Monday, May 17, 2010

Relay for Life.

Friday night was our local Relay for Life event. I have been a relay volunteer/participant for many years now. Following my first brush with Cancer some 14 years ago. But then it was different. I found a lump in my breast - I had it checked - family history dictated my decisions - I had it removed - the cancer found was enough to qualify for the term survivor, but it was tiny - two little cells - not even a cancer they staged. But I suspected what it was, and by the time I knew what it was, I didn't have it anymore.

Fast forward - to last month - I am healthier - I feel great - I have been diligent in followup for the breast cancer. I am eating right and working out. I thought I had a kidney stone, the docs thought it was a stone - I was sent home from the office and from the er with that diagnosis. Then BAM -- the phone call - the trip to the office - the words hung out in the air - hospital --- surgery --- follow up.............recovery

BLINDSIDED. Totally unexpected. Which is probably the case for most people who discover that they have cancer. I am, once again, very fortuate, they say they got it all.

So 4 weeks to the day - I celebrated being a survivor - AGAIN. With way too many others, I walked those laps. With my supportive loved ones, my friends, people I only know casually, I walked. It was a very emotional night for me.

See I walked with the knowledge that I have no treatments to endure. I walked with the knowledge that my life will pretty well continue on its normal course with only a few incoveniences. I walked with the docs assurances that I am now cancer free (again). Many of the people around that track with me don't have that. I am fortunate indeed.

But I walked --- and I bought luminaria for friends. I read my name many times on bags around the track. Thank you for those friends who purchased bags in my name.

I visited with many Friday night. It was fun to celebrate surviving.

Softball Princess - me - The Man at my Address.

It is a victory no one should have to celebrate. But we did. And we smile and we go on. And we push IT to the back of our brain.

Left to Right - Becky Jones, Sandra Dove Smith, me. All of our girls play ball together - we are all survivors.

I am battling IT right now. What is IT, you might ask? FEAR - FEAR - FEAR. See I was being so careful to do my followups, I was eating healthy, I was exercising, I see my docs regularly, I'm doing what you are supposed to do. I always thought I might have breast cancer again, or a metatastic cancer from that. Renal Cell Carcinoma - a totally different and unrelated cancer - found by accident because of a suspected kidney stone. This scares me.

What if there are more? What if they don't see it in time again? What if? What if? What if? And in talking to others about this -- the what if monster haunts their dreams too.

I am not depressed, but I am battling this huge thing right now. I promise this will not become a pity party site - I'll be back to MaggieGrace goodness asap. This blog is about me - about creativity - about life - love - and the pursuit of happiness - about the journey that is. So I share my thoughts here.

Right now I am scared - and nobody can help take that fear away. So I'll do what I did in the past - refuse to give in to FEAR. Because allowing IT to remain so strong will take away the joy of the blessed life I have.

So I am embracing strength and joy. FEAR - YOU DO NOT HAVE A CHANCE.

Y'all have a wonderful day.

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