Exactly one year ago today I heard the beautiful word REMISSION from my gynecologic oncologist. (Here's how I felt last year on this day.)
Formerly-my Marine sent me 2 dozen beautiful roses about a week ago to brighten the celebration. He was so sweet to include peach roses in honor of my first diagnosis of uterine cancer. They were gorgeous, and I deeply appreciate his gift and poetic note. Thank you for remembering and sharing a piece of the celebration, wherever you are serving our country.
This morning I was really emotional, and had a few crying spells. I cried out of relief for continued Remission. I cried out of feeling overwhelmed with all the things happening in my life that I can't control. I cried over Veterans Day... missing my Bapa (may he Rest in Peace) and missing "my" Marine. I cried for the Survivors that I care about that are in the Fighting stage and aren't feeling the joy of Remission yet. And I cried for those Fighters who will never know the joy of Remission. I cried out of guilt.
Today was a day to celebrate, though. So I shed my tears and then moved forward.
I celebrated by sleeping a bit late, honoring Veterans by doing an oldie but goodie Cathe Friedrich workout called Bootcamp (it's a circuit workout with 8 cycles of 1 minute of cardio, upper body, lower body and core exercises), studying for next week's securities exam, an extra long shower with luxurious shea butter salt exfoliation...
a delicious lunch of divine twin lobster tails and a shared brownie macadamia nut sundae with the best Caregiver in my world at Bonefish Grill (thank you, Mom!), and topped the celebration off with finding the perfect pair of trouser jeans that I've wished I could fit into for a long time. An absolutely lovely afternoon of celebration!! I'm filled with thankfulness.
I thought it would be interesting to see how my look has changed from the beginning of my second diagnosis in January of 2010 to today... I hope to get back to this first picture soon... but I know that old me is gone. This post treatment look and feel is completely different, and I'm still learning to love and accept this as I strive improve my body and health.
Pre- dx 2 in October of 2009 back in South Florida.
I moved home to West Tennessee in May of 2010, after radiation. Relay for Life in Fayette county was the following weekend. My mom and I shared a big hug before the walk began.
The day I started chemo, my nephew was born. He was so sweet to wait until my first treatment was over so Mom and I could be there for him and his mama.
A couple weeks later my hair started falling out. This was the short haircut I got to try to delay the process and deal with it emotionally. That didn't last long... This was the night my sister Heidi, my mom and I had a margarita party and shaved my head.
An interesting look for me... I was so thankful to have a new baby to snuggle up to.
A couple weeks later I got a wig. I only wore it once. It just wasn't me.
I was just getting used to going bald in public and around the house when this picture was taken in July.
By the end of July I had accepted being bald fairly well. I only kept these eyebrows and stray strands for a couple weeks.
My last chemo treatment was 9/15/10 and I got to ring the big bell. I felt so weak and sick standing out there in the sticky heat, but I was thankful that chemo was over.
Last fall I looked like a ghost.
11/11/10- Remission-ing in celebration cashmere.
By early December I had some fuzz on my head again, and I was so glad though I didn't really like how I looked during the re-growth. I was thankful to have eyebrows again.
By January I could sport a faux hawk. I'm wearing my celebration cashmere sweater again here. Yay for cashmere in teal!
By March (remember my trip to Vegas?) I didn't look so much like a chemo patient anymore, thankfully.
By May I had short dark curls that were finally starting to look good to me. This was last year's Relay for Life shirt that my sister and I designed for the Team her employer sponsors every year.
August of 2011... curls starting to grow out which is wonderful and awkward too. Can you believe how big and adorable my nephew is now!? So many changes in just a year for both of us...
Here's how the 'do looks today... the curls seem to be here to stay though I am getting some length. I can put some hair into a ponytail now. There's one curl in the front that does this annoying Michael Jackson thing. I really really hope that grows out soon.
I'm wearing a new cashmere sweater in celebration of my first full year of Remission. I hope to have a dresser full of celebration cashmere sweaters...