Wednesday, May 29, 2019

On the Occasion of My Three Year Lumpiversary

Three years ago today, I woke before dawn to discover a popped popcorn shaped lump in my left breast. To be clear, I wasn't looking for lumps. I didn't make a habit of the self-exam that has turned out to be so very important. I didn't think about breast cancer. We had no family history on either parent's side, of which we know. Breast cancer was not on my radar. At all. But I woke up sore from doing a bunch of work outside the day before and was kind of testing all of the sore spots, as one does, when I stumbled over it. I froze. I palpated it with purpose. I checked the other side. No discernable popcorn existed on the right. It was only on the left, and it was devoid of any sensation. I don't know how I knew, but I knew. Instantly. I knew it was cancer. I was right.

Time both crawled and flew over the next few days, weeks, and months as the surgery, treatment, and recovery plan materialized. Through it all I was surrounded by angels everywhere. The surgeons, nurses, assistants, staff, and counselors at every turn were helpful before I even realized I needed help. My family, blood and extended, was in it for every moment. Friends near and far showed up in ways I could never have imagined. I have always said that I am the luckiest person I know. I believe that to this day.

It is mind-boggling to think that all of this started three whole years ago, and Only three years ago, all at the same time. But it did. It would be ridiculous to try to sum up the last three years in one post, so I'll focus on life today, instead.

Every morning I wake up thankful to be here. Even when I feel lousy, I am grateful! I knew far too many people who were not so lucky. I also wake up with a very small, very quiet voice in the back of my head who whispers, "Is this the day? Is it back? Would you know if it was? You got way too lucky. You had no right to be that lucky. It will be back, and you won't get that lucky again." No matter what studies or doctors say, that voice is still there. Mind you,  I don't listen to the voice. I acknowledge that it exists, bid it a good morning and get on with my day. Most of the time. Some days, when I'm exhausted, I feel "off" or I feel anything odd, that voice is harder to ignore. Here's the thing, acknowledging that voice won't make its words true. It won't make them Not True either. It just is. And I just am. I will continue to Be, until I am no longer. I chose to make peace with the voice, the fear, the angst, the worry, so that I can take one breath after the other and enjoy the life I have for however long I have it. 

I still have pain along the sides of my implants. I still feel exhausted. I still spend a lot of time on the weekends resting and recharging from the week.  I know that when I am not meditating and doing yoga I feel worse than when I am, and yet, I still resist on many days. Why is this? I must do better. I will do better.

I have met the love of my life and we are creating a beautiful future together. I want to live for many, many years to enjoy that life with her. I want to be here to celebrate the Monster's high school and college graduation, to celebrate his wedding to whomever he chooses, if he chooses. I want to be here to meet his children, should he decide to have them. I want to be here to celebrate all of those things with my students, friends, and family, too. I want to live to see the realization of my dreams. So, Little Voice be damned! I am here. I will be here. 

As always, please reach out if you or someone you love is facing a cancer diagnosis. I will do whatever I can to help you fight. Until this damn disease no longer exists, I will fight with you and for you.

Today and every day, I am grateful to each of you for being part of Amy's Army. I am grateful to have you in my life, whether online or IRL. I am grateful for every moment. Every. Moment. Always. Be kind to yourselves and to each other.



The Affirmations Project was one of the highlights of the last year.

1 comment:

  1. Always and forever my Hero. Love you to the moon and back. You out of every single person I know had every right to come out of all of this on top. You are love far beyond your wildest dreams and your resinate love peace and acceptance. You deserve to be healthy happy and loved.