a letter to my future self
It's January 8th, 2013. In numbers, 23 years ago today our niece was born, it's been 3 months since running around from doctor to doctor, 2 months since I've gotten diagnosed with a rare form of cancer called Hodgkin's Lymphoma.
Last year, I had just gotten back from a whirlwind vacation with my soulmate. The same goes for two years ago. 2 months since my first "not-published-by-just-me" book found its way in bookstores, 2 months since my first book discussion and signing...8 years MARRIED! to my soulmate...
Writing all this down makes me realize that I am extremely lucky. I'm still living a charmed life- Hodgkin's is curable and even though chemo is kicking my ass, I'm going to kick cancers ass and move on with my life- write more books, give more hugs and snuggles, meet more people, travel the world.
Where do I want to be next year when I look back and read this? Settled into my new life, taking care of myself and those around me. So far I've learned: what was wrong with me and why I was feeling so fatigued and sick, who my real friends are (I really got lucky with my group of friends- they are the most amazing people I know. True friends reveal themselves in times of hardships, and for that I am truuuuly thankful), my crazy strength ( i guess. everyone's been telling me i am, but i feel it's more of an "gotta do this to get back to my life" thing, and that God is present in everything (that's a story for another day. well- 10 days. so far.)
Cancer-Schmancer is right. I'm really quite through with it. I have 8 more chemo treatments left, and I muster up what looks like strength to get through the week with it. It's gross and makes me sick. What else it's trying to teach me I don't know. I've always been extremely grateful for my life, for the little things, for anything. There is a lesson in everything. Will I be forever afraid that it will come back? Maybe. There's the one year after chemo to build your immune system back up. I can't wait to be with you at that one year mark. Then there's the five year mark, where after that, you *i* are considered cured. I desperately want to be there already, but I won't let LIFE go until then. I plan to LIVE.
Cured cured cured. I want to hear that word so much. When I do hear it, I'll be 36 years old. That, in and of itself, is a miracle to me even hearing it, thinking about it. I was never one to be selfish or worry about myself, and to know that I have to watch my every feeling for the rest of my life because my life now does depend on it is overwhelming. After April, a new routine, diet, celebration of life will ensue for as long as God sees it fit for me to be on this earth, and I will relish every second. Just like we all should, because that's all we can do.
The lesson that I may have to LET be taught to be because of all this? To keep strong with faith, and to not hold off anything that I want to do (not that anyone should!) for another day.
By next year, I hope your (my) life changes into something greater than I could have ever imagined NOT walking down this journey- I hope I (we?) have done everything we've wanted and could possibly do to make life that much richer. I'll know more that life was never about the material stuff, or accomplishments, or anything fleeting. Life is not about the TIME you have left- but what you DO with the time you've been given (wait, isn't that a famous quote?)
Life is and will always be about:
a quiet meal
And mine's gonna be great.
See you (me!) next year.
the globetrotting gamine