Every once and a while I go online and Google “stage 4 metastatic breast cancer blogs” – and see what comes up. Tonight I was re-introduced to the blog of a young Boston woman – Bridget Spence. She was diagnosed at age 21 with stage 4 breast cancer right out of the gate – just like me. And her blog My Big Girl Pants is fantastic! Her writing is fresh and real. And whatever she’s doing is working cuz she’s still here 7 years later.
Reading other Stage 4 breast cancer blogs is always a mixed bag for me. Part of me really loves the sense of understanding and reassurance I get from reading others’ stories. It’s nice to know you’re not alone. But the other part hates the reminder of how much this is going to suck, that the road is long (Bridget has had 8 different surgeries!), and the fact that having breast cancer will never completely go away.
It seems for most stage 4 ladies, the cancer comes in waves. It pushes up onto the shore and then it retreats. Even if I am given the “NED” (no evidence of disease) stamp after surgery I will always be aware that cancer is hanging out on the sidelines just waiting to get back in the game again.
Just like Bridget, I live my life in 3-4 month increments. Making plans but never knowing if I’ll be able to keep them. Doing things when I feel good and trying to lay low when I don’t. Silently in my head thinking about how much time I have left… Do I need to take that trip to India now? Or can it wait a few years? Do I need to keep wearing anti-aging cream? Should I keep saving for retirement? Or cash in my 401K?
Of course there is no way to know how my life will play out. No way for any of us to know.
A few nights ago hubby opened up about how sad he is. Sad that our lives are forever changed. Sad that I have to go through surgery and be in pain. Sad at the thought that Miss M might lose her mom.
Of course I’m sad too. But I’ve gotten really good at detaching myself from the sadness. Just putting one foot in front of the other. Trying to enjoy the moment because who knows how many moments you have left… I don’t want to waste them. I don’t want to be asleep when I can be awake. I don’t want to obsess about cleaning when I can be enjoying time with Miss M. I don’t want to be watching trashy reality tv when I can be reading a good book.
Every single moment truly matters. Time is precious. Let’s not take it for granted.
Peace. – T