Five Years Ago Today…

By Jenster

Five years ago today I had the life-saving surgery to remove the cancerous tumor from my body. Not only was the malignancy removed, my entire left breast was removed.

Five years ago today I had a huge incision across the concave side of my chest and a drainage tube at each end. Of course, five years ago today I didn’t actually see the incision. That happened five years ago tomorrow.

Five years ago today we didn’t know exactly what we were dealing with – if the cancer had spread and what kind of treatment I’d have to go through.

Five years ago today I had a lot of questions. Or at least I think I had a lot of questions. Five years ago today I was on pretty good meds so I might not have had any questions other than when I’d get the next happy pill.

Five years ago today I knew my life had been forever altered, but I had no idea to what extent. Five years ago today I figured I’d go through treatment – whatever that might mean – and eventually everything would be back to normal.

Five years ago today I was a little delusional.

Five years ago today somebody stole my pink ribbon car magnet off the back of my van while I was having a mastectomy.

Five years ago today the surgical waiting room was full of people I love with all my heart. Those people prayed for me, they told stories about me and they ate my peanut M&Ms.

Five years ago today I assured those people I love that everything would be okay as I left them at the surgical waiting room on my way back to pre-op. (I might not have been quite so magnanimous had I known they were going to eat my peanut M&Ms.)

Five years ago today I sang “I Want To Be Sedated” as they wheeled me into the operating room. At least that’s the story Todd tells. With my history it’s very likely.

Five years ago today my sister, Terri, and my Mother-In-Law went shopping and bought me all sorts of beautiful things to make my recovery as pleasant as possible.

More than five years ago today I believed Todd loved me and God would see us through this whole ordeal.

Five years ago today was the start of that belief turning into knowledge.

Today is a huge day for me. Five years in the life of a cancer survivor is a big thing. It’s that magic day when the risk of recurrence or metastasis is reduced. I like the sound of that.

But…

Today is the day after Lynn Redgrave died from breast cancer.

Today I have breast cancer sisters with recurrences and metastases.

Today I’m thrilled to have made it to five years with my four favorite words, “No Evidence of Disease”, but I can’t help but think of those who haven’t been so fortunate.

So…

Today I will celebrate my milestone.

Today I will enjoy the beautiful roses Todd bought me.

Today I will relish every kind comment either in person or on my Facebook status.

Today I will thank God for my good health.

And…

Sunday I will walk in the Philadelphia Race for the Cure for every woman I know who has dealt/is dealing with this disease.

Today Todd gave me a dozen red roses and five pink roses:

Today Todd gave me five more pink roses for my bedside table:

Today it’s good to be me.

Crossposted at Jenster’s Musings

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12 Responses to Five Years Ago Today…

  1. Congratulations! What a milestone! “Five years ago today I new my life was altered forever…” so true.

  2. lorristeer says:

    Happy “Today!” 🙂

  3. vallie says:

    Beautifully written.

  4. Spruce Hill says:

    Congratulations! 5 years is a long haul! Glad you are here 🙂

  5. Congratulations…it is a milestone and a big day. Enjoy it and those lovely roses!!

  6. lisa says:

    Congratulations!

  7. lahdeedah says:

    Man, can you write. What stands out? “Five years ago today, I was a little delusional.” I so resonate with that. Four years ago this month, I thought my cancer was a horribly cool “project,” something that would be tough but that I would put behind me after some kick ass stoicism and a little help from my friends. It ended up being a little more complicated than that 🙂

    Jen, thank you for writing with such a tender blend of joy and compassion. And heartfelt congratulations on this exciting milestone.

    xo

    Jill

  8. Wonderfully Written. Thank You

  9. What a glorious reason to celebrate. With hope, Wendy

  10. Angelique says:

    Thank you so much for what you wrote. I am sitting here 9 months post diagnosis, double mastectomy, 6 rounds tch and continuing herceptin and on tamoxifin. I am dreaming of my five year mark…the end of june it will be one year since I found evidence of cancer and as of Oct 9th I was cancer free. That is the way I think of myself, Cancer free. But I am still looking forward to my five years.

  11. This is beautiful. I don’t have cancer, but I have seen the evil with my own eyes. Congrats to your health and happiness. God is good. Thank you sharing your story.

  12. rebecca says:

    Great blog. Congratulations on the five years. I was wondering if you would be interested in having an author and cancer survivor appear on your blog for one day in July. please e-mail me.

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