Eleven years ago today, I had my cancer surgery.
Today’s anniversary feels very different from the rest, in a good way.
Is it because the farther away I get from it, the less it hurts? Partially.
It mostly has to do with the fact that I’m pregnant. The cloud of fear and uncertainty that has been lurking for so long has mostly lifted, and it feels wonderful. I feel like I can more fully leave my cancer behind, stop worrying about what my body can’t do, and look forward to what my body can do, what it is doing, and what that means for my future and the future of my family. I am so blessed, and I just didn’t know how much until recently.
I say the cloud has ‘mostly lifted’ because I do find myself still worrying about how after-effects of my cancer and surgery could affect my pregnancy. I suppose there’s a part of me that feels like this is too good to be true and that I shouldn’t get my hopes up, that my cancer could still rear up and kick me in the ass. I suppose it’s normal that a small amount of fear like that will never go away. And sometimes it’s hard for me to balance these continued fears and still make ample room for the joy and excitement I know that I also deserve to experience. It does help that my doctor doesn’t seem too concerned about affects from surgery affecting my pregnancy.
Overall, my worries have definitely shifted, and I am grateful for the direction in which they have shifted. After acknowledging my ever-present cancer worries and then placing them back in their box at the back of my mind, I get to worry about “normal” things now – am I taking good enough care of myself? Is the baby developing ok? Will delivery go ok? Will fe be healthy? How the heck am I going to manage to be a good parent? Etc…
I am thankful for these worries. They mean I have something amazingly wonderful to worry about.
Which reminds me about something I’ve said before – that my experience with cancer and the resulting fertility uncertainty means that I get to be even more joyful than I would have been otherwise.
Eleven years ago I experienced one of the worst days of my life, and that’s ok. It doesn’t define me, and I have allowed it to change me for the better.
Now get back in your box. You’re distracting me from my joy.