We’re all blessed with milestones- occasions that come around each year that you either dread or celebrate, or perhaps both. The most common — birthdays — are universal and completely out of our control, but you never forget your birthday (even if everyone else does). Anniversaries, in the most common form, are the day you celebrate a partnership. Or perhaps you note each year the anniversary of someone’s passing. As we get older, these last type of anniversaries tend to accumulate.
When you are a cancer survivor, you have an additional date that is etched in your memory like your social security number. Your cancerversary. For many of us, we use the date we were diagnosed – but for others like myself, I like to use the date that I had my last(fingers cross) surgery…when the tumor was removed.
For me that date is August 4, and I’m now a 1-year cancer survivor.
For the last several weeks, I thought about my upcoming cancerversary with a combination of pride, dread, sadness, happiness, and relief. Sound schizophrenic? Welcome to life as a cancer survivor. I’m still ways away from the seemingly magical 5-year mark, where I get to let out a huge, audible sigh of relief and consider myself “out of the woods.” After all that 5-year mark is universally known as the “all clear” mark, and there’s no question that people equate it as close to a cure as you can get.
You’re probably wondering what does one do to celebrate a cancerversary? Go out to dinner? Pop open a bottle of Dom Perignon? Buy yourself something pretty?
For me….I threw a LUAU!!!
I wanted to celebrate by being with friends and families, many of whom were there for me this past year and the previous year before. I still can’t thank everyone enough for being there for me and my family. I will be forever grateful.
In many ways I feel like I have lived a lifetime since July 2013 – when I first found out about my cancer. In that time I have gone through so much. This year has already started out better than the one before. And the next one will be even better. I look forward to many more cancerversaries and celebrations to come!
I wanted to end this post with a song that summed up what my life has been like. How I have been able to get through it all with my head up. With words I had to remind myself of every single day. When I didn’t feel like getting out of bed.
And I found it. Thank you, Rachel Plateen. I will always continue to FIGHT!
Special thanks to Chris for letting me turn your home into my Hawaiian oasis!! Joleen for my amazing flyer design! Tyler for the great beats! Jael for the delicious “F%$# CANCER” cake! Uncle Ranola for the well-built & fun tiki bar. Mel, Jaimz, Vi, Mich, Nancy, Gary, & Patti for helping with food & décor! Last but not least, thank you Ry for everything…for putting up with me!!!