Four years since my on-purpose life detour ran into my definitely-not-on-purpose life detour and took a sharp turn.
There's no evidence the cancer has returned - to the contrary, the effects of that damn shot FINALLY wore off in October (fifteen months later - I mean, really???!!!), and my energy levels have returned to normal. It's now possible for me to feel rested again. I still have a lot of catching up to do; I'm way out of shape, but I can exercise again. I can sleep soundly again. I can stay up past ten again - as long as I don't do it more than once a week. I have energy to cook again. Energy to see my friends once in a while. I like this better. much better.
I still take Tamoxifen; I'll be on it for another year, then I'll be switched to one of the other kill-the-estrogen drugs. I'm not looking forward to that - I've tolerated the Tamoxifen well, and I have several friends who have had trouble with the other drugs. But, as long as the side effects aren't as bad as those from that damn shot, I'll deal.
Speaking of cancaversaries, it's been one year since Kate's initial surgery, which was way scarier for me than mine was.
She, too, is on the mend. Treatment (except for Tamoxifen) is done, she is healing. Cancer treatments do not affect people equally - she was on the oh-shit-did-anyone-see-the-truck-that-just-hit-me end of the scale. It's been a long and slow road back. She's lost a year; her brain is still foggier than she'd like - but her cancer is also not in evidence. She is healing, she is healing, she is healing. (I can feel the stress and worry ease again and still as I type those words.) The storm is past for now; the damage is being repaired. **sigh of relief**
I have a friend who also had breast cancer; we were talking last week about how most of those who have been through it want to compare notes. She doesn't. She figures that since there's not a knee replacement support group, or one for high blood pressure, she doesn't need one for her itty bitty cancer that was treated and is gone. It didn't kill her, so she's moved on. She makes me laugh. I wish I could be more like her in this; she has a good point.
I wasn't consciously thinking about this anniversary as it approached - but the calendar coming 'round again does explain why I've been yearning for my camper van. Most of me is pretty darn content with where I've landed, but there's a part of my heart that dreams, still, of days where the only agenda was to find another place of beauty to appreciate. Days without an alarm clock, without a schedule. Days when I went where the wind took me.
God willin' and the crick don't rise, those days will come again.