmas? What about the huge plans I had for my 30th birthday? Would I still get to celebrate?
I thank god or whatever divine being/spirit/existence every damn day for the incredible team of doctors I had/have. Thanks to them I’m typing this page right now. I get to do all the things I thought about. All the things I have dreamed about. All the things on my ginormous bucket list.
You hear numerous people talk down about our health care system, but let me tell you – they’re amazing. I’m 29 years old and cancer free. Not only did they catch it at an early stage, but they were so compassionate and caring throughout this whole nasty nightmare. They poked, prodded and screened everything imaginable.
And today, because of them I get to celebrate with my fiance.
We’re celebrating the day that changed our lives forever. We’re celebrating everything we’ve experienced and accomplished since that day. We’re celebrating each other and the fact we’re still here to do just that. We’re celebrating the future – our future – and all the things we’ve yet to experience, but full intend on doing in the immediate future.
Today I celebrate life.