You are special today.
YOU are special today.
You ARE special today.
You are special, today.
Today, you are special.
Two years ago today I was in-patient and in surgery. I was having my breasts removed from my chest. And 13 lymph nodes removed from my right arm. I was having the places that had clearly housed cancer, taken away. I was post-chemo. And I was pre-rads. I was hopeful. Prayerful. Wishful. I wanted for the report to be: we got it. ALL.
I was scared.
And now, two years later, because of that day… because of chemo, and doctors, and an incredible support system, and my family, my friends, my God, and my surgery, I am cancer-free.
In the last two years I have not only lived, free of cancer. I truly believe I have thrived. I have skydived, I have completed a half marathon, I’ve been a paid speaker, writer, and been on the radio. I’ve continued as a blogger and influencer. I’ve learned to chill the fuck out about a whole host of things. And I’ve learned to be more passionate about others.
I’ve gotten to be a mother — something that means a great deal to me and to my thrivership. I’ve gotten to be a wife. A friend. I’ve gotten to knock off a few more states, with my family, towards our goal of seeing all 50 states. I’ve had two birthdays. Two years of memories and sunsets and songs in my ears and laughs with my boys at bedtime and holidays with my family and girls’ nights with my friends and breaths.
This two years, for me, has been another chapter in my book. A post-cancer life. A life after. I have been endlessly thankful for each of these days that feel like my extra time.
Two years after having the surgery that declared me cancer-free, I have decided to press onward with writing a book. I have decided that I hope to speak to as many people as possible. I have decided that when life gives me the opportunity to be lived, I will live the shit out of it. And I have continued to freely write about all the feels as I do this.
Two years after completing chemo and a bilateral mastectomy and right arm lymph node dissection, I take 7 pills a day to combat recurrence. Because I am DAMN lucky. I am lucky that these therapies and drugs are available to me to further protect me from a secondary battle in my future. I take Aromasin and Neratinib each day. I get a Lupron shot for ovary suppression each month. I have my Estradiol checked monthly to confirm that my body is not producing Estrogen. And I am on a bit of a self-discovery journey with my health. I am looking at what foods make me feel less inflammation in my body. I am reading more than ever about health, wellness, and well-being. I practice yoga. I take walks. And I soak up any bit of sunshine possible.
I have undergone a revision of my initial Phase 2 reconstruction. All told, I went from 10 months of tissue expanders, 6 months of teardrop textured silicone implants and now have my perma-plants (as I’ve coined them), round textured silicone implants.
My life, at 36, is not what I expected. I didn’t expect cancer at 33. But I also didn’t expect, once I heard those words “You have cancer” that I’d still for sure be here to say “I’m two years cancer-free.” So I suppose sometimes we just need to get over our expectations.
I have big plans for each and every year. I don’t know exactly what those are. But I know that I will take every opportunity to see the world, connect with stories and people, and to be a mom, wife, friend, and daughter. And whatever that looks like, well, I am excited to see. And do. And live.
Today, you are special. You are special, today.
Thank you, Jesus, for these two years. And thank you for all the life that I’ve lived before and after the words, “You have cancer.”
Two years down. Forever to go. Two years cancer-free today. What a whirlwind. What a perfectly lovely gift.