When was the last time you awoke from an unpleasant dream feeling relieved to realize it was merely that, a dream?
It’s an amazing moment when you wake from such a state of agitated sleep. Reality suddenly feels pretty darn wonderful doesn’t it?
Sometimes I still have moments when I wonder if all the cancer stuff that has transpired in the last two years has been a dream. Sometimes I pretend or think about waking up and finding out none of it really happened. Sometimes when I first wake up in the morning, I do forget for a while.
I wonder if a day will come when I do not think about cancer.
Somehow I doubt it.
It’s not like I’m stuck in the past. It’s not like I dwell on cancer. I’m not and I don’t.
With this being said, certain things and dates are still triggers. Certain dates still feel full and heavy. Certain dates still bring to mind vivid memories of a time when things felt very uncertain. One of those dates for me is June 2nd, the date of my bilateral mastectomy two years ago. Once again, there is much to remember.
I remember the weeks before that day which were full of appointments, tests, restless nights and huge decisions I felt forced to make. I remember feeling trapped into a corner as my oncologist explained to me why a bilateral mastectomy was my best option.
I remember a long and lonely night with little sleep before the surgery. I remember the text message that came in during the middle of the night from one of my sisters wishing me well. She couldn’t sleep either.
I remember the jolting and silly-sounding alarm tune on my cell phone at 4:30 a.m. I remember the emotional and private minutes I spent in the bathroom taking one last look at the familiar image in the mirror.
I remember my surgeon asking me what procedure I was to have that day and how I could not bring myself to say the words out loud. He gently patted my legs, said the words for me and told me I’d be fine. I remember wondering how he could possibly know that.
I remember a hospital chaplain peeking in the doorway and solemnly asking if we would like a prayer, making me realize this was a pretty major surgery. Hubby said yes.
I remember a look of fear and helplessness, but mostly love on hubby’s face as we spent a few personal and precious moments together.
I remember being wheeled briskly away down a long hallway and into a brightly lit room that felt cold and sterile.
I remember voices and masks and a clock on the wall. I remember wondering what it would be like when I woke up with my new unfamiliar form.
I remember wishing I was dreaming and wondering if perhaps I was.
I remember slowly waking up hours later and realizing I was not.
What is one of your “trigger” dates?
If you’ve had a cancer diagnosis, do you ever have days when you don’t think about cancer?