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  • 2016 September 04
    From the daily archives: Sunday, September 4, 2016

    Another year has gone by, and I am still here.

    It feels important to say that.  I know that there are women being diagnosed with IBC who are frightened, spooked by the statistics or just the “C” word, just starting on the incredibly rough path to post cancer life.  Unfortunately, most of us tend to get absorbed in normalcy once the heroics are over, and forget to let y’all know we’re still here.

    I fought my battle in 2007, most of all for my children.  I was damned if I was going to have someone else raise them!  Now, nearly ten years later, they are almost launched.  They were my Reason.  I am happy to say that now that the work has mostly been done, I still have ample reasons.  My son is moving out soon, and my daughter is in her last year of high school, currently absorbed in college applications.  My Knight in Shining Armor did that job very well, until I needed something else, and then he flailed.  So I am again on my own, and I am at peace with it and grateful for perfect timing and a benevolent universe that has always taken care of me.

    After I went through treatment, there was a period of quiet, of overwhelming gratitude, that invited reinvention.  At that time, I decided that I had to have meaning in my life every day, joy, service, art, fun.  This, and my children happy.  I feel on the cusp of this quietude again, as my son prepares to leave the nest, and my daughter is driving herself to her many important pursuits this year.  I really love my job, and I have lots of writing to do!  It’s been on the back burner while I raised my children, as is right and proper.  Now I am excited, curious, and sad all at once.  I had breakfast with my remarkable daughter yesterday, and got tearful thinking of how much I will miss her.  The boy is just moving a few miles away, so I’m sure he’ll show up at my house to do his laundry or raid my refrigerator.

    She is applying to colleges on the other coast, and then planning on two years in the Peace Corps.  She told me of an internship she is already considering, a summer in Kenya facilitating the education of girls.  Proud, and biting my nails.

    Surviving cancer feels epic when it happens.  After treatment, I was on a cloud of gratitude, for some long time, feeling like everything my eyes rested on was blessed.  Sometimes I wish for that same feeling, but it has given way to simple satisfaction, being at home in this “whole big beautiful mess”, to quote my friend Becky.

    For anyone reading this who just started:  normal comes again.  Believe it.  And normal is sweet indeed.

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