Spring is here, and I’m not quite sure how I feel about it. On the one hand, I’m certainly tired of cold temps and the color white, but on the other hand, I have all these upcoming dates, anniversaries and reminders marking my “cancer beginnings.”
I’m not entirely certain how I will feel when each one of these days arrives. And there are so darn many of them!
The word “anticipate” means to look forward to something pleasant and the opposite, of course, is dread, expecting something not so pleasant. So, maybe I have chosen the wrong title for this post because I know some of the days that lie ahead will not be pleasant. Some of the approaching dates I do actually dread.
But I am looking forward to warmer days and no snow. I am happy it’s not last year this time. I am happy to be finished with most treatment for now. I am happy my hair is slowly growing back. So maybe the word “anticipate” still fits. I want it to fit.
I want to anticipate Spring…
Many fellow bloggers have written about their cancerversaries, a word I had never even heard of before my diagnosis. (Actually, I’m not sure it is a word.) Some are at about the same place as me in their cancer experience. Some are way further out and some are still “behind” me.
It doesn’t seem to matter how many years “out” from cancer one gets, certain dates are forever etched into the mind and are eerie reminders of the fragility of our lives. I find this comforting because so many others understand where I’m coming from, but at the same time, it’s unsettling.
Sometimes, I just want to erase all the memories and forget. Sometimes, I want to believe cancer didn’t happen to me at all. Sometimes, I wish there was a magic “delete button” I could press to remove the cancer-heavy months from my life altogether.
Then again, sometimes I do want to remember. I want to remember all of it. After all, I’m still here.
My cancer “journey” began last April. It seems like only yesterday I was living a life without cancer. Then again, sometimes I can hardly remember my life without it.
I don’t like the term “cancer journey.” At all.
Going on a journey sounds like a pleasant undertaking. First of all, whenever I take a trip or journey (at least since being an adult) I get to decide where I’m going, what route to take, what I want to take along with me, who else is going, how long I’m staying and how I will get there and back.
If I don’t like my destination once I arrive, I can leave early or not stay at all. And usually part of the fun is in the journey itself.
Although fragments of a cancer journey may contain pleasant moments, a pleasant journey it is not! It’s certainly a journey I would NEVER have chosen to take.
On my “cancer journey” I don’t get to decide things as much as I’d like. In fact, sometimes it feels like I don’t know or get to decide much at all. I don’t know for sure exactly where I’m going or sometimes even if I’m headed in the right direction. I don’t know from one day to the next if I’ve “over packed or under packed.”
No matter what I call this path I’ve been stumbling along on for nearly a year now, it’s clearly been a detour from the path I thought I was on before my diagnosis.
I now look at things, people and events in terms of my cancer. Dear Hubby does too. It’s a thing we both do automatically now. Often we find ourselves saying to each other, “Well, was that before cancer or after?” Or Dear Hubby jokingly says, “Was that before your heart attack or after?”
Yep. Cancer has become our new point of reference.
Things either happened before cancer or after cancer. Even though I lived many years before my mother’s and then my own cancer, it still somehow feels as if there is more “stuff” on this side.
This is the side that is “weighted down.” This is the side that feels “heavy.”
Maybe someday things will feel in balance again.
I’ll keep you posted at all my stops along the way.
Are you anticipating Spring?
How do you handle unpleasant anniversaries of any kind?
How do you feel about calling cancer a journey?