“How did it get so late so soon? It's night before it's afternoon. December is here before it's June. My goodness how the time has flewn. How did it get so late so soon?”
― Dr. Seuss
― Dr. Seuss
Its been a year, and quite the year its been. You all know where I have been, and for those of you that have seen me lately you know how far I have come. I would like to say its all a distant memory but the cancer did not blow through without leaving a wake. My boat is still rocking gently but I have my oar in the water. Holy metaphor. I lost a breast but have gained perspective or at least a glimpse of what was missing before the clarity of cancer entered my life. I remember thinking before my diagnosis, how I was not content, that I was not living an awesome life. I was just living. Getting up and getting it done each day. Trying to be a good mother, a good wife, a good daughter, a good friend a good worker but not trying to be a great me. I felt fragmented. The day of my diagnosis, March 13th, 2012, I thought that is it, I am going to die with out being fricken awesome. The words CANCER rang in my ears that day like a fire alarm. I still get a pain in my stomach when I remember that moment. I really thought I would have dodged the cancer bullet. That disease had taken enough from me already. But then why would the world make it that easy for me? Crisis in the past motivated me to change, to do something to make my life better. What the heck was this going to do for me? If I didn't die. I know thinking about dying is really negative and dramatic, but that is the first thing you think of when they tell you that you have cancer. People say " sure we are all gonna die" to me. I think " I don't want to die".
Although I have come out this year a changed person, I will opt any day to figure things out in another manner, but hey a good swift kick in the arse comes in many forms I guess. I got and I gave. I was brave and I crumbled. I cried and I laughed. I found strength when I thought I had none left. That people will be there if you tell them what you need. I realise that life needs to continue but it will never be the same. I am not the same. Should I change my name?
I found the need like many others with similar experiences to change my life and make a difference. That has come in the form of the project that I and Malin Enstrom are undertaking. We have photographed 5 women so far and now have three more ready to be photographed. Malin showed me all the images so far that she has taken of these women. We sat together at her computer and as she brought up one picture after another I could feel myself getting overwhelmed. The images were powerful. Each woman's story told beautifully. Tears began to flow down my face as I witnessed the bravery and courage it took each woman to allow Malin take their picture. The giving nature of each of them to want to be part of something to help others by being the face of Newfoundland women battling the disease. My hope for each woman who takes part in the journey with Malin and I is a sense of healing, acceptance and empowerment to continue moving forward. You all inspire me.
So a year later I am still dealing. The effects of this experience much deeper than a 6 inch scar across my chest. So in the moments when I am alone, when I am completely by myself I reflect and usually I cry. Still trying to believe that this is happened to me. My body still coming back from the effects of the chemo, and learning to cope with the impact of tamoxifen treatment. Although since I stopped the clinical trial I feel so much better these days in some ways. So when I get out of bed in the morning and have trouble walking or moving my hands, I remind myself how lucky I am. How much harder it could of been and that I am doing good. I got this.,
“Don't spend time beating on a wall, hoping to transform it into a door. ”
― Coco Chanel
― Coco Chanel