56. Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes... Or how I measured a year.

56. Five Hundred Twenty Five Thousand Six Hundred Minutes... Or how I measured a year.

“ The people who stare Cancer down …generally have better outcomes.

You did that. You made Cancer your bitch”

- Dr G , my medical oncologist

I knew I would eventually be here. At this moment, on this day where I felt comfortable enough to call myself a “survivor” . When all the invasive cancer eradication procedures were finished, and I was well into the recovery from the last of my surgeries.

Friday June 28th marked exactly ONE YEAR since the first surgery that began the first part of this journey, and unsurprisingly it seems like both forever ago and no time at all. There are countless things I have learned but thus far here are my biggest takeaways.

  • Sweating the small stuff is a waste of time. Pre- cancers I read bought the book “The Subtle Art of Not Giving a FUCK” , it should be mandatory reading. With social media there are even more ways for you to let yourself get pissed off, and it’s fully not worth it.

  • Saying “NO” is wonderful. It’s kinda sad really that Cancer was the thing that fully allowed me to give myself permission to say no, to things that really didn’t serve me. The thing is, it’s something I should be doing with or without cancer . We, specifically women, often over commit and offer our time and energy to things we feel an obligation to, rather than a passion for. Saying NO, gives you space to breathe and be conscious of where you spend your time.

  • Death is one step away at all times. I say this not to have people terrified of living but the fact that you are alive is a miraculous wonderful thing. Moving through life that way sprinkles every action with a little pixie dust.

  • When it comes to shitty feelings. LEAN IN, and pay attention. It doesn’t give you the right to shit all over people. But ignoring something doesn’t make them go away, many times there is only one way, and that is through.

  • Kindness goes long way in all things, specifically in dealing with people whose job is customer service. We are the centers of our own story, and as such when we are frustrated or scared there is a propensity to let it out on people who are only trying to do their job and help. This last year Collin and I have been all about wanting those people who can help us, like us, and really all it is, is not being a dick.

  • Actions speak VOLUMES. Taking the time to reach out , whether it be via social media or 3D makes a person feel invaluable. Also everyone should have a friend like Wesley Hsu , who writes the best emails ever.

  • Hardship is the Darwinian test of relationships. Sickness and death are super downers, as such the quality of your relationships will come into focus pretty fast. Look at whose willing to hang with you at your lowest, they are the people you will want to celebrate your wins with.

  • When treatment ends, your journey does not. Like all things it simply changes. One chapter ends as the next unfolds. Welcome it, taking in what you’ve learned and see how it can change your “new normal” for the better.

So my “reconstruction” chapter begins, both physically and mentally. Putting things back together, and throwing out that which no longer fits.

I am lucky for too many reasons to count, and as I venture on to face new challenges, there will be other anniversaries, but this one will forever serve as a reminder of how far i’ve come, and the simplest of joys:

I survived.

Wading into the world of "Survivorship" or...What happens when the Cancer is "over"?

Wading into the world of "Survivorship" or...What happens when the Cancer is "over"?

55. 14 days, 2 kidneys, a strange surgical pose, 80%  function and counting...Or, the diary of a kidney surgery recovery

55. 14 days, 2 kidneys, a strange surgical pose, 80% function and counting...Or, the diary of a kidney surgery recovery