2 Years Since Diagnosis

Happy New Year!

This time of year – packing away the Christmas decorations, trading treats for salads, and getting back on the school schedule – brings on a feeling of impending doom.  Early January makes me anxious, and not just because of the protesters storming our Capitol or the fact that our hospitals are overwhelmed with COVID-19 patients.  January 9th is also my diagnosis anniversary.  Bad memories coupled with a CT scan scheduled for next week to check for recurrence.    

Instead of making and breaking New Year's resolutions, I've been thinking about how my life has changed since diagnosis.

  • I started writing again.  Fear of failure doesn't matter as much when you're staring down death.  Ha!  I laugh in the face of rejection!
  • I've been subscribed to Daily Harvest for two years.  I'm finally in that small percentage of Americans who eat their recommended servings of vegetables every day.  
  • I don't exercise to lose weight; I do it to take care of my body and prolong my life.
  • I took up meditation to avoid being constantly distracted.  There may not be as much time as I thought, so I better pay attention.
  • I value my family and certain friendships more.
  • I spend more time in nature, even if it's my own backyard.  (Thanks COVID.)  
  • I don't stress as much about small things.  (I've been slipping a bit recently, but this was certainly true during treatment.  Getting through the day was a triumph.  Who cares if someone spilled milk on the rug?)    

I felt strangely alive and present during the first six months after my diagnosis.  That feeling has gone away, but it had lasting effects.  The point here is that you'll never stick to those resolutions or change your life in any meaningful way unless you get cancer.  Just kidding.  I'm sure there are easier ways.  Maybe some of you have, like, willpower or something.  Anyway, all of us had a rough 2020.  Here's hoping there are positive changes on the horizon.