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It’s Been A Year

Today is the anniversary of the day I got the call. You know, the call from a lovely oncologist’s assistant to schedule an appointment, seeing as I had been diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Unfortunately for her, I hadn’t known I’d been diagnosed with cancer until she phoned me.


I started to write a long and sobby story about how cancer changes you, how it changed me, and how the last year of my life had been so damn meaningful. Then I re-read it and decided, nahhh. Boring. Dull. And while I totally am both of those things, I do aspire to greater heights with the ole blogeroo. So here is my list of observances of what cancer has meant to me:

1)  I found myself repeating platitudes so much I wanted to hurl. If I say “it was a tough year”, or “happy to be alive” one more time, you have permission to smack me.

2) I don’t feel sick. I never felt sick. I didn’t even know I had Tim the Tumor growing like a parasitic twin inside of me. But I had one blatant and in-your-face symptom – (men, you can look away) a period that lasted two months. I learned that my body has an amazing power of recuperation, so much that even sustained blood loss didn’t affect my blood counts pre-surgeries.

3) (Overshare alert again, men) Food will not fill the holes where your much-loved reproductive organs used to be. It doesn’t matter that I don’t need those bits anymore, their absence colors everything I do, every day. I know I should move on, and for most things I have, but this is something I continue to work on.

4) While I am poor in goods and cash, I am rich in my friends and family. The outpouring of meals, love, flowers, cards, and well-wishes was overwhelming to someone who had always been on the other end of the care-taking. I thank all of you, near and far. I am very privileged to know each of you. You are a gift to the world.

5) Baskin Robbins Rocky Road is still the best ice cream ever. Don’t even try to argue.

6) On one hand, I’m a little scared every day – scared the cancer will come back and bring its big brother to beat the holy shit out of me. (Remind me to stop following people on Twitter who have Stage IV cancer and are planning their own funerals.) On the other hand, I looked death in the eye and realized there may actually be a time when I’ll be glad to close my eyes one last time. Weird, huh? I’ve spent so many years terrified of death, this one took me by surprise.

7) However, I do NOT plan on dying soon, and if something comes along to extend life, I’ll probably be first in line.

8) While the world is a beautiful place filled with beautiful people, we need to keep working together to make it better. Keep moving forward. Help others. Even heathens like me believe that we should treat others the way we want to be treated.


6 Responses

  1. Very insightful and beautiful post, Julie.

  2. (((((((((((HUG)))))))))))) or ((((((((((GUSH)))))))))…
    whichever you prefer. : )

  3. What I know is that my world wouldn’t be as rich, lovely, blessed or filled with laughter if you weren’t in it. I’m so grateful that you kicked Tim to the curb. I’d do anything to keep him, any brothers or cousins far, far away from what I cherish … YOU! *mwah*

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